Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes (Part 12)
The Great Prostitute (17:1-4)
“1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality”.
While most of the other judgements are poured out on the whole earth, Revelation 16 ends with the seventh bowl judgement being poured out on a very specific location, “Babylon the Great,” the city that is home to the apostate religion – Rome. Chapter 17 is a parenthesis, that pauses the narrative once again, and takes a closer look giving details to explain why God had such furious wrath aimed against Rome. John is lead by one of the bowl angels into a desert wilderness and shown the “great prostitute,” the mother of all false religions. The angel then proceeds to reveal ten important details about this woman:
- It is important to remember that the symbolism of a woman in Scripture is a spiritual or religious movement. John refers to this woman as being sexually immoral, in other words an apostate religious system – a system that elevates man’s philosophies above God’s Word. A prostitute is promiscuous; she is not a wife! A wife enjoys an intimate relationship with her husband within a covenant bond, and she is faithful to him! However, a prostitute is not a wife, for she is engaged in sexual promiscuity, and does not function under a binding contract with one man. The rejection of God’s Word for the worship of other gods is referred to as “spiritual prostitution” in Scripture (Leviticus 20:6; Exodus 34:15, 16). The term “great prostitute,” emphasizes that the woman is a notorious false religious system. She is far more than just a false religion, she is the greatest of all apostasy, the very origin of all false religions, the mother that spawned all other rebellious beliefs.
- The extent of her evil is made clear by the statement, “She sits on many waters”, which means her apostate faith is world-wide, covering all nations.
- The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, refers to the rulers of these nations having benefitted from a relationship with this false religion, this emphasizes that the apostacy is universal.
- John describes the inhabitants of the earth being intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries, which indicates that the people of the world had been deceived by the false religion and had consumed her toxic ideology.
- The woman is seated on a scarlet beast, the Antichrist. So, the harlot holds the reigns, she is the driving force behind the counterfeit messiah’s rise to power.
- The woman is dressed in purple and scarlet, which seems contrary to her being referred to by the angel as the great harlot. Dyed cloth of purple and scarlet was very expensive and reserved for the elite in the first century, worn only by the aristocracy, Roman officials and the royal household.
- The great prostitute is adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls. Just as a pimp is garishly flashy, this Madam is gaudily over dressed in expensive cloth and lavish jewellery, emphasizing her great wealth, attained through corrupt means.
- The extent of her corruption is revealed by the contents of the golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things, and the filth of her adulteries. When God’s Word is contaminated by man’s philosophies, mankind no longer stands on the firm ground of God’s Word, the leaven is allowed to spoil the whole lump.
- On her forehead, the place where God puts His seal on His saints (Rev. 14:1), she advertises her status as “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abomination of the Earth”. Her identity is exposed, the Great Prostitute is the original false religion established in the rebellion against God, led by Nimrod and Semiramis, and symbolised by the Tower of Babel.
- The Great Whore is drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. The depth of her apostacy is revealed in her murderous attacks against the Bride of Christ.
An important reason for the use of symbolism by John to describe the Mother of Prostitutes, is that the message that he is giving may then be interpreted by any church through history, right through to the modern era. The message is clear, that all false religions are related to the Whore, and will stand in opposition to the Church of God, even to the extent of persecuting believers. However, God is in control and the apostate religious system will be held accountable by Him – the seventh bowl judgement is confirmation of this fact.
The detailed information that John provides in his description of the Great Prostitute, enables us to make a clear and decisive identification of the apostate faith, that is Babylon Religion, in modern times. It is extremely important to identify the apostate religion, as it is the corrupted faith through which the Antichrist will rise to power. Knowing the false religion will enable believers to identify the Antichrist, and give forewarning to all who will listen.
The description of the apostate faith is very detailed, and enables the conclusion to be made that the description of the Mother of Prostitutes, and her location given in verse 9, is indicating Roman Catholicism. To clarify this conclusion, a detailed study of the description of the Great Whore is necessary. Also, when looking at the detailed evidence pointing to the Roman Catholic Church, it is also important to ask the question, “What other religion matches the many and varied requirements?” – the answer is none!
Seated on many Waters (17:1-2)
“1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk’”.
The apostate Christianity of the Catholic Church is on every continent, in every country, she without question is “seated on many waters”! The leaders of the world have committed adultery (universal apostasy) with her, and they are subservient to the power of the Roman Church, they flock to have an audience with the Pope. Americans love to call their president the most powerful man in the world, yet every president from Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959 to Joe Biden in 2021 has made the journey to visit the Vatican, and every two-term president has gone twice, except Bill Clinton who hosted the Pope three times. Why does the president of the most powerful nation on earth repeatedly, every four years, make the trip to visit the ruler of a city? The answer is, because the Great Whore sits on the city of seven hills (Rev. 17:9).
The inhabitants of the earth are “intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries,” they are deceived by the Great Whore; the nations have adopted her spiritual deception and apostasy. The ideology of the Whore finds a home in all the nations of the world – even Islamic nations. Pope John Paul II, in May 1999, on his visit to a mosque in Iraq, both bowed to, and kissed the Koran, recognising it as a holy book. In 2015, Pope Francis made the statement that the Koran and the Holy Bible are the same, and that both Islam and Christianity worship the same God. This highlights the Catholic Church’s role as the Mother of Harlots, drawing not only the Ecumenical Church but other religions under her wing. The ultimate fulfilment of verse 2 will be the acceptance of the Antichrist as world ruler at the start of the Tribulation, by the world leaders and their citizens.
The Whore Rides the Beast (17:3b)
“I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns”.
Note that the Whore rides the beast, that has seven heads and ten horns, which identifies it as the beast that was previously seen by John in Revelation 13:1 – the Antichrist. As the Whore is riding the beast, she is therefore in control of his movements, indicating that the Antichrist will rise to power through the false religious system. As the beast comes to prominence, the apostate church will seek to promote world unity under the authority of the Antichrist.
- “Watch out that no one deceive you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ (anointed) and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5)
- “For that day will not come, except there come the falling away (apostasy) first, and that the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (the Antichrist) [2 Thess.2:3].
- “The spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1).
- “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:3).
“Full of blasphemous names” (17:3)
There can be no more blasphemous designation on earth than the title “Pope”:
Pontifex Maximus is a pagan title bequeathed to the Emperor of Rome by Attalus III of Pergamum in 133 BC. Pontifex means “bridge builder,” and maximus means “greatest,” thus the title means “the greatest bridge builder”. Thus, the Emperor was seen not only as the ruler over his empire but also as the bridge maker between God and man, a king and high priest. Emperor Gratian, a devout Christian recognised that the title was pagan and refused it in AD 378. In the early church the lead elder of a church within a city was referred to as a bishop, and all bishops were of equal standing. Over the years the Bishops of Rome continually sought to elevate their authority over the other churches – churches such as those in Jerusalem where the first church was founded, or Antioch the home of the first Gentile church, or Alexandria where all the great scholars congregated and had intellectual status in the church community. The Church of Rome’s only claim was that it was the seat of the Emperor, so when Gratian refused the title Pontifex Maximus, the Bishop of Rome took the pagan title for himself, looking to cement his position as the superior Christian bishop – the bishop who was the “greatest bridge builder” between man and God. A common trend in Roman Catholicism is their willingness to combine paganism with Christianity – syncretism, which God hates.
The apostle Paul, in Romans 8:15, gives one of the most wonderful revelations in Scripture – that we, on the acceptance of the Lord Jesus as Lord and Saviour, become the sons and daughters of the living God: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption). And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (emphasis added).
At the moment of our salvation, we fall under the divine protection and love of our heavenly Father. It is for this reason that Jesus instructed believers not to call any man “father” in the spiritual sense: “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9). God alone is our “Holy Father,” and for a man to usurp his title is to attempt to claim the role of divine protector, and to steal the adoration befitting the title for himself. No man is able to replace the divine perfection that is our Holy Father, the Lord God Almighty.
The title “Holy Father” is also a pagan title, as pagan priests were referred to as “father”. The title “Pope” comes from the Italian “papa,” “Holy Father” in Italian is “Sancta Papa,” — which is where “Pope” is derived from. God is our “Abba, Father”, not the Pope.
For the Pope to claim the title of “Holy Father” is therefore blasphemous for three reasons:
- We are instructed by Jesus to “not call anyone ‘father,’ for you have one Father and He is in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9). Yet the Pope calls himself not only “father” but moreover “The Holy Father” with a definite article. He therefore is defiantly placing himself in the place of God the Father.
- God alone is Holy, “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy.” (Rev. 15:4).
- The Pope, by taking the title “The Holy Father,” is claiming the honour befitting that title for himself, which then takes the glory away from God, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another.” (Isa. 42:8).
Vicar of Christ
The title Vicar of Christ implies that the Pope has taken the place of Christ on earth, the Latin vicarious meaning “substituting, taking the place of another”. Jesus told His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to take His place (John 14:16), not the Pope! The word “anti” in antichrist means both against Christ and “IN PLACE OF” Christ. Now look at the following quote from John Paul II: “The leader of the Catholic Church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who takes the place of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” (John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3 1994 [emphasis added]). This incredible claim by Pope John Paul is not an isolated belief, Pope Lea XIII (1878-1903) said: “We (the Pope) hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty,” and on April 30 1922; Pope Pius XI said: “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth the Vicar of Christ, which means I am God on earth”. Thus, all Popes, having the title Vicar of Christ, hold the belief that they have taken the place of Jesus on earth, and are therefore to be considered “God on earth”.
King and High Priest:
As the sovereign of the State of Vatican City, the Pope is crowned with a three-crown tiara (the triregnum), making him a king and high priest, thus usurping the title reserved for Jesus alone. So, this one man claims the titles of each one of the Trinity, replacing them with himself.
Apostolic succession is the belief by the Roman Church, of an uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority, from the apostle Peter through successive Popes. This doctrine is very convenient for the Catholic Church, as with their claim that Peter was the first Pope, they then also claim full authority over the Church. So, the Pope is then the chief shepherd of the flock, while kings and rulers are merely one of the flock. This means that, according to the Vatican, the Pope is superior to, and has power over all the rulers of the earth. The problem for the Roman Church is that nowhere in the New Testament is the idea of “apostolic succession” set forth, Scripture indicates that the other apostles were given the same authority as Peter (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; John 20:22-13). To add to this conundrum, there is also no record of Peter being superior to the other apostles. Apostolic authority was passed on through the writings of the apostles, not through apostolic succession. There is a long list of evidence against apostolic succession, some of the points against the claim are:
- The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven given to Peter by Jesus in Matthew 16:19, are “keys” which were symbolic of the work Peter would do in opening the way to salvation for both Jews and Gentiles. God used Peter to reach Jews from all over the Roman Empire at Pentecost (Acts 2). Then God used Peter to bring the gospel message to the Gentiles through the conversion of Cornelius at Caesarea (Acts 10:24-48). These two acts revealed the work that the Holy Spirit would do through the great commission which was given to all the disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).
- Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, explains that it is he who has the God-given responsibility to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, while Peter was to do the work of the Lord among the Jews (Gal. 2:7-8). Paul, in his letters, repeatedly refers to himself as the apostle responsible for teaching the Gentiles (Rom. 1:13; Gal. 1:16). So, Scripture has Paul as the Apostle to the Gentiles and Peter as the Apostle to the Jews.
- Peter was not an infallible guide in faith and morals, as Paul rebuked Peter in Antioch for hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-13).
- There is no record in Scripture of Peter passing the apostolic authority onto anyone else.
- A study of the New Testament Greek shows that Peter’s name in the Greek is Petros, which means a stone (John. 1:42). Jesus, in Matthew 16:18, says that the Church would be built upon the Petra which means a “rock”. Rock in Scripture is a metaphor used to describe God in the Old Testament, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” (2 Sam. 22:2). Also, a rock is used as a symbol representing Jesus: In Daniel 2:35, “the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth,” points to Jesus returning at the end of the age to set up His Kingdom. In the Book of Romans Jesus is “a stumbling stone and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33 [KJV]). In the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matt. 7:24-27, the “rock” is the Word of God upon which the wise builder builds his house. The Word of God is Jesus (John 1:1), the solid foundation is Jesus, and the rock that the Church is built upon is Jesus, not Peter.
- In Acts 15 James is presiding over the very important council at Jerusalem, if Peter was the first Pope why did he not preside? To ignore this important evidence is wilful blindness.
- Peter did not allow Cornelius to show reverence towards him (Acts 10:25-26). Peter would be appalled that a man claiming to be his successor, not only sitting in a chair entitled “Peter’s chair,” but also that men kneel before the chair to kiss the Pope’s ring, and that the Pope is carried in the chair on the shoulders of other men, on occasions of pomp and ceremony. This is not the humility that Peter showed, and which is required by Scripture. The requirement Jesus set for the leaders of the Church is recorded in Matt. 20:25-26, “You know that rulers of Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you (the disciples). Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Papal infallibility (ex cathedra)
The dogma of Papal infallibility was declared in the year 1870 by Pope Pius IX. Papal infallibility means that “The Supreme Pontiff, by virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful… he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such.” (Canon 749).
Papal infallibility may only have become dogma in 1870, but the Roman Catholic Church holds on to a belief in “Semper idem” (“always the same”), which means that the declaration of being infallible by Pope Pius IX extends back to the first Pope, and therefore has always been a doctrine of the Catholic Church. When the Pope makes a proclamation regarding faith or morals it is to be seen as authoritative as scripture, which is made clear in Catechism 82: “As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the Holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence” (emphasis added).
Ironically, this power given to the Pope to nullify Scripture through papal decrees is seen by Catholics as fulfilling the role of the apostle Peter in his task “to keep the Church together in unity and defend the message of Christ against wrong teachings.” (Hirmer, Oswald. Our Joy in being Catholic. Mariannhill Mission Press, 2007.3).
The Pope, then, has the power when speaking “ex cathedra,” (from the seat of authority of the Pope as the divine head of the Catholic Church), to be able to bring in doctrine and tradition that not only contradict Scripture, but are also to be considered equal with Scripture.
When the Pope speaks “ex cathedra” he is seen to be speaking with the voice of God, and therefore this requires that all Roman Catholics must submit to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, even when these traditions are manmade and have no basis in Scripture. The Catholic Church requires that all mankind believe that Popes – who all through the history of this Church have been involved in all manner of sin, wickedness, corruption and debauchery – were incapable of making a mistake when they make pronouncements on matters of faith and morals.
A path has effectively been laid by this “doctrine of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1 [KJV]), that directs people away from Jesus into the arms of the Queen of Heaven. This authority will be a powerful tool in the hands of the Antichrist in the final stages of the development of the apostate church, as it opens its ecumenical arms to embrace all religions and form a one-world religion.
During the time of the Roman Emperors there were two kinds of religions: religio elicita (legal religions) and religio illicita (illegal religions). As long as the Emperor was acknowledged as a god, a person could have any religion he wanted. Their god would become part of the Roman Pantheon of gods, becoming part of the Roman religious system, the head being the Emperor. So, with papal infallibility in his arsenal at the start of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will allow all religions to be practiced as long as they recognise him as the head of their religious system and worship his statue. Those who do not, will be detained by the False Prophet as religio illicita, and put to death.
One of the infallible declarations made by the Popes is Unam Sanctam (“One Holy”), meaning that salvation of every single person is dependent on total obedience to the Pope, and the traditions of the Catholic Church. As “The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” (Catechism, paragraph 937). Unam Sanctam demands a total submission to the Pope before a person is able to earn salvation.
The debased men throughout the history of the Catholic Church who have held the position of Pope, and claimed the title of “Vicar of Christ,” have been able to institute traditions which contradict scripture, then force people to follow them through the threat of the loss of their eternal salvation through the Papal Bull (law) of Unam Sanctum. The hypocrisy is astounding. The Catholic stance regarding the well documented immorality of their Popes is that no matter how sinful the Pope is, he remains the head of the Roman Church and thereby requires submission and obedience from all Catholics.
The Papal bull, Unam Sanctam, places the Pope above all human authorities, spiritual and temporal. This also emphasizes the Catholic doctrine that the salvation of every single person is dependent on total obedience to the Pope and the traditions of the Catholic Church. In 1302 Pope Boniface VIII, found that strong European rulers, such as Philip IV of France and Edward I of England, were ignoring his instructions. Consequently, Boniface issued the Papal Bull, Unam Sanctam, stating that spiritual matters were superior to temporal matters, therefore the instructions of the Pope was superior to all authority. A very convenient method to ensure the Pope always got his way.
Bishop of Bishops
The title places the Pope as superior to all religious leaders. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the Mother Church, and will eventually claim to be the Mother of all faiths – making her the Mother of Prostitutes, the Great Whore of Revelation 17.
With the claim that the Pope is superior to all leaders and authorities, it becomes inevitable that the Pope would lay claim to all territories on earth. Temporal power gives Popes political and governmental power and authority, along with their claim to complete spiritual and pastoral power as the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) aggressively supported papal authority, stating that “the Roman Pontiff judges all men, but is judged by no one. We declare, assert and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation…” (The Bull Sanctum, Nov 18, 1302, found in the registers of Boniface VIII in the Vatican archives, “Reg Vatic.” L. FOL. 387, the Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1913 by the Encyclopaedia Press INC.) Boniface VIII was more concerned about ruling with power and authority, than he was about ensuring the lost received salvation.
Thomas Aquinas, the much revered “Angelic Doctor” and “saint” of the Catholic Church wrote in his Summa Theologica in 1272, “The Pope, by Divine Right, hath Spiritual and Temporal Power, as Supreme King of the World”. An example of the Popes use of temporal power was in 1494, when Pope Alexander VI was required to intercede in a possible conflict between Spain and Portugal. These two Catholic countries were the two dominant European powers at that time, and their colonial aspirations were bound to cause conflict. To ensure that a clash between the two Catholic super powers did not happen, Alexander VI, under his claim to have temporal power over all territories on earth, was able to divide the New World between Spain and Portugal. Spain was to have South America (Portugal had already colonised Brazil), and Portugal was to have Africa.
If temporal power of the Pope only extends to the Vatican City, as many Catholics would have you believe, then the Pope should have disbanded the Jesuits. The Jesuits are kept by the Pope because they are the tool that works to bring about papal authority over all of mankind, and temporal power over all the territories of the world.
The large number of blasphemous titles held by the Pope places him in the centre of the spotlight when determining the future position of authority that the Antichrist will hold. There is no other faith where the religious leader can be said to hold anything close to the large number of blasphemous titles as the Pope. Only the Pope claims to replace the Trinity on earth, to hold authority over all secular and religious leaders, that his dogma is superior to the Word of God, and that only through obedience to him can salvation be attained.
Dressed in Purple and Scarlet (17:4)
“4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality”.
Emperor Constantine, AD 306 – 337, was the first Roman Emperor to accept Christianity. With his increase in power and authority, Constantine became vain and would dress in splendid decorative robes. Constantine presented a set of these robs as a gift to the bishop of Jerusalem, which rivalled even the pagan priests in splendour. This was the first-time pagan vestments were used in the Christian Church. The Roman Church soon adopted the wearing of vestments for its bishops, and before the end of the fourth century bishops were wearing special clothes known as mass vestments, some for high mass and some for low mass. The wearing of vestments served to distinguish the priest from the congregation, further broadening the gap between clergy and laity.
The “teaching of the Nicolaitans” (Rev. 2:6; 15), refers to dominating the people, compared to the “teaching of Balaam” which refers to seducing the people. Thus, Nicolaitanism is a clergy-laity separation, with Nike meaning “victory,” and laity meaning “the people,” so it identifies a victory over the people. All Christians are priests: Peter said, “…you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5). The priestly function of the individual Christian has been forgotten because of the clergy-Laity divide. The Nicolaitan hearsay has crushed the effectiveness of the Church, with the believer being neutered by the belief that it is the clergy who are the conduit to God, and must therefore do all the work – including prayer. Believers merely turn up for services on a Sunday.
There is no better example of the use of vestments to distinguish between clergy and laity than the Roman Catholic Church, and there is no coincidence that purple and scarlet are the colours of the Roman Catholic Church, who adopted the colours favoured by the elite of Roman society. While the Pope generally wears white symbolising his purity and holiness, the Cardinals wear scarlet and Bishops wear purple, matching the colours of the Great Harlot.
Adorned with Jewels (17:4a)
“The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls”.
The image of the Great Harlot adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls, reveals the extravagant wealth of this apostate faith. Dave Hunt, in his book, A Woman Rides the Beast, says of the wealth of the Catholic Church that “Christ and His disciples lived in poverty, He told His followers not to lay up treasures on this earth but in heaven. The Roman Catholic Church has disobeyed that commandment and has accumulated a plethora of riches without equal, of which the Roman Pontiff is the supreme administrator and steward… There is no church, no city, which is a spiritual entity, no religious institution past or present which even comes close to possessing the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Avro Manhattan has similar sentiments to Dave Hunt, writing in the preface of his book The Vatican Billions: “Christ was born, lived and died in poverty. His ‘church’ is a multi-, multi-billion-dollar concern. How is it that although she claims to be preoccupied with the riches of heaven, she is in reality one of the most formidable accumulators of the riches of the earth?” To put the wealth of the Catholic Church into true perspective three quotes from Avro Manhattan’s book, which was first published in 1983, are included below:
- “The Catholic Church, once all her assets have been put together, is the most formidable stockbroker in the world… The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican’s financial deals in the U.S. alone were so big that very often it sold or bought gold in lots of a million or more dollars at one time.”
- “The Vatican’s treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World magazine to amount to several billion dollars… But this is just a small portion of the wealth of the Vatican, which in the U.S. alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations of the country. When to that is added all the real estate, property, stocks and shares abroad, then the staggering accumulation of wealth of the Catholic church becomes so formidable as to defy any rational assessment.”
- “The Catholic Church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The Pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consistently the richest individual of the 20th century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars.”
An example of this great wealth that is displayed by the Whore, is the Roman Catholic Church of Lourdes in France, when a stock check of the church’s possessions was carried out. The treasures found were: 59 solid gold chalices, alongside rings, crucifixes, statues, and gold brooches (many encrusted with precious stones), a crown studded with diamonds, robes, mitres and sashes (many with gold thread). The church authorities were unable to put a price on the collection. The gold, precious stones and pearls that the Great Whore wears is an apt description of the opulent wealth of the Catholic Church.
A last example, which also reveals the ends justifies the means mentality of the Catholic Church, is the life of Roberto Calvi (1920 – 1982). He was an Italian banker dubbed “God’s Banker” by the press, because of his close association with the Vatican. Calvi was Chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in one of modern Italy’s biggest political scandals. Calvi’s body was found hanging from a scaffold beneath a London bridge, his clothing was stuffed with bricks, and he was carrying around $15,000 worth of cash in three different currencies. His death is a source of enduring controversy and was ruled a murder after two coroner’s inquests and an independent investigation.
Claims have been made that those complicit in Calvi’s death were, the Vatican Bank (Banco Ambrosiano’s main shareholder); the Mafia, which may have used Banco Ambrosiano for money laundering; and the clandestine Masonic lodge Propaganda Due. It is believed that the Vatican was using their percentage from the laundered Mafia drug money to fund Contra fighters in Nicaragua – Liberation Theology.
A Golden Cup full of Abominations (17:4b)
“… holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality”.
A silver 1959 Johannes coin, with the profile of the Pope Johannes XXIII on one side, and a woman holding a cup containing the sun on the other. “Fides”, engraved at the foot of the woman means honesty and fidelity – the truth! The Catholic Church is the only faith that depicts a woman holding a cup! Under the authority of Unam Sanctam, the Roman Catholic Church lays claim to being the “truth”.
Babylon the Great, Mother of Prostitutes (17:5)
“5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations’”.
The City of Babylon
To better understand the symbolism and significance of the Whore of Babylon in Revelation 17, it is important to revise the impact of the city of Babylon on mankind in Scripture. The city is repeatedly referred to in Scripture, being mentioned 287 times, second only to Jerusalem, therefore it must be seen as an extremely important city, having a tremendous influence on mankind. The rebellion against God that took place in Babylon was centred around the infamous Tower of Babylon, which was built as a temple of worship, but came to represent four things:
- A temple of worship connected to astrology.
- A dedication to the belief that mankind can become god.
- An expression of mankind’s pride and self-esteem.
- Mankind’s contempt for God.
Human culture had separated from the true God; Nimrod had introduced a new religion founded upon human pride, world domination and polytheism. The worship of Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, are at the core of the pagan belief that originated in Babylon. After God scattered the people of the kingdom of Babylon “over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:9), they took their pagan religion with them, each cultural group adapting the Babylonian religion to their culture over the years. Much of the world’s idolatry can be traced back to historical Babylon, including the mother-child cult of Semiramis-Tammuz (Jer.44:16-19; Ezek. 8:9, 14), which entered other cultures as Ashtaroth-Tammuz, Aphrodite-Eros, Venus-Cupid, and even Madonna-Child. This idolatrous connection can be clearly seen in Scripture in the gods of the Canaanites, their chief god and goddess being Baal (lord), and Astaroth (queen of heaven), were alter egos of Nimrod and Semiramis. The Canaanite paganism contaminated the pure worship of Yahweh, and Scripture records women in Jerusalem holding the ceremony of weeping for Semiramis’ son Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14), and the pagan practice of baking cakes for the Queen of Heaven (Jeremiah 7:18-19). Just as Babylon religion contaminated Temple worship, so too it contaminated the early Church, which has resulted in an apostate End Time Church, led by the Great Prostitute.
Babylon, under Nimrod, became the first world empire, where Nimrod as a tyrannical leader controlled the politics, military, economy and religion. Nimrod is a prophetic type of the Antichrist, who will in the future rule over the New-World Order through politics, military, economy and religion. Just as the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah were held accountable and punished by the land that was the origin of their idolatry – the land of Nimrod (Assyria and Babylon) – so too will all mankind in the End Times be held accountable for the sins of the past. The Mother of false religions in Revelation 17 carries the title “Mystery Babylon the Great,” her roots are in the ancient Babylon religion, which was the beginning of the rebellion against God after the flood. Just as God used Sargon and Nebuchadnezzar – kings over the land of Nimrod who were empowered by the mystery of iniquity – as tools of His judgement upon the Jews – so too will God use the Antichrist. The Pontifex Maximus from spiritual Babylon, the city of Rome, will be used by God as His tool to create conditions on earth that will bring His judgement upon a rebellious mankind, who continually rejects the sacrificial work of Jesus.
So, how did the city of Rome become the modern Babylon, the “seat of Satan”? Satan, the ruler over the kingdoms of the world, has moved from place to place over the ages.
The original seat of Satan was obviously the City of Babylon at the time of Nimrod (Isaiah 14:4–21); then Ezekiel records that Satan is with the king of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Ezekiel prophesied between 593 – 573 BC, and ironically, at the time of Ezekiel recording this prophecy, while in captivity in Babylon, Satan was manipulating the king of Tyre. Satan had moved his throne to the Isle of Tyre. Then, Revelation 2:13 records Jesus telling the church of Pergamum, that Satan had established his seat in their city. The third move occurred when Attalus III, king of Pergamum bequeathed his title and territory to Rome, the seat of Satan moved to Rome. Attalus’ title was – Pontifex Maximus, he was the “bridge,” or link between the god’s and people of Pergamum – he was a king and a high priest. The Roman Emperor on accepting this title recognised the title’s responsibility. The Emperor became the bridgemaker between the gods of the Roman pantheon and the people – an Emperor and a high priest. The Emperor was soon to be recognised as a “god” and required to be worshipped by Rome. Pergamum was the first city to build a temple to the Emperor – no coincidence there!
With Rome becoming the seat of Satan, it also became the home of the pagan Babylonian religion, and so the church in Rome over time became contaminated with paganism. The contamination started after the pagan emperor Constantine legalised Christianity, issuing the Edict of Milan in 313. To appease the Emperor, the Church conceded to pagan practices, and to gain favour with the Emperor, pagans entered the Church, bringing their corrupted beliefs with them. Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890), is the greatest Roman Catholic theological thinker Great Britain has ever produced (he has been beautified by the Roman Catholic Church, and they now want him canonized as a saint). In his treatise called The Development of the Christian Religion, Cardinal Newman said this: “At least seventy percent of the rights, rituals, customs and traditions of Roman Catholicism are pagan in origin”. To put this revealing statement in another way, Roman Catholicism follows 30% of God’s Word, which was given to us by Him “for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. The Roman Catholic Church should not therefore be categorised as a Christian faith, but rather as baptised paganism.
Drunk with the Blood of the Saints (17:6a)
“6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus”.
The Papal inquisitions were started in an effort to eliminate the “heresies” of the Albigensians in 1184. More than 900 000 people were killed as a result of the persecution of the Waldenses, with many more being imprisoned and tortured. The worst single crusade against believers occurred in 1572, during the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of the French Protestant Huguenots. In a surprise, co-ordinated attack, Catholics across France turned on their Protestant neighbours and slaughtered them. Within a week more than 100 000 Protestants had been killed. The inquisitions lasted for hundreds of years, starting with the Medieval inquisitions in 1184 and continuing to 1808. It was Napoleon who finally put an end to the murderous practice, when after becoming Emperor of France he defeated the papal army, occupied the Papal States (1796), and conquered Spain (1808). Pope Ferdinand VII attempted to reinstate the practice of Inquisitions after the defeat of Napoleon, but was prevented from doing so by the French government.
The imagery of the Great Whore being drunk on the blood of the saints of God is extremely revealing, this woman is not just guilty of having “blood on her hands,” she is responsible for the horrendous acts of mutilation and torture of innocent men, woman and children. To comprehend how inquisitors could administer horrendous suffering upon their victims for days and even weeks at a time, and consider themselves holy men of God seems beyond comprehension. However, the perverted logic of the inquisitors deemed it necessary to hear from the victims, every deviance they made from the doctrines of the church, and torture ensured they were able to extract every sinful detail. It is well known now that people will agree to say anything to end the suffering of torture, even when it means they are condemned as guilty, when in fact they are innocent. The worst example of this during the inquisitions, was when children were tortured to reveal the heresies of their parents.
The motto for the inquisitors that explained their sadistic mentality, was that they believed it was “better for a hundred innocent people to die than for one heretic to go free”. In Roman Catholic doctrine a person would be saved from hell by confessing their sins to a priest and receiving absolution, so these monks believed they were doing the victims a favour. Very conveniently for the Catholic Church the “heretics” property and belongings would be confiscated and shared between the inquisitors and the Pope.
The Modus Operandi
The inquisitors would move from town to town in pairs within their region which was under their observance. On arrival in a town an “Edict of Faith” was issued, which required the residence to come forward with information of any heresy within their population. Traditionally this was done by having the local town priest make a community announcement, which all would be required to attend. Those absent from the meeting would immediately be targeted by the inquisitors. Those who came forward with information on heresy did so in secret, with visits after dark, and those arrested were never acquitted of their alleged crimes. Also, no one escaped the offence of heresy, those that repented were strangled, while those that refused to repent were burned, so it was a win, win for the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church. It is not hard to imagine the villainy that the inquisitions encouraged, it was a perfect stage for the evil of mankind to playout upon, with the main players being vengeance, spite, jealousy, hatred and greed. Yet despite the multiple horrors of the inquisitions, they were continually established and repeatedly blessed by the Popes through the ages, thus perpetuating one of the greatest assaults upon decency, justice and human rights, by a man professing to be God’s representative on earth.
It is interesting to note the vast discrepancy in the numbers of those who died at the hands of the inquisitors. The Roman Catholic Church propaganda machine has been hard at work covering up the details of the inquisitions, and as the records of the inquisitors are kept under lock and key in the Vatican, modern historians are unable to come up with an accurate number. So, the Roman Catholic Church will only admit to a few thousand being put to death by the inquisition, while their apologists point to the important role the Inquisitions played in keeping the Church doctrinally pure! For this reason, I am more inclined to accept older records of the Inquisition such as:
- “The horrid conduct of this Holy Office [Inquisition] weakened the power and diminished the population of Spain by arresting the progress of arts, sciences, industry and commerce, and by compelling multitudes of families to abandon the kingdom; by instigating the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors, and by immolating on its flaming shambles more than three hundred thousand victims (Jan Antoine Llorente, Secretary to the Spanish Inquisition, 1790-921).
- “From the birth of Popery in 606 to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty million of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of popery” (“History of Romanism,” pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871).
- Just after the start of the Reformation, the Spanish Inquisitors condemned the entire country of The Netherlands to death in 1568, the Netherlands being a territory of Spain from 1556 to 1714. After a good start of eight hundred people being put to death in one week, the enormity and madness of the task hit home and the persecution gradually faded in momentum.
It is important to remember when dealing with the number of people who died during the inquisitions, that for every one that was formally executed by the inquisitors, dozens more died from the torture and the cruel imprisonment. So, when Jan Antoine Llorente records that three hundred thousand people were burned at the stake, that does not include those that “repented” of their heresy and were strangled, nor does it include the millions more that would have died from torture and cruel imprisonment.
Equipment of the inquisition:
The methods of torture invented by the Roman Catholic monks were many and varied, but all requiring the operators to be the most cruel, inhuman sadists, in their ability to cause intense and prolonged suffering to their victims. The majority of the inquisitions were carried out by Dominican monks, who were professionally trained interrogators. Regarding the order, it was said of them that they knew “very well how to get confessions from the accused heretics, but their strong debating skills did not soften their brutality in torturing and burning people” (Philip Daileader, Ph.D., The College of William & Mary). The methods of torture used by the Dominicans were extensive, below are just four well known methods which will be examined to give clarity to the accusations of cruelty against these inquisitors.
The most recognisable of the many instruments of torture is the rack, as it was the most popular method of torture of the inquisitors. The Roman Catholic monks, carrying the title “inquisitor” would bind the victim to a rack which was connected to a system of cranks. As the monks turned the cranks the ropes restraining the victim tighten, stretching the victim and dislocating joints, in some cases the torture continued till limbs were torn off.
While harnessed to the rack, other means of torture could be applied to the victim, this would include crushing devices which would be used on fingers and the feet, the application of red-hot pincers to the sensitive parts of the body, and implements that were used to mutilate the bodies orifices and genitalia.
The feet of the individual were placed in stocks, which consisted of two pieces of timber clamped together at the ankles. Lard was then smeared on the soles of the feet and a brazier of hot coals was placed beneath the feet. The heat of the brazier would initially blister the feet, and eventually set them alight. However, a board could be slid between the feet and the coals when interrogation was being carried out. Should submission and compliance not be forthcoming the board would be removed. This method of torture was mostly used on women and the elderly, who were not strong enough to withstand the rigours of the other forms of torture. It was also the preferential method of torture used on children, to coerce them to testify against their parents.
The Strappado (also known as corda)
The hands of the victims were tied behind their backs and weights attached to their feet. The cord binding their hands was threaded through a pulley suspended above their heads, and the accused were then raised off the ground so they were hanging face down suspended by their arms. The torturers would then drop and raise the person, the series of jerks would tear the shoulders from the sockets, causing immense pain and suffering.
The Judas Cradle
The victim was hoisted off the ground and then lowered on to the point of a pyramid, with the body being positioned over the point to place pressure on the anus, vagina, scrotum or coccyx. The amount of pressure from the person’s body weight that was placed on the point, would be controlled by pulleys. The victim could even be rocked back and forth on the point or dropped repeatedly from a predetermined height. The Spanish Donkey was a similar apparatus, where the naked victims were seated astride a wooden wedge as if they were seated on a donkey. Weights were attached to the individual’s feet, forcing the body down on the edge of the wedge. The weights could be adjusted to increase the agony and suffering of the victim. At times, the weight could be so heavy that the body was split in two.
Roman Catholic apologists deceitfully try to absolve their Church of any responsibility in the actual burnings of heretics. They claim that the Inquisition was the work of the state. It is interesting that the Pope will claim temporal power, but then deny authority over the inquisitions! The sovereign authority over all Christians is claimed by the Pope, as God’s representative on earth. Joseph Marie, comte de Maistre, in his letters written in 1815 to justify the Spanish Inquisition, admitted that the inquisition was “by virtue of the bull of the sovereign pontiff,” and that the Grand Inquisitor “is always either an archbishop or bishop”. He went on to explain that community leaders who refused to fulfill the requirements of the inquisition would have to face the inquisitorial, and be burned at the stake.
Dave Hunt sums up the Great Harlots persecution of the saints, writing: “The Roman Catholic Church has been the greatest persecutor of both Jews and Christians the world has ever seen, and has martyred far more Christians than even pagan Rome or Islam. She has been exceeded only by Mao and Stalin, but they hardly claimed to be acting in Christ’s name. Catholic Rome has no rival among religious institutions in qualifying as the woman who is ‘drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus’” (Dave Hunt: A Woman Rides the Beast, Harvest Prophecy, 1994).
Some readers of this document may well believe that although the historical evidence of the atrocities of the Roman Catholic Church is accurate, and the inquisitions are part of a dark history, that the Catholic Church has moved on and reformed. You would be gravely mistaken, the Pope speaks ex cathedra, he is infallible, so the definition of heresy within the Catholic Church has not changed. There have been warnings that she will not tolerate distention to her dogman, the American Catholic weekly in 1938 openly declared:
“Heresy is an awful crime against God, and those who start a heresy are more guilty than they who are traitors to the civil government. If the state has a right to punish treason with death, the principle is the same that concedes to the spiritual authority (Roman Catholic Church] the power of life and death over the archtraitor [heretic]”.
A further point to consider is, if the Catholic Church has changed, and they now consider that Protestants are no longer to be called “heretics,” but rather “misguided brothers,” why does the Roman Catholic Church still have the Order of the Jesuits? The Order of the Jesuits was created to combat and overthrow the Protestant reformation. It was founded as a military order (sometimes referred to as “god’s marines”) by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534. Through the ages their ultimate mission has been to bring about an end to the Protestant rebellion against the Mother Church. In 1537, the Jesuits travelled to Italy to seek Papal approval for their order. Pope Paul III commended them and issued a Papal Bull giving them permission to ordain priests. They operate as the Vatican’s version of the KGB, doing every dirty deed required for the Vatican to maintain control and authority in the world.
Gary Kah in his book, The New World Religion, writes a detailed appendix on the ceremony of induction and extreme oaths of the Jesuits. Understanding the Jesuit society gives us clarity in understanding how the mystery of iniquity, the counterfeit religion already has an army prepared to do its bidding. The oath sworn by the Jesuits makes the oath of the Sicilian Mafia look like a Boy Scout oath. For the Mafia initiate there is the threat of a painful death at betraying the Mafia cause, and not fulfilling their duty. For the Jesuit there is not only the threat of an extremely painful death, but also the belief that the traitor will spend an eternity burning in hell, for betraying the oath of loyalty to the mafia don of the Catholic Church, the Pope.
The Jesuit flag flown at the initiation, next to the yellow and white Catholic flag, is a black flag with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones. Not an appropriate flag for a religious order! Worse still is that below the skull and crossbones are the letters INRI, which stands for Iustum, Necar, Reges, Impios, which translated from Latin into English means “It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical Kings, Governments, or Rulers”. This is exactly what the Jesuit swears to perform in service for the Pope during his initiation. Anytime there is a revival anywhere in the world, where there is a threat of Catholics turning from Mary worship to accepting Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, the Jesuits will be there seeking to do whatever is necessary to prevent that. Whatever is necessary includes anything from malicious gossip and slander, to assassinations and civil war.
What should be of great concern is that these men are able to travel the world as representatives of God. They have fooled the world. Even some Protestant Christians, who are the main focus for their insidious plans, consider them brothers in Christ. Slightly misguided brothers they will admit, but none-the-less brothers. To even suggest that prayers should be said in spiritual warfare against the Jesuits and shrines to Mary will cause believers to want to change the subject. The Church today has given the Catholic Church carte blanche to further its schemes. The Jesuits are a part of “the secret power of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) that will support the Antichrist in his ascendancy to power. We should not forget that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, and that this leopard cannot and will not change its spots.
“The Beast that you saw was, and is not (17:6b-8)
“… when I saw her, I marvelled greatly. 7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come” (emphasis added).
The name Nimrod in Hebrew means “the rebel,” and was very likely used by Moses to clarify the evil nature of the man, rather than honour him by using his real name. He was the ruler of Babylon and with his wife Semiramis, the founder of Mystery Babylon religion – he is the first of the types in Scripture (a shadow of the future reality), of the man, the Antichrist. So, it is Nimrod that “was, (and now) is not,” Nimrod is long dead, but the man that will take his place, the “son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3 [KJV]), “is about to rise” from the bottomless pit, the man that will be possessed by Satan – the Antichrist. This is not a reincarnation of the dead, it was Satan that guided the man called Nimrod to plan and develop his rebellion against God, and is Satan, the ruler over all in the bottomless pit, that rises up to possess the man that will be the Antichrist. And, it is the Antichrist who will follow in the footsteps of Nimrod, and lead a world-wide rebellion against God, forming a one-world religion, a one-world economy and a one-world government. All those that reject God and are doomed to an eternity in the Lake of Fire, are spiritually blind, they will rejoice at the formation of united humanity in rebellion to God. They will marvel at the leadership, authority and ability of the Antichrist.
There is an interesting comparison to be made between the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:8 as the Alpha and Omega “‘who is and who was and who is to come,” and the Antichrist in Revelation 18:8, as being the one who “was, and is not, and is about to rise”. Jesus “is” the eternal Lord God, “who was” the Son of Man in earthly ministry and “who is to come” as King of Kings, “The Almighty”. Satan is unable to match the eternal nature of the Alpha and Omega, so he needs to use men that because of their rebellious nature, he is able to manipulate to his will, hence Nimrod “was,” and now is not,” so Satan needs to replace him with a new rebel, the one “who is to come”. A sad comparison, an imitation that falls woefully short of the real thing – the King of Kings, “The Almighty”.
The City of Seven Hills (17:9-10)
“9 This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; 10 they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while”.
John identifies the location of the Great Whore by explaining that she is seated on seven mountains, this disqualifies the ancient city of Babylon from being the future site of this false religion, as it is situated on a plain, not on seven hills. Also, the Old Testament prophets are clear that the city of Babylon will not be rebuilt (Isa. 13:19-22, Jer. 51:24-26; 61-64), and John calls Rome, Babylon, repeatedly in the book of Revelation. There is only one city that can take the title of “The City of Seven Hills,” and that is Rome. The Catholic encyclopaedia states “it is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” The seven hills are the Aventine, Palatine, Capitoline, Caelian, Quirinal, Viminal and the Esquiline. Even in John’s day Rome was called the city of seven hills, so for him there could have been no other interpretation. So, the religious power that is behind the rise of the Antichrist to power is connected to Roman Catholicism.
With regards to the identity of the seven kings, the reference is towards both/and not either/or. So, the seven heads represent both the mountains upon which the Great Whore will sit, and the seven kings. As to the identity of these kings, it is important to remember that Israel is at the centre of all Biblical prophecy, so these seven kings are Empires that are connected to Israel. The five kings that have fallen are the Empires that were revealed in the book of Daniel to have had a controlling influence over Israel. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue of a man prophesied that the Empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece would in turn rule over Israel (Dan. 2). Then Daniel 11 reveals that after Alexander the Great’s Greek Empire is divided into four, of which two, the Egyptian, and Syrian empires would rise to take control of the Holy Land. These five empires make up the five kings that have fallen, then at the time of John’s writing the Book of Revelation, it is Rome then that is the controlling empire, thus it is Rome that is the “one that is”. “The other has not yet come,” is the future restoration of the of the Roman Empire, the kingdom of the Antichrist. The rule of the Antichrist is of short duration, being prophesied to be only seven years, which John makes clear, by stating “he must remain only a little while,” so when the Antichrist rises to power, his reign will be brief.
Martin Luther himself also witnessed that Rome with its Popes was anything but a holy city. He was quoted as saying, “No one can imagine what sins and infamous actions are committed in Rome, they must be seen and heard to be believed. It has been said, ‘If there be a hell, Rome is built over it’”. I would change Luther’s statement to “there is a hell and Rome is the gateway to it”. The deceptions of the Great Prostitute will lead many multitudes to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.
With the Great Whore being seated in Rome, and Rome being prophesied by Daniel (2 & 7) as the last controlling power over the nation of Israel, the Antichrist will therefore initially have his major base of operations at Rome, as head of the Mystery Babylon Religion. Once he is accepted by the Jews as their messiah, the Antichrist will move to Jerusalem. The final seat of Satan will therefore be in Jerusalem. Satan is the great counterfeiter, Jerusalem is God’s holy city, and is where the Son of David will rule His Kingdom, Satan by placing His false messiah in Jerusalem, will have replaced Jesus with his counterfeit messiah. It will not be the Lion of Judah ruling the world, bringing in a time of peace, it will be the Man of Sin, who after a short false peace, will be responsible for mankind progressing towards complete annihilation.
The New Empire of the Antichrist (17:11-14)
“11 As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. 12 And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful”.
The Antichrist, the beast that is yet to come, will rise to power within the seventh kingdom, the restored Roman rule, but once the Antichrist is recognised as a messianic figure, he will establish his own authority, becoming the eighth dominating power. The beast will establish a new empire that has control and authority over the land of Israel. The ten horns are economic divisions within the new world empire, and are connected to the ten toes of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:24-45), and ten horns of Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:8 & 24). The ten horns of both Daniel and Revelation are most often interpreted as representing ten leaders’ rule over ten territories, but as the number ten signifies government, law and order, it is possible that the number represents a United Nations coalition, which will work to bring about a one-world government, not necessarily just ten regions. These ten economic divisions will eventually come together under the Antichrist, forming a one-world government and a one-world economy. As verse 14 points to the ten kingdoms unifying in preparations to make war against the returning King of Kings, there is the strong implication that these ten kings will be the ten economic territories that make up the one-world government.
The Coming Destruction of the Babylonian Prostitute (17:15-18)
“15 And the angel said to me, ‘The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth’”.
Chapter 17 ultimately describes the destruction of the religious system, the world will no longer worship the Great Whore, instead they will focus their worship on the image of the beast. The Antichrist will move his centre of operations to Jerusalem, and after 3½ years of the Tribulation, he will place a statue of himself on the Temple Mount and proclaiming himself to be ‘god,’ as recorded in Daniel 9:27:
“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him”.
This Scripture is not referring to Antiochus Epiphanes the Seleucid king, who by actions such as placing a statue of Zeus on the Temple Mount, is a type of the Antichrist. However, as Jesus refers to Daniel’s Scripture nearly 200 years after the time of Antiochus, Jesus was clearly pointing to a future fulfilment by the Antichrist (Matt. 24:15-16).
With the Antichrist proclaiming godhood in Jerusalem, the Great Whore that he used to rise to power will be abandoned by him. During the last 3½ years all praise, honour and glory must be for the Antichrist alone. When she is abandoned by the Antichrist, the kings of the earth who had previously been subservient to her, will turn on her. They will confiscating all her wealth and precious items, the looting will pick her clean, leaving her like a village woman after a Viking raid, battered, naked, violated and vulnerable, eventually to be cast into the flames of a burning village hut. With the destruction of religious Babylon completed by the Antichrist, Revelation 18 then records the destruction of “Satan’s seat,” the commercial and governmental city of Rome, which will include the Vatican buildings, marking the prelude to the battle at Armageddon.
The logical assumption that may be taken from chapter 17, is that the Antichrist will be the Pope who will partner with the “Whore” of Revelation (the Roman Catholic Church) to bring about a one-world religion. The evidence is conclusive – the ten details that describe the woman, and the extremely revealing verse 3 of chapter 17, which describes the beast (the Antichrist) as being covered in profane names.
The Antichrist Summary
Scripture portraits the Antichrist as:
- An intellectual genius (Dan. 7:8).
- An outstanding orator (Dan. 7:20).
- Blaspheming God (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:6).
- Arrogant (Revelation 13:6).
- A military leader without parallel in human history (Dan. 7:23).
- A shrewd calculating and manipulating politician (Dan 8:25; 11:21).
- The ultimate religious fraud and counterfeit (2 Thess. 2:4).
- A ruler who “will seek to change times and laws”, i.e. manipulate God’s Word to suit his agenda (Daniel 7:25).
- A ruler who will oppress God’s people (Daniel 7:25).