Copy of The Great Whore: Enemy From Within

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Antichrist – Jezebel and Satan – Jezebel’s Career – Rev 17-18

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Rev 17 & 18

The Great Whore:

Enemy From Within

by Terry Myers Smith

We are now about to embark on the examination of a vast and complex subject in the Church: idolatry and the “enemy from within”. The subject matter, covered in chapters seventeen and eighteen of Revelation, is so important that it required two chapters in God’s final book of the Bible. It only makes sense that we give it full attention and take it very seriously.

We must begin our examination by discovering who and what the chief subject of these two chapters, the Great Whore, could possibly represent. We will find that she is a spiritual contrast to the sun-clad woman in chapter twelve, whom is symbolic of the Church. Just as the sun-clad woman is righteous and sober, we shall find that the Great Whore has made the nations and inhabitants of the world drunk with lies and blasphemies about God. She is the cancer that attacks the body of Christ, sending mutated cells inside the body to devour the body’s health. She has been Satan’s agent who sows the tares among the wheat. Though the conclusions we will inevitably draw are “politically incorrect” in today’s world, the honest Bible student will have to agree they are unavoidable in the light of the only true standards of interpretation: the Holy Scriptures and the undeniable facts of history.

In chapter sixteen we see the end of God’s judgment and His final victory over the forces of evil on earth. The world had been prepared for Christ’s takeover by three series of seven-fold judgments: the seals, the trumpets and the seven last plagues. Armageddon has taken place and the cities and mountains of the earth have been leveled by God’s mighty hand. At the conclusion of the chapter we are told, “and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” But we were not told any of the details about what this actually meant. The only other reference to this “Babylon” had come earlier in chapter fourteen of Revelation when an angel announced from heaven: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” But again we were not given any specifics on who, what, or why, only that she has incurred God’s great wrath and for that she will be destroyed. The reason for the lack of detail is because God could not cover so profound and far-reaching a subject as false religion without giving it sufficient space and full attention. A subject so influential to man’s destiny and the history of his relationship with God had to be dealt with dramatically and in clear, poignant terms.

The vision of the Great Whore is one of the most disturbing and unsettling of all Scripture. For true believers this vision serves as both a warning and a comfort. It is a shield against idolatry
and a hedge to prevent us from accepting her lying, blasphemous practices which she so cleverly clothes in the name of Christ. But for those who have dedicated their lives to an unyielding love of the truth and God’s exciting, holy Word, it is a consolation to know that this “whore” will be wiped out by God’s judgment. Notice that up until chapter seventeen, Revelation gives us only three tidbits of information about this loathsome lady of the night. She has been in league with the leaders of the earth. She has made the people of the world drunk so they would commit fornication of some sort. And, she has provoked God’s fierce and undiluted wrath. But what could be so serious as to make our longsuffering God so irate as to want to annihilate her without mercy? The answer is to be found in the next two powerful chapters. When we are done surveying the depths of the vision about this woman of Satan we ought to come away with an abiding and clear view of the Church’s true “enemy from within”. In these final chapters Babylon is called not simply Babylon, but “Mystery Babylon” and The “Great Whore”, a clear reference to her perverse and spiritually adulterous character. As chapter seventeen opens we are greeted by an angel who tells John that he will show him this great whore who has committed fornication with the kings of the earth and made the people of earth drunk with her perversity and whoredoms. Now begins the full exposure of this evil that has only been briefly mentioned in the passages of Revelation to this point.

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
    With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Rev 17:1-2

This Great Whore has done two things that have caused God’s ire. She has committed fornication with the kings of the earth and has caused the earth’s inhabitants to be drunken with the fruits of the illicit affair she has had with the leaders of the earth. In short, she has had a love affair with the world. This woman claims to be married to God while she carries on with the world. God is not talking about carnal infidelity in this passage of scripture but spiritual adultery and perversity. Fornication in the Bible first means being unfaithful to a marriage commitment. God used this analogy when speaking of His relationship with Israel. His people are meant to be married to Him. They are His espoused wife, the Church is to be espoused to Christ. This woman has committed herself to Him and to Christ but has been unfaithful. She has claimed to be His betrothed, but has gone after other gods like a common whore.

She knows God’s stance and that He is a jealous husband. He has said in His Word, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” But she has had her own agenda. Not only has she had an affair with the world, but she has made it seem so glamorous and beautiful, so full of life and hope, that the world’s inhabitants have been intoxicated by it. They adore and respect her for it. She is their celebrity, their icon, their shining example. What she says goes. She will give them anything they want as long as they pay her price. She can be bought. “But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul”, says the proverb Prov. 6:32. By her sorceries and lies she has turned the peoples of the world, and unfortunately much of the Church of God, into a reeling drunkard fawning over what amounts to a sleazy hustler in a scarlet dress.

John Was Amazed When He Saw This Incredible Sight

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
    And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
    And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Rev.17.3-5

The cup she drinks from is full of abominations and filthiness. Her mystery rites have included all sorts of sexual perversions down through the ages, including homosexuality and prostitution. But her greatest filthiness has been in the spiritual lies she has invented about God and the Trinity. A blasphemous Mother-child worship was conceived by Nimrod (called Bel by Assyria), the earth’s first king, and his wife, Semiramis (also known as Beltis by the Assyrians), right after the flood and has persisted in The Whore’s mystery rites. In many ways, Mystery Babylon has been the nemesis of God’s people, even more so than the Antichrist spirit. We shall find that Babylon is God’s spiritual code word for the seduction and sorcery worked by Satan’s religious system. Her religious “mysteries” have always been designed to draw true worship away from God, beginning with the days of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. The condemnation given by God’s Word in these next two chapters reach to the very heart of Satan’s lies and his unquenchable desire to wrest the worship and obedience of the people of the earth away from the one true God in heaven. That system, the conspiracy to misdirect man away from God, with her accomplice, the Antichrist, has continued throughout history and will be very much an active part of religion on earth until the very end. John was beholding it in all its infamy when he saw this whore riding upon The Beast.

It is good to keep in mind that John is the acting representative of the Church throughout Revelation. John’s first impulse was to wonder if he understood it correctly and we, too, should not be surprised if we find ourselves in a state of initial disbelief. So incredible, in fact, is this revelation that it was literally unimaginable to John. Verse six shows the prophets reaction:

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the  martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Rev. 17.6

The King James translates the end of this verse as, I wondered with great admiration, but could also be translated, I was greatly amazed. An equivalent modern idiom would be: I could not believe my eyes. As we will discover John has just been given a full view of this abominable creature and he is left in utter shock. It could be easily argued that John knew the true God and the one true religion better than anyone else who has ever lived. This is the same John that knew Jesus in the flesh. He walked and talked with Jesus. He beheld him in every hour of his earthly ministry. He saw him on the cross and for forty days following the resurrection he communed with Jesus. John was there when the Lord ascended into heaven. John was the man that lay on the bosom of Jesus at the Last Supper and asked who it was that would betray him. The Bible calls John the disciple whom Jesus loved. He must have also known a great deal about the false ways of Babylon, the battles that his fellow prophets had fought against the prophets of Baal and Jezebel, as well as the idolatries of the Jewish nation that had persisted over the centuries. He must have known about the evils and fallacies of Greek philosophy and humanism, and the polytheism of Roman mythology. All of these things had infiltrated and infested not just the world, but Judaism also. There is no way he was ignorant of the spreading of the plague of false religion over the whole earth. Yet, he was still astounded when he saw this vision and how big and powerful it is.

Nothing like this had ever before been seen or considered. We have to believe that this is the first time in history, in the very moment when John is given this vision, that the Whore of Babylon is exposed in all her infamy. Up until this time the Great Whore has been somewhat hidden, shrouded in mystery (thus her name MYSTERY) and the extent of her works only partially known by God’s people. Remember, God has only just given this revelation of things to come to Jesus Christ who in turn handed it to one of His angels to pass on to John. When we see the picture depicted in these chapters we must understand that we are looking at reality through God’s eyes. It is a fresh revelation for believing Christians. It is a miracle of God’s mercy that we can see it at all. It is only made possible because of Christ’s death and resurrection from the grave. We must discard our earthly mentality and put on a mindset that believes the Scriptures. What God sees is an unfaithful wife, a whorish adulterer, and much, much more. In God’s view she is not only an adulteress and whore, she personifies everything that is evil about false religion, everything that has led people away from him to any other “god”. She has betrayed Him for other “lovers”. God is a jealous God, the first, second, third, ninth and tenth commandments, makes this very clear. Because of this, God will render to her the most severe judgment possible – total annihilation.

Because John himself was caught off guard and could not believe his eyes, we too should not be surprised if we are astounded and have a hard time believing this vision at first – intellectually speaking, that is. Once again, John serves the Church as an example. He stood in for the Church in chapter four as a symbol of the Rapture. He represented the Church in chapter ten when he took possession of the deed of the earth from Jesus. And again he acted in behalf of the Church in chapter eleven when he measured the temple for impending judgment. Now, once again, the faithful John stands a symbol of all faithful believers who would seek to understand all that is written in the book of Revelation. Here, John represents the natural mind of the believer and how it will cry out in wonderment about the stated truth of the Scripture. How can this be so? How can a woman who appears to be so rich, who supposedly worships God, so powerful and influential, with many millions of devoted followers, be utterly abominable in God’s eyes? How can she hold sway over the earth, carving out political deals with leaders of nations and yet causing her legions of devotees to dismiss the true worship of God. She has made them drunk on the fruits and unholy wine of service to the gods of this strange religion. How can there even be any such being with that kind of power and influence? And why have all the world’s believers followed her?

If we are to believe Revelation we simply must believe the unbelievable. John has already seen the Rapture and believed it. He has seen the judgments of the world and the tribulation and death of saints and unswervingly believed them. Now he must believe this too. It would only be natural if at first he could not believe that the Whore had committed fornication with all the kings of the earth. In the vision he saw her drunk on the blood of his fellow prophets and the saints of Jesus Christ and he was appalled. He saw the name on her forehead which she proudly wore, Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth and he must have asked himself, “who could be proud of such a title?” His heart was saying, “this is true”, while his mind kept arguing, “how can this be?” His intellect could not readily accept such a broad and widespread evil by this lady of religion who claimed to be “queen of heaven”. Though he surely knew of this ongoing blasphemy (Jeremiah 7 & 44) he still could not believe his own thoughts. This is why God has exposed the Great Whore for what she truly is. Just as the FBI notifies the nation about public enemy number one, so the Bible warns the Church of its “spiritual enemy number one”.

John had been taken into the wilderness, a place where he had formerly found the sun-clad women (chapter twelve) hiding from the face of The Beast, but now he saw another woman drunken and riding upon its back. What a total contrast. He must have recognized (as we do) that the beast she is riding is the Antichrist. It had the familiar seven heads and ten horns (from Daniel and previous visions of Revelation), and it had the blasphemies of the Antichrist written on it. It may have been hard for John to understand how deep the conspiracy between The Beast and The Whore has run throughout history. He had been given a full vision of the Antichrist, and had even written of it in his first epistle to the churches (I John 2.18). But it is likely he had not been given the insight about false religion to this extent. He surely had a notion, or even a good idea, about the evils of the Babylonian tradition of religion and how it had infested the whole earth and the religions of the nations with a false form of worship and a fake trinity. When he saw that this woman, instead of being adorned with the clothing of holiness and light, like the woman in chapter twelve, was decked out in worldly apparel, he may not have been totally surprised. Or, when he saw instead of a crown of stars, the terrible inscription, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH, tattooed on her forehead, he may have figured as much. But when he saw the mixture she drank to make herself drunk he became astounded and speechless.

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the  martyrs  of  Jesus:  and  when  I saw her,  I wondered with  great  admiration.” Rev. 17.6

The questions that must have been racing through John’s mind were the same ones that all believers naturally ask: who exactly is this ghastly woman, what does she represent, and what is her relationship to The Beast? How can she be drinking the blood of saints and martyrs? But thank God for his ministering angel and for his faithfulness to show us these things as He has promised. Knowing John’s bewilderment and amazement, and ours to come, the angel reassured John that he would let him know what this all meant. And, as we shall see, the angel interprets these matters for John in the verses that follow.

We stop at this point to admit openly right here and now that the next portions of Revelation will be “PI” (politically incorrect). But it is essential that Christians honestly identify who and what this image of a whore actually represents without regard for worldly concerns, social proprieties or ecumenical pressures. There is no need to search out the identity of the symbolism of The Dragon or The Beast of chapters twelve and thirteen. We have been told directly by God’s Word that the image of the Dragon is Satan and the image of the Beast is the Antichrist. But realizing the whore’s identity is not so simple or easy. God has kept that veiled for the protection of His true Church. The Whore must be spiritually discerned. She is an earthly institution and her mission, remember, is to deceive the world into a false religion. But for those who do not “buy her wares”, she will kill and drink their blood. God chose not to give her identity away directly lest the persecution be unrestrained and it lead to the perpetual destruction and death of true believers in every era of the Church Age or even the total annihilation of faithful believers.

Down through the centuries much has been written about the Great Whore. Debate always centers around her identity. If we were to avoid identifying her it would save some argument and for this reason many commentators beg the issue. It would even save us being persecuted by her, which is inevitably going to happen to any of us who dare to state who she truly is. But there is no possible way to avoid this most critical question. In chapters seventeen and eighteen we shall find that God directs some very dreadful and bold condemnations at this woman and offers warnings to true believers concerning her. It is only logical to conclude that God would not go to such lengths to warn us about her strategies and tactics to corrupt the Church and delude the world with false religion if He did not want us to know who this enemy is. To make this woman a nameless, faceless entity nullifies God’s purposes. We must, therefore, give her a true identity if we are to understand God’s purposes about telling us of her character and deeds.

Though she is not exclusively the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity, the Catholic Church is the center of activity and power in The Whore today and has been since A.D. 325 when Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire, The Beast. We have already noted that her roots go back to early Babel, as far as Nimrod’s Tower of Babel and the mystery religion begun there by him and his wife Semiramis. In days gone by men of renown in the Church have concluded this truth and as we delve into the two chapters we too shall see that there is really no other reasonable conclusion which can be drawn by either logic or spiritual understanding. Men like Joseph Seiss, Arthur Bloomfield, and Gordon Lindsay, upon whose teachings much of this study rests, long ago arrived at this inevitable, ugly, sometimes unpopular, and currently “politically incorrect” understanding. Most modern Evangelical teachers of prophecy know this truth also, but are afraid to state it much less go into detail about it. It has more than just a tendency to stifle book sales.

The Roman Church, however, is only the mother of many harlots. Many of the other denominations, such as the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran and lesser ones have invented their own unscriptural and unholy liturgies and practices which have resulted in drift from the Gospel into a new kind of idolatry. Joseph Seiss (The Apocalypse: Seiss) aptly called the Roman Church the fountainhead of the whorish corruptions that have crept into Christianity. He sought to make it clear that the Roman Church is not alone as the harlot of the Church. We, too, agree with his assessment. The adultery of false religion goes much deeper and is spread much broader than just Roman Catholicism, or her  Christian “offspring” for that matter.

We must take time at this point to delve more deeply into issues pertaining to the Church and true worship if we are to reap the benefits of God’s warnings about the sorceries and seductions of the idolatrous whore. Chapters seventeen and eighteen are dealing primarily with the “enemy from within”. After World War II the United States suffered a period of paranoiac fear from the threat of Communism. The Communist strategy was to infiltrate and corrupt. The Communist threat became known as the Red Threat and party faithful were labeled “the enemy from within”. Communism was seen as the Antichrist by many Christians. That kind of fear and suspicion is not unique to the United States. Governments have always feared rebellion, sedition and coups from within their own ranks. Betrayal and intrigue has charted the course of European history for the last 1200 years. Infiltrating the enemy camp to cause chaos, confusion and rebellion is a tactic as old as time itself. It is one of Satan’s favorite strategies. He first sent some of his fallen angels to earth to cohabit with women in order to corrupt the seed of man. (Gen. 6) Later he used Baalam to show the Moabites how to cause Israel to fall into idolatry by seducing its men into marrying their pagan women. He also used Jezebel to seduce Israel into following the idolatrous practices of the priests of Baal. He infiltrated and corrupted Solomon’s kingdom by having wives of foreign gods marry him and seduce him into idolatry. All of these were an “enemy from within” strategy that brought the people of God to idolatry, designed to dissolve their relationship with God. Satan knows that God must destroy idolatry and those who fall prey to its sensual lure. Should we be surprised or   dismayed that Satan has tried even greater methods to tarnish and deceive the Church?

The Scriptures say, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” II Cor. 11.13-15 She has caused humanity to drink from the cup of her abominations and filthiness. The people of Israel acted this out when they worshiped the idols they made with their own hands and then in a drunken stupor rose up to play.

“And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
    And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.
    And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” Ex. 32.4-6

We shall find that the great purpose of this revelation about The Whore is to deliver us out of idolatry. The very first of the commandments are:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.

In verse four of chapter eighteen we hear a voice out of heaven interject a solemn warning about coming out of this Babylonian whore so as not to receive the same judgment which she gets. The warning echoes the sentiments from an Epistle written by Paul which said,

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
    And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Cor 6.16-18

In the letter to Thyatira we are again warned of the seductions of the great whore Jezebel, that harlot witch who led Israel astray. Jesus makes it clear that her spirit is rampant in the Church and that there is a severe judgment awaiting those who fall prey to it. And also, John ends his epistle not with “grace be to you” as most other epistles are so concluded, but with, “little children keep yourselves from idols”. Chapters seventeen and eighteen are the most controversial chapters of Revelation. Because they deal with religion they have caused many heated debates down through the centuries, but we shall not avoid any of the tough questions in spite of the resistance they may bring to us. In this study we have stood firmly on the ground that Revelation is simple and direct. God means what He says. The actions and promises of judgment and mercy in Revelation are to be taken literally by the Church, as well as the advice given to us by angels and Christ during the stirring accounts of the coming redemption of the earth. The harlot is the double agent in the Church and is the mother of idolatry. She is the Catholic Church and her offspring, including all other false religions of the earth from Hinduism and Mohammedism to Mormonism and the Jehovah Witnesses. We conclude this chapter on the “enemy from within” with this ancient Scriptural metaphoric warning against spiritual harlotry from the Book of Proverbs.

“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
    That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
    For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
    And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
    Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
    In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
    And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart.
    (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
    Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
    So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
    I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
    Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
    I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen
of Egypt.

    I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
    Come, let us  take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace  ourselves with loves.
    For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
    He  hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
    With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
    He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
    Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
    Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the  words of my mouth.
    Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
    For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” Prov 7.4-27

Taken from the book Revelation Pure & Simple by Terry Myers Smith

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