The Great Mother of Harlots – also called Mystery Babylon The Great, and that great city, as well as the beast – is not just the perpetuation of the Babylonian legacy, but the latter-day manifestation of antichrist. Remember the English term antichrist transliterates from the Greek antichristos, which means more than just an enemy of Christ, but one who usurps the position of Christ; one who pretends to the throne of Christ with subversion. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to realize such an impostor positioned right at the apex of the greatest Christian institution on earth while leveraging great political power.
Before proceeding with this next scene, let us remember we are still observing the prophesies from the little book, which is an extension of the sixth trumpet, which leads up to the return of Christ upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet. As mentioned before, this epoch of prophetic events makes up half the content of the future prophesies given to the Apostle John; and with so much attention given to this prophetic time frame, it is reasonable enough to conclude these events are of special importance.
Regarding the time frame of this most significant episode of prophesy, we already pointed to the cross references and reasons which indicate 1260 prophetic days is 1260 literal years, which conclude with the return of Christ. These prophesies of the little book began with a depiction of the few-but-true saints of God – styled as two witnesses, who gave bold & courageous testimony to the truth of the gospel against the persecuting power of the corrupt Roman Church – rendered as the beast in chapter 11. This testimony of the two witnesses involved their martyrdom, yet others like them would spring up elsewhere throughout this time frame, which concludes with a short depiction of the return of Christ upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
The next representation of the true saints of God during the same time frame was rendered as a woman fleeing into the wilderness – to illustrate their perilous plight from the devil – portrayed as a dragon, who was yet continually conquered by the steadfast faith of the saints in chapter 12. Then another representation of the same time frame, which is perhaps the most animated illustration of all, chapter 13 focuses mainly on the nature of the persecuting power of Papal Rome – rendered as two beasts.
After these three different depictions of the circumstances of the saints, the prophesies of the little book then shift to divine judgment against the antichrist kingdom of Papal Rome, which is not only illustrated as the beast, but then as Babylon and that great city, while the wrath of God is rendered as harvest & vintage in chapter 14. The same theme of God’s retribution against the beast continues with a vision of seven vials of divine wrath poured out upon the Roman kingdom in chapters 15-16. Both sections begin with a victory celebration for the triumphant saints.
Now we move to the next vision which pertains to the final destruction of the beast, which continues to be rendered as Babylon, yet an added title is given – the great harlot. While the Seven Vials has had the least amount of interpretive consensus, this next vision we are to observe has had the most amount of consensus, even counting many scholars of today. This is due to the particular details given which identify the same persecuting power as Rome. Yes, even doctors of Papal Rome have agreed that Mystery Babylon The Great – The Mother of Harlots is Rome. However, it has been argued that it is not necessarily Papal Rome, but could be Imperial Rome, or Pagan Rome of the past, or even a future form of Rome. As we analyze all detail, it will be all the more evident that the Spirit of God is referring to none other than Papal Rome.
After the vision of The Seven Vials, chapter 17 opens with this next vision:
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.””
The Apostle John is now being instructed & ushered by one of the angels who had the seven vials into another dimension to see the next part of the revelation pertaining to the judgment of the great harlot. Great cities have so often been personified as a woman – and not only in prophesy language, but common poetic language, paintings, and sculptures. However, scripture has deemed those idolatrous cities as a harlot woman. And not just Gentile cities, but even God’s first chosen people, Israel, was deemed a harlot when adopting the idolatry of the heathen, as a woman who broke her vows with her husband.
Yet here, we have not just a common harlot/idolater, and not just the harlotry of wayward Israel, but this is the woman who began as the New Testament Woman, who had not only broken her vows with her God by her idolatry, but who established her own kingdom by harnessing the religious & political system of the Babylonian/Luciferian legacy – to be her own god with her own kingdom, extending her empire to a global scale that she would so properly be called The Great Harlot.
The wide scale global dominion of her power is illustrated as one who sits on many waters – and her alliance with the nations – with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Closely associated with the phraseology of the harlot theme is fornication, which denotes an ungodly union. As the diplomatic branch of the Papal Kingdom, the Vatican has secured concordats (legally binding contracts) with nearly all the nations of the world – the inhabitants of the earth – who were deceived into her satanic delusion, so figuratively expressed as – made drunk with the wine of her fornication. While ancient Rome principally ruled with a rod of iron, Papal Rome principally rules by her seductive deceptions with the arts of diplomacy (examples: concordat strategy, creation of entities such as the United Nations & European Union, and multi-national Intelligence Agencies), to invoke the strength of secular powers to do her bidding.
Verse 3: So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
St John being carried away in the Spirit into the wilderness to be given a full briefing on the nature and identity of the great harlot. As already observed, beast denotes a tyrannical kingdom in prophesy language, and we have identified this same persecuting & blasphemous kingdom/beast, to be Papal Rome. As already covered, the woman is a figurative expression of the New Testament Church which largely fell into idolatry, who is here sitting on a scarlet beast. Sitting on, or mounted upon, or in other words – harnessing the power of this beast/kingdom – refers to the real power which wields this kingdom – the ecclesiastical woman who defected to the satanic spirit of antichrist.
The beast here is colored scarlet – we will observe the color scheme shortly, but for now it should be noted that when horses were the primary mode of transportation, the popes & cardinals dressed them with scarlet cloth so they literally rode upon scarlet beasts. The beast, here in the figurative sense, was full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns, which are the same characteristics we saw of the first of the two beasts of chapter 13, which represents the Roman Kingdom. The angel will present more detail to these characteristics shortly.
Verse 4: The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
The color scheme purple and scarlet have significant meaning while serving as an identifying characteristic. Generally, and traditionally, these are the colors of royalty. Hugo Grotius had noted how the ancient Roman Emperors wore purple in a time of peace, and red in a time of war. These were also the main colors of the tabernacle of Moses, which signified excellence, royalty, and the blood of atonement. The scarlet thread of redemption is a theme of continuity throughout redemptive history, which finds its ultimate fulfillment in the blood of Christ. Purple & scarlet later became the traditional color theme of the Roman Catholic Church.
Accompanied with colors of royalty & redemption, the woman was adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, – signifying the wealth & alluring splendor of her greatness. The Roman Catholic Church/Empire fulfills this description by all means – from the literal adorning of gold & precious stones in great excess – to an Imperial scale of riches & splendor; not only as marks of wealth & power, but also to beckon awe & admiration.
And with such allurement, she seduced all with her intoxicating drink of taboo & ungodliness, rendered as – having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. This is somewhat of a reiteration of the description of verse 1 which said, “…with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication”.
The Spirit prophesied through Jeremiah 51:7, “Babylon is a golden cup in the hand of the LORD, the nations drank her wine; Therefore they have become deranged”
A golden cup is also a symbol of great pomp & pride so contrary to her original calling to be humble & modest. Having abandoned all modesty & humility with such a public display of pride, whose shameless profession proves she is openly guilty.
It should also be noted that the Catholic Eucharist is served in a golden cup. From a simple commemoration of the death of Christ, the symbol of the cup of Christ was twisted into a doctrine which denied the finished work of Christ’s atoning sacrifice – by presuming a perpetual sacrifice of the material body of Christ, supposedly summoned by the priest. Such an insulting doctrine, being strongly connected to the idolatrous mystery religions, could not be better expressed as a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. See The Eucharist Strikes The Gospel
Verse 5: And on her forehead a name written:
MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.
Charles Daubuz had noted the custom of Roman harlots was to have their names written above their doors and sometimes on their foreheads – just like the woman here shamelessly displays her ungodly traits; Also, Roman criminals had their names and the list of crimes for which they were condemned to death carried before them or posted upon the instrument of their punishment – just like the woman here is branded & condemned to her imminent death.
Mystery Babylon indicates multiple meanings:
• It signifies the pagan mystery religions with their origins in ancient Babylon.
• It implies the mystery of lawlessness, (2 Thess 2:7) which is the spirit of antichrist, veiled to be generally unrecognized.
• It denotes how Babylon is not just an ancient city/empire, but mystical & spiritual, yet manifests in many forms throughout all ages to perpetuate its legacy.
• It insinuates the mystery of her self-proclaimed pretense as the only true Church, yet is essentially pagan with only the cloak of Christianity; And not just nominally pagan, but so thoroughly pagan that she is called Mystery Babylon THE GREAT, because she is the greatest of all forms of Babylon, being the perfection of the pagan mysteries, and achieving the Babylonian political agenda of global domination & unity just in time for the anticipated Utopian Age of Aquarius.
Mother of Harlots not only signifies her own idolatry, but her perpetuation of it. Once she was considered the holy mother church, but her apostasy deemed her a harlot, in which she so excelled in idolatry that she became the Mother of Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth. For more detail on this see Mystery Babylon – The Luciferian Legacy
Verse 6: I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
Pagan Rome certainly excelled in persecuting the saints, and the severity & cruelty of those notorious persecutions are not to be minimized. Even so, the persecutions of Papal Rome far exceed those of Pagan Rome. In fact, no other entity comes even close to matching the bloodshed of the Roman Church towards any who were in the way of her ecclesiastical or political order – launching countless wars, crusades, persecutions, inquisitions, massacres, and tortures of unspeakable cruelty; both directly and indirectly, throughout the centuries, with such savagery so befitting to this strong language expressed as drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. Would it be such a surprise that Pagan Rome persecuted Christians?.. Not nearly as astonishing to see Christian Rome, once so famed for her purity of faith, would grow so corrupt with not only profusion of idolatry & abomination, but such appalling cruelty against those countless true saints of God.
Verse 7: But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. Here, the angel squares off with St. John to explain the mystery of this scene, just like Daniel’s vision of the four beasts was explained.
Verse 8: “The beast that you saw – was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The angel first explains the mystery of the beast/kingdom: “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is – simply meaning the kingdom existed, then ceased to exist, then came into existence again. The existence of ancient Rome was monumental, and so was its fall; And yet after hundreds of years, the revival of the Roman Kingdom was astounding. – and will ascend out of the bottomless pit. Amazing as it was, its ascension from the bottomless pit denotes its evil manifestation from hell, and will eventually go to perdition, that is to be destroyed, and to never be revived again.
The angel first began this explanation by asking, “Why did you marvel?”, pointing to a much greater marvel of the worldly populace when this kingdom will be so irreparably & permanently destroyed. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Verse 9: “Here is the mind which has wisdom: (This short preface suggests the following explanation is of serious attention for those with the mind to understand by these key points in ascertaining its meaning.) The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
No other city has been so famed for this catchphrase, ‘City on Seven Hills’ – poets, historians, and geographers have so numerously quoted this charming subtitle of Rome as a distinguishing feature bound with her identity. Other cities like Constantinople, Jerusalem, and several others abroad have contrived to claim this iconic phrase with more confusion than certainty. Also, no other city fits all the other descriptive detail of this prophesy. All things considered; none has been so suitably & numerously assigned with this subtitle as Rome. And it should be of no surprise to see power centers like Washington D.C. also situated on seven hills in the similarly distinguishing way as Rome; For there are many other elements of the U.S. which are modeled after Rome, such as its architecture, constitution, pagan monuments, military & imperial strength, and ley-lines according to pagan geometry.
Besides being situated on seven hills, this revealed geographical location is the seat of the woman – that is to say, the city on seven hills is the capital city of the woman called Mystery Babylon.
Verse 10: There are also seven kings. (here is revealed the seven heads have a dual representation, the second is then explained.) – Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
In prophesy language, king is synonymous with kingdom, which may imply a supreme form of government; Daniel’s vision of the four beasts was explained by the angel of God, who interchanged between ‘king’ and ‘kingdoms’ when describing the succession of sovereign power illustrated as four beasts: – First – as four kings (malchin) in Daniel 7:17, – then – as four kingdoms (malchu) in 7:23. So, applying the same sense to this prophesy of the seven kings, this beast/kingdom with seven heads are explained to be seven forms of government – Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come.
It must be noted that another distinct characteristic of Rome has been its forms of government, as much has been written on the subject. Roman historians like Livy, Tacitus, Bellarmine, and Adam have enumerated the forms of Roman government as follows:
5. Military Tribunes with consular authority
At the time when John received this revelation, those five forms of Roman government had passed away (Five have fallen); And one is – simply refers to the sixth form of government which existed at that time, which was the Imperial form. The seventh form of Roman government did not yet exist – and the other has not yet come. This seventh form is said to be of short duration – And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
There is little dispute about the six forms of Roman government, but the seventh & eighth is where there are different ideas. Some say the seventh form was Pagan Rome and the eighth was Christian Rome, but both were still imperial with mainly just a change of religion. Others say the seventh was when Diocletian divided the empire to be delegated by co-emperors, but this was still an imperial form. The imperial structure would first need to pass away before the seventh form could come.
Verse 11: The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
After Rome was stripped of its imperial status & structure in 476, foreign powers such as the Heruli, and Ostrogoths subjugated Rome for the next century. Then the Ostrogoths were destroyed by the royal branch of the eastern Roman Empire (aka Byzantine Empire); Emperor Justinian then established a new government in Rome, the Exarch of Ravenna, governed by a Duke, yet the ecclesiastical authority of the popes was a subsequent power which was rising from among this seventh form of government, which lasted from about 567-727. When Roman society defected to Papal Power, it comprised substantially the same supremacy as the seven before, so this power can be said to be of the seven yet became a quite different & distinct form of government so to be considered also the eighth.
Compared to Imperial Rome, which lasted over 500 years, and Papal Rome, which has continued now over 1200 years, the Dutchy of Rome only lasted about 200 years. Accordingly, this seventh form was said to be of short duration in the previous verse – And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
And though Papal Rome has endured longer than all those prior, its days are numbered – and is going to perdition. The destruction of Papal Rome will be the end of the Roman kingdom in general.
Considering the chronological sequence of Roman forms of government, it then comes with little difficulty to realize the natural application of this prophesy would fall in this order:
5. Military Tribunes
Of course, we see these all add up to eight, yet the vision of the beasts had only seven heads… Well, we can also see in verse 11 that seven & eight are so related to constitute one, yet so distinct to be counted separately: The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven…
The relation being – the duke & the pope were two kinds of authorities governing Rome at the same time, and it was the dukedom of Rome which papal power emerged from. The distinction being – the Duke of Rome was not an autonomous & sovereign power like all the other forms of government, nor was it the capital of any power at that lowly status. Therefore, Rome’s state of dukedom may hardly be counted as a head, but by some accounts can still be listed among the others.
Quoting Albert Barnes regarding the succession of Roman sovereignty to Papal Power:
“…all this power was concentrated in the papacy, all that revived or prolonged the Roman power had now passed into the papacy, constituting that mighty dominion which was to be set up for so many centuries over what had been the Roman world…
“It had the same central seat – Rome; It extended over the same territory, and it sooner or later embraced the same nations. There is not one of those forms of administration which did not find a prolongation in the papacy; for it aspired after, and succeeded in obtaining all the authority of kings, dictators, consuls, and emperors. It was in fact still the Roman scepter swayed over the world; and with the strictest propriety it could be said that it was “of the seven”, and as perpetuating the sway of this mighty domination.”
Verse 12: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdoms as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
Here, the angel explains the ten horns, which indicate ten kings, or kingdoms, which did not yet exist at the time John received this revelation – who have received no kingdoms as yet; but will reign as contemporaries with Papal Rome – rendered as – but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
What has been translated as one hour would be more accurately rendered as the same hour, or same time. The word in the original Greek, hṓra, can mean a time period, a season, or an hour (see lexicon). So, the ten horns/kingdoms will reign during the same time period as the beast/papal kingdom (1260 years).
Daniel’s vision of the four beasts centers on this feature of the ten horns: “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast… and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which rose up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, who appeared greater than the others.” Daniel 7:19-20
The fourth beast of Daniel’s vision is illustrated with the same characteristics as the first beast of Revelation 13, and the beast straddled by the woman here in chapter 17. All three are defined as being full of blasphemies & abominations, illustrated as a beast with seven heads and ten horns; and all three include its cruel manner of persecution & war against the saints and other such particular details which match no other sovereign power more perfectly than Papal Rome.
Daniel’s vision of the beast with ten horns reveal the particular horn which arose from among the ten horns – namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, who appeared greater than the others. So, besides the ten horns, there was a little horn, which arose from among the ten to become the dominate horn.
Horn is a symbol for strength, and has been frequently applied to signify the strength of a sovereign kingdom, but more particularly – the throne or supreme ruling power of the kingdom (Daniel 7:24, 8:20-23, Psalm 132:17, 89:24, 92:10, Jer 48:25). The writings of Daniel, in corroboration with history, makes it quite clear that the fourth & final dominating kingdom of the world is Rome, which would be the kingdom from which the antichrist power arises (see The ‘Little Horn’ of Daniel).
History also shows the former Roman Empire was conquered by the Gothic conquests, which fractured the empire into separate nations & states with no central power until the rise of papal power, during the eighth century, which unified these kingdoms into what came to be called the Holy Roman Empire. These separate nations which found their strength in unification among the revived Roman Kingdom came to be Roman Catholic nations which submitted to the authority of the popes. Thus, the ten horns signify these sovereign nations – while the little horn, which rose up to be the dominant horn, who appeared greater than the others, signifies the papal dynasty, which exercised such sovereignty to crown kings as well as depose them.
Most scholars have generally agreed that these nations included:
- the Lombards (Italians)
- the Franks (France)
- the Alamanni (Germans)
- the Visogoths (Spanish)
- the Sueve (Portuguese)
- the Anglo-Saxons (English)
- the Burgundians (Swiss)
- and other European nations
Different scholars had included a few other different nations which somewhat varied with other scholars, each making up a list of precisely ten kingdoms which slightly varied one from another.
However, some scholars have keenly pointed how the Hebrew language sometimes expresses the number ten to imply several or many (Gen 31:7, 41, Lev 26:26, Num 14:22, 1 Sam 1:8, Neh 4:12, Job 19:3, Ecc 7:19), and even common language has applied the number ten to signify many. Therefore, it seems most reasonable to view the ten horns as many nations among the Holy Roman Empire, and not limited to exactly ten, especially since the dominions & territories of empires are constantly fluctuating. And while this unification of different nations was a distinguishing characteristic of the Holy Roman Empire of medieval times, we may still apply this same kind of confederation to modern times with new players.
Verse 13: “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
Despite these many different nations, they were most notably of the same mind during medieval times for being Roman Catholic nations, which joined in persecuting the saints; And while most nations today are no longer Roman Catholic in name, yet maintain a global federation through Vatican projects such as the United Nations, European Union, Council on Foreign Relations and other such globalist entities, whereby the nations of today are united towards the undying aspiration of Papal Rome leading global governance.
Verse 14: “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called chosen and faithful.”
To make war with the saints is to make war with God. Remember when persecuting Saul was hounding Christians on his way to Damascus as he was directly confronted by Jesus, Who asked Saul, “…why are you persecuting me?”. Thus, we see how persecution of the saints equates to persecution of their Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, so when it says, “These will make war with the Lamb…” is the same as saying, “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7); or the same as, “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, and overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev 11:7); and – “the same horn was making war against the saints and prevailing against them until the Ancient of Days came.” (Daniel 7:21); likewise – “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.” (Rev 12:15). All these passages refer to the papal persecutions of the same 1260 year prophetic time period.
The next part of verse 14 says, “…and the Lamb will overcome them” – is the same as when it says, “And they (the saints) overcame him (Satan) – by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev 12:11): or the same as 1 John 2:13: “I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one”; or when the Apostle Paul says in Romans 8:36-37,
“Just as it is written,
‘FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
And how such triumph of the saints was achieved not by their own strength, but through Him who loved us. Therefore, it says in verse 14, “the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called chosen and faithful.” For living up to their divine calling to faithfully share in the sufferings of Christ, so the saints share in the glorious victory of Christ, who are most appropriately called chosen and faithful.
Verse 15: Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. The angel of God continues to interpret the vision for the Apostle John, proceeding to explain what the waters, or sea signifies. We had already referenced this explanation to observe what was meant by sea when interpreting this in previous chapters, which refers to the metropolitan society of the Papal Kingdom, today more global than ever.
Quoting Moses Lowman, “This observation of the extensive authority and jurisdiction of the beast, or last government of Rome, over so many other nations and people, as well as the immediate subjects of its own government, is another very considerable mark of that persecuting power which the spirit of prophesy here describes. It strongly points out one circumstance peculiar to the papal government of Rome, and wherein it differs from all other governments in the world, whose jurisdiction and authority are confined within the bounds of their own dominions; whereas the authority of this government reaches all the nations settled in the Roman empire, and all the kingdoms erected by them.”
Verse 16: “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
Here the angel gives a dirty detail which seems contrary to the earlier point from verse 13, which said, “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
Yet it then says in verse 16, “…these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”
This suggests the fragility of such a confederation of powers, which tend to grow weary of papal tyranny, like what already transpired during the Reformation, when nations broke away from the papal yoke, and the Napoleonic wars, which marched upon the Vatican and deposed the pope, bringing papal dominion to its demise. And though papal power managed to recover, there still remains this lingering tendency for the nations to resent the encroaching propensities of papal power, so it is therefore wise of Rome to have created entities like the United Nations to do its bidding while the pope appears to be a non-threatening authority promoting peace & unity.
The ten horns, or many nations – is the same as the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue of metals (Dan 2). Daniel interpreted the head of gold – signifying the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the arms & chest of silver – indicating the succession of the Medo-Persian Empire, the belly & thighs of bronze – denoting the next succeeding Grecian Empire, and the legs of steel representing the succeeding Roman Empire, with the feet made partly of iron and partly of clay – representing the Holy Roman Empire of medieval times and the United Nations of modern times.
“Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron (Rome) shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdoms shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.” – Daniel 2:41-43
Daniel’s interpretation reveals a significant weakness in this otherwise most formidable conglomeration of powers, as such a composite of peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues – will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
So, the ten toes/ten horns of the beast – that is many kingdoms of Papal Rome, must manage a quite fragile world empire so precariously balanced upon the arts of cunning diplomacy to maintain its sketchy existence. Thus, while being of one mind, who give their power and authority to the beast… – yet – these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
While this great weakness led to a desolate & vulnerable state of papal power in the late eighteenth century, the papacy managed to revive and regain a significant role in world politics, having learned to advance its ambitious agendas through multiple fronts and deceptive subtleties. Yet, this lingering weakness will be the final undoing of papal power, as figuratively expressed – eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
The next verse 17 sums up & confirms the fate of this papal kingdom – “For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
This passage, emphasized with a chiastic structure, starts and ends with the same point – indicating the expiration of the harlot/papal power, which reinforces the last verse 16, as to the final demise of the harlot. Verse 17 then reveals how this final demise is divinely orchestrated – For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose; while generally permitting enough unity for a manufactured strength to collaborate among such a confederation as the papal kingdom – to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast; Yet the lingering lack of cohesion mingled with the nations becoming sensible to the intrigues of the harlot then turn on her once and for all – until the words of God are fulfilled.
Verse 18: “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
After such an exposé of detail marking the identity of the harlot-woman, which signifies an apostate church in prophesy style, along with all the other features explained, is then all the more confirmed here in verse 18 as being part-and-parcel to that great city – Rome – which reigns over the kings of the earth. The far-reaching dominion of Rome was its distinguishing characteristic in John’s time but was not ruled by an apostate church until this epoch of prophetic history. So, we have observed how Mystical Babylon, the harlot, the beast, and that great city have been different ways to signify papal dominion during the 1260-year period of these latter days.
Chapter 18, verse 1: After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.
After the previous angel had conveyed his interpretation, another angel came down from heaven to give further support to the sure downfall of the antichrist power. This is a high-ranking angel – having great authority – and so brilliant that the earth was illuminated with his glory. (Could this be our Lord Jesus, the Light of the World?)
Verse 2: And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
Revelation 14 also gave a depiction of this same great event with the same emphatic expression – Babylon is fallen, is fallen… This echo’s the same expression as was prophesied through Isaiah 21:9 regarding the destruction of Babylon in its old form, which is also described with the same kind of illustrative ruin as is rendered here in verse 2 about Mystical Babylon.
Verse 3: “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
We already observed the use of the word fornication as part and parcel with idolatry, which had already been illustrated as a poison cup – For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication – which not only causes insanity but provokes the wrath of God, as her strong & insidious influence has perpetuated this idolatry throughout the world. As Roman Catholic missionaries went abroad to spread their religion, rather than insist the inhabitants abandon their idols, they simply led them to rename their gods after patron saints. Such syncretism explains why there are so many different Christian-Pagan-hybrid religions throughout the world.
Besides wealth gained from the typical imperial exploits you would expect from any empire, the excess of merchandising was notoriously self-evident during medieval times as the Roman Catholic clergy amassed great profits by selling ‘sin permits’ (indulgences), in the name of Jesus. Later, Roman Catholic nations like Spain had built their own empires by first sending Roman Catholic missionaries to lands like the America’s and Philippines to map out the resources of the land and assess all potential commercial enterprises, including native slave labor, which paved the way for military occupation. Today, Papal Rome continues the same exploits, but no longer by its own clergy, rather by other agents & fronts, which enriches all doing business with her – and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.
Verse 4: And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Here now another voice from heaven – indicating divine authority, which may be God the Father, especially when considering the same voice says, “my people”. Yet, the sense may not necessarily imply ownership, but my people could mean my kin. Either way, this voice with divine authority beckons his people to have no part in this blasphemous system, saying, “Come out of her my people”, which also issues a strong warning – lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
This indicates there are those who are God’s people among this antichrist system, yet they are being summoned out of it. It reminds us to differentiate between the people and the system, and how there have always been those godly saints among such corruption who have heard & obeyed the voice of God calling them out.
The same voice from heaven declares in verse 5: For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. – Denoting how God has most certainly reckoned such violations and is poised for retribution.
Continuing this declaration in verse 6: Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
In conjunction with Mosaic Law, retaliatory penalty is due in proportion to the crimes (“… life for a life, eye for an eye…” – Ex 21:23-24), expressed here as – Render to her just as she rendered to you...
And, according to the same law, certain crimes require double restitution (Ex 22:4) – and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. Being under the law and subject to the curses of the law for her obstinate disposition, the law of grace does not apply here.
Verse 7: In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow’.
Repeating the same retaliatory judgment to emphasize its certainty, then indicting her blasphemous pride by quoting the attitude of her heart – for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow’ – resounding the same tune that was prophesied in Isaiah 47 against ancient Babylon,
“You said, ‘I will be queen forever.’
You did not take these things to heart to consider their outcome.
So now here this, you sensual one, who dwells securely,
who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no other besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children’.
But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.
They shall come upon you in their full measure
for the multitude of your sorceries,
and great abundance of your enchantments.”
Continuing with the same genre in verse 8: Therefore, her plagues will come in one day – death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
While the true church is espoused to none other than Christ Jesus, the popes have presumed to call the church their spouse, as they have sat with great pomp as head of their church-empire. For such blasphemies, her judgment is sealed and will come abruptly – in one day. Furthermore, her destruction is total with no prospect of revival as before – And she will be utterly burned with fire – This utter destruction could not apply to any forms of Roman government of the past but must be the last. And God Omnipotent possesses the power & authority to see this through – for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
The declaration of this great destruction is further emphasized by the lamentation of her mourners in verses 9-19:
Verse 9-10: “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
Among the many kingdoms, styled before as ten horns – some or several of those same powers of that confederation are rendered here as kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her – now realizing the loss of that wealth & power produced by such a union, will be devastated over their loss – will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning – frightened & astonished by the daunting spectacle of her sudden destruction – standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
Alas means the same as Woe – an expression of grief or of being publicly exposed & condemned. The meaning is then emphasized by repeating twice. This most likely signifies the third woe upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet – bringing on the return of Christ.
The lamentation then segues from the kings to the merchants in verses 11-13: And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys her merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horse and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
The abundance of resources extracted by an empire is an enriching benefit to its merchants, which is here said to cease. Then, describing a list of such resources, starting with the most valuable treasures like gold & silver, next lists extravagant resources that only the rich obtain like ivory & exquisite wood & marble, then the most highly consumable resources like food & medicine, and lastly – bodies and souls of men. – which come in many forms for many purposes, and is largely cruel & perverted, and widespread, which most people today know as human trafficking.
When Frits Springmeier went on speaking circuits in the 1990’s to divulge the secrets of the Babylonian legacy manifesting in our own times, one of the many details he included was human trafficking & pedophilia rings among the Roman Catholic clergy. He was then sharply criticized for such a controversial indictment, but since then, there has been numerous cases which have come to light with such evidence that few today attempt to contest this grim reality.
The merchant’s lamentation continues in verses 14-17: The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’
Charles Daubuz points how the expression – shall find them no more at all – is rendered in the original with a triple negative, which so emphasizes the utter desolation of Rome. The shock and dismay of the merchants is very much the same as the kings; The reality of such a monumental event being so evident that there is unanimous realization without different interpretations; Thus, the merchants repeat the same as the kings.
Included with the lamentation of the merchants is the mourning of those in the shipping business, who also became wealthy from such imperial commerce, as the shipping industry is the lifeline of globalism – verse 17-18: Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’
The imagery here – when they saw the smoke of her burning – indicates how this will be an event that can be seen from afar. ‘What is like this great city?’ – is a rhetorical question which is actually a statement emphasized as a question, essentially saying – there is no other city like this one; no replacement – which signifies a huge void.
The sailors dirge finishes in verses 19:
“They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’ – This third class of people also have the same reaction as the kings and merchants; the same imagery & repetition of all three classes carries a poetic flow which closely harmonizes with the oracle & lamentation against Tyre in Ezekiel 26-28.
Tyre represents an empire which was so unique and irreplaceable that there was no other power which could adequately fill the void upon its collapse. Different than the succession of empires we saw with Neo-Babylon succeeded by Medo-Persia, then succeeded by Greece, and then Rome – all successions were able to carry on the stability of a socio-economic structure – Yet this juncture of Rome’s final hour seems to render a state in which there is no suitable power on earth to sufficiently fill the void, whereby economic collapse becomes the misfortune of all classes of people on earth. And I would not confuse this with manufactured economic depressions designed for the rich to get richer; rather this event indicates even the rich will be devastated.
However, this is quite an occasion for the people of God to greatly rejoice as declared in verse 20: “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” This resounds the same celebration of Babylon’s fall in Jeremiah 51:48 – “Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously over Babylon…”
Verse 21: Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. – Echoing the same kind of imagery used in Jeremiah’s oracle of the fall of Babylon in Jeremiah 51:63-63 : “Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates River. Then you shall say, “Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they will be weary.’” We had already seen Rome become virtually extinct, to then rise anew to carry on the Babylonian legacy. This time, Babylon, in its mystical-pseudo-christian form, will be thrown down to the depths of the sea, never to rise again.
Using the same expressions as Jeremiah 25:10, the mighty angel continues his strong declaration in verse 22 by announcing the end of even the more positive attributes of Mystical Babylon: The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpets shall not be heard in you anymore (I have heard some of the most amazing music produced by the Catholic Church, truly a splendor capable of charming even the most critical music lovers). No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore (the magnificence of Roman Catholic architecture, sculpture, and paintings has certainly served to endear the masses with romantic sentiments of renaissance & baroque innovations which have carried into our present day),
and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you any more (the millstone for milling grain signifies the employment of common folk producing basic necessities). The light of the lamp shall not shine in you anymore (despite her corruption, the Roman Church has provided some kind of guidance and stability for society; tainted as it may be, there are many things late Rome has done to give many people a sense of hope, whether by its faulty religion or by its social projects, such as hospitals and welfare programs), and the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore (the Roman Church has also enjoyed the honor of ordaining many marriages with her perceived divine authority, which served to procreate her society; yet now, nothing but desolation).
For your merchants were the great men of the earth (through this enterprise, merchants become so rich, they become great as kings; Bill Gates is an example of that, though he is not Catholic in name, he is a strong advocate for the United Nations Agenda for the 21st Century (Agenda 21), which is a Vatican project, whereby Gates would be an agent with king-type authority supporting such an agenda which stems from Papal Rome), for by your sorcery all nations were deceived (much can be said of the many forms of witchcraft & sorcery infused into so many facets of society, both in religious and secular arenas, especially in music & cinema of today’s pop-culture, as the basic objective of witchcraft is to influence and control).
Yet, even with all those admirable features which summoned so much admiration from the world, the Roman Church has immeasurable amounts of blood on its hands, as the concluding verse of chapter 18 states: And in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
We already covered in some detail the Papal persecutions of the saints, but one thing we haven’t yet observed is all who were slain on the earth – that is the masses of secular society and other religious people that have been slaughtered by the Roman Church, either by persecution similar to what was employed against the saints, such as what happened mostly in medieval times when entire races of people like the Heruli were annihilated; or by massive collateral damage from diplomatic mischief, such as the Serbian Concordat, which largely contributed to the outbreak of WWI, or the Reich Concordat, which enabled Hitler to power to start WWII. Much more can be said about the multitude of intrigues via Vatican Diplomacy which contributed to other atrocious wars like Vietnam, but for now I will leave you with two good authorities on the Vatican in world politics: Avro Manhattan and John Cornwall.
In summary of this most revealing discourse portrayed as The Great Mother of Harlots, such detail identifies this to be none other than Papal Rome, since no other entity entirely matches all the features as summarized here:
• An apostate church, rendered in prophesy language as a harlot
• Possessing global dominance, styled in prophesy language as the great harlot, who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication
• Harnesses the strength of a great kingdom, illustrated as sitting on a scarlet beast
• Identified by symbolic colors, which are the traditional colors of the Roman Church – The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet
• Possessing great wealth in every sense – adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls
• having in her hand a golden cup – an icon of great pomp & pride
• The golden cup being full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication – being a figurative expression of idolatry and great insults to God, as we had observed how this perfectly describes the Catholic Eucharist, which denies the finished work of Christ.
• A name written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT – THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. –Essentially a mystery religion, and spirit of antichrist (mystery of lawlessness); Also, the perpetuation of the Babylonian legacy, or Mystical Babylon, which involves the perpetuation of idolatry, styled as The Mother of Harlots.
• The greatest persecutor against the saints – I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. – As history abundantly testifies of the notorious Papal Persecutions, which have far exceeded any other persecuting powers.
• The Apostle John was astonished at this – And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. – The persecutions of Pagan Rome would not have been nearly as surprising compared to the most cruel persecutions committed by the supposed “Christian Rome”.
• Described by the angel as the beast that was, and is not, and yet is – meaning this kingdom which the great harlot controlled was a kingdom which existed before, then ceased to exist, then came into existence again; being a way of expressing the existence of Rome, which then fell to its demise, but was later revived to further exist.
• The seven heads are explained by the angel to signify seven mountains – The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits – The capitol city of Rome, so famously recognized with its charming catchphrase ‘the city on seven hills’
• The seven heads also signify seven kings – There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come – Another quite distinguishing characteristic of the Roman Kingdom has been its several forms of government consisting of 1. Kings – 2. Consuls – 3. Dictators – 4. Decemvirs – 5. Military Tribunes – 6. Emperors. The first five had already passed away by the time John received this revelation – Five have fallen; the sixth form (Emperors) existed during his time – one is; And the seventh was yet to come – and the other has not yet come.
• When the seventh form comes it is said to continue a short time. The Dukedom of Rome was the next government of Rome, which was of short duration compared to the previous succession of emperors as well as the following rein of popes.
• The following and final form of government is described as The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven – By some accounts the popes could be considered as part of the seventh form of government because they governed in tandem with the dukes, as their power also expanded out of this era – to become a world power which the dukes never were; so by other accounts, may be considered the eighth form of government, though is of the seven
• The ten horns denote ten kings, or many kingdoms, which will rein with the final government of Rome, that is the beast – “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdoms as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast
• The ten kings, or many kingdoms will cooperate as a confederation with the final supreme power of Rome to make up such an empire as Papal Rome – These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
• The same confederation is said to be of one mind in persecuting the saints, yet the faithful spiritual warriors of the Lamb will ultimately prevail – “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them…” – Papal Rome has indeed demonstrated such unity in persecuting the Body of Christ, yet their immovable faithfulness in the Lamb of God gives them the spiritual resources to prevail over all evil.
• Despite the formidable confederation of this empire, there is a significant weakness stemming from animosity – And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. – history has also demonstrated the hostile union of this Papal Empire, which will eventually come to a point when the world powers will completely destroy this corrupted ecclesiastical powerhouse.
• Further confirmation is given with the conclusion of the angel’s exposé – “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” – to confirm that this corrupted ecclesiastical power, which dominates the world, is indeed that great city, which is a title attributed to both Rome and Babylon, as Papal Rome embodies the political & religious systems of both.
Now I would like to conclude this discourse by considering how Mystery Babylon The Great – The Mother of Harlots – is currently effecting the saints and world at large in our days – by returning to that curious verse from Revelation 14:13:
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
I had commented before how this is a rather curious declaration since God’s faithful are blessed for dying in the Lord in any age. Yet this 1260 year tribulation of antichrist is an era when the scale of persecution takes on a whole different dimension and degree.
Mass deception so deep & wide that wars and depressions are designed to consolidate wealth & power for the ruling class to dominate the masses. Even every kind of other crisis being manufactured: bombings, mass shootings, pandemics, social revolutions, food shortages, etc.; And though evidence abounds to the testimony of such false flag events, it is all dismissed as “disinformation” and “conspiracy theories” – by the prevailing consensus of pseudo-science & advanced propaganda disseminated at a global scale – too deep & daunting for most people to begin to fathom; How perceived free societies could be reared into countless forms of mind-control funnels – driven by projected fears and desires, so compelling the people not only consent, but demand their devices with the utmost devotion; having their very identities bound within the chains of their alluring ambitions, passions, and pop-culture – delivered to them laden with subtle and not so subtle forms of witchcraft, so to expose their souls to the diabolical agendas, as their fate hinges on the many words of talking heads & media gods, who command such devotion from the following masses like some kind of mega-cult to the slaughter.
How truth has been so twisted & contorted, censored & silenced, and even dashed to pieces and replaced with alternate realities & half-truths, and armies of bogus fact checkers; When everything virtuous is tainted & corrupted so nothing is sacred and every sense of conviction of truth is plagued with doubt, whereby genuine faith in the true God and true gospel becomes nearly extinct.
Yes, for anyone who can withstand the bombardment of such insidious deceptions and seductive temptations, the invasive elements, the confusion & chaos, and to endure the lonely path in keeping their soul truly set apart from such corruption, even in the face of death – that any who overcome during these last days are especially blessed for keeping their faith, just as the voice from heaven said, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” – And then having rest from such intense trials – “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” – Revelation 14:13
This concludes The Great Mother of Harlots, which now brings us to the next chapters 19-20 on – The Wedding Feast and the Millennial Reign of Christ (still in the works).
– Word & Spirit of God, Who Was and Is and Is to come
– Alexander Adams – “Roman Antiquities”
– Moses Lowman – “Paraphrases and Notes on the Revelation of St. John“
– John Clark Ridpath – ‘Ridpath’s Universal History’
– Charles Daubuz – “A Perpetual Commentary on the Revelation of St. John“
– E H Broadbent – “The Pilgrim Church”
– John Gill – “Gill’s Exposition of the Bible“
– Thomas Newton – “Dissertations of the Prophesies” – Volumes 1-3
– Henry Fliedner – ‘The Martyrdom of a People’ or ‘The Vaudois of Piedmont and Their History‘
– Albert Barnes – “Barnes’ Notes on the Entire Bible
– Theodor Griesinger – ‘The Jesuits: Their Complete History’
– Peter DeRosa – ‘Vicars of Christ: ‘The Dark Side of The Papacy’
– Avro Manhattan – ‘The Vatican Holocaust‘
– Charles Spurgeon – Spurgeon Archive
– Adam Clark – “Clark’s Commentary on the Bible“
– E. Boyd Barrett – ‘The Jesuit Enigma’
– John Cornwall – ‘Hitler’s Pope’
– Ian Paisley – ‘The Pope is the Antichrist‘
– Augustus Toplady – ‘The Road To Rome’
– John Foxe – ‘Foxes Book of Martyrs’
– Joseph Benson – “Benson’s Commentary on Revelation”
– Kenneth Scott Latourette – ‘A History of Christianity’