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Revelation 17:5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”
The Identity of Mystery Babylon
Who is mystery Babylon? Revelation 17:5 reads, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Just from analysing scriptures alone from the Book of Revelation a consistent theme can be seen of an Apostate Church that persecuted the Christian Saints through the dark ages for 1260 years. Further analysis reveals that this Apostate Church is the key component of mystery Babylon and changed God’s law in favour of pagan traditions. The ultimate climax seen is God taking justice on this Apostate Church and those that supported her, for her crimes and fornication just before the second coming of Christ, which is also part of what is known as the Battle of Armageddon. Just before this happens the issue of the Mark of the Beast will be enforced and all will have the choice to bow down to the image made to this Apostate Church or to Worship God only and keep His Commandments. Those who willingly disobey God in favour of bowing down to the commandments of this Church will ultimately receive her mark and “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.”
Before continuing please allow me to emphasize that this document is not intended to offend any person or their Church. Some of the best missionaries and humanitarians have been part of this Apostate Church and have taken no part in her crimes. What the scripture refers to in these chapters of Revelation are not all the wonderful Christians that have been in this Church, but the system itself, so no offence is intended in any way towards people that belong to this Church or have ever been part of this Apostate Church. Much of this is very distressing and as much as it may hurt to hear these truths, we must teach what the Bible says as God’s true Church is called to do. God does not want mystery Babylon to remain a mystery.
Clues to the identity of Mystery Babylon
In Revelation, the Apostle John tells the tale of TWO WOMEN. One is dressed in pure white, revealing the purity of true faith and doctrine. This pure woman of Revelation 12 is committed to Christ. She’s absolutely loyal to Him and her heart burns with a love for Jesus. Nothing can break her loyalty to the One she loves so much. This woman represents all the faithful believers who have loved Jesus Christ, kept His commandments and been obedient to Him down through the ages. Revelation 17 pictures another woman. Now we have the opposite picture. Who is this woman in scarlet riding on a Beast?
Mystery Babylon is a CHURCH: In the Bible a WOMAN symbolizes a CHURCH. This is an extremely important point that must absolutely not be overlooked as it proves beyond all shadow of a doubt that this “WOMAN” with mystery Babylon written upon HER head and riding a Beast (Kingdom) has to be a “Church.” Below are several scriptures that prove this is undeniable fact. The only question that then remains is which Church? Note that an unfaithful Church commits spiritual adultery.
NOTE: God also refers to Israel as a “Woman” (HER) as it represents the Old Testament Church that brought forth the Man child (Jesus Christ) in Revelation 12. Do not miss this really important point which is that God called Israel a “Harlot” and a “Whore” when she worshipped other gods and committed spiritual adultery. Which Church deleted the Commandment on idolatry and worshipped the SUN and has many pagan traditions? Which Church changed the Sabbath to SUNday in favour of SUN worship? Which Church has the statue of St Peter in St Peters Cathedral which was originally the statue of the pagan god Jupiter? This statue has had its foot kissed away and replaced several times because of the multitude that have bowed down to this statue and kissed its foot. This is unmistakable idolatry and especially when this was originally a pagan god.
In the following verse you will note that God calls the fourth Commandment “MY” Sabbath.
- Exodus 31:13 “Speak you also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily MY Sabbaths you shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that you may know that I am the LORD that does sanctify you.”
Now note the following verse refers to the ceremonial sabbaths and the various feasts days and new moons which were associated with a temporary law that was for Israel only. It is called the Book of the law, Mosaic Law and the ordinances. The term Ceremonial law is also used. Speaking of Israel, note that God calls them HER Sabbaths and HER feast days etc. Israel is all through the Old Testament referred to as a “Woman” (HER) and when she worshipped other gods was called a “Harlot.”
- Hosea 2:11 “I will also cause all HER mirth to cease, HER feast days, HER new moons, and HER sabbaths, and all HER solemn feasts.
When the Church apostatized it was compared with a corrupt Woman
- Jeremiah 3:1-25 “…If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? ...but you have played the HARLOT with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. 2 …you have polluted the land with your WHOREDOMS and with your wickedness. 3 …you hadst a WHORE'S FOREHEAD, you refusedst to be ashamed… 6 The LORD said also unto me… Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the HARLOT… 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed ADULTERY I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the HARLOT also… 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD.”
- Ezekiel 16:26-32 “You have also committed FORNICATION with the Egyptians your neighbours, great of flesh; and have increased your WHOREDOMS, to provoke me to anger… 28 You have played the WHORE also with the Assyrians, because you were unsatiable; yes, you have played the HARLOT with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. 30 How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing you doest all these things, the work of an imperious WHORISH WOMAN; 31 In that you buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and have not been as an HARLOT, in that you scornest hire; 32 But as a wife that committeth ADULTERY, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!”
- Revelation 17:1-3 “…Come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the great WHORE that sitteth upon many waters: 2 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. 3 …I saw a WOMAN sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy… 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON the great, the MOTHER OF HARLOTS and abominations of the earth.”
God’s true Church is frequently represented as a Woman
- Isaiah 54:5-6 “For your Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD has called you as a WOMAN forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused, saith your God.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
- Ephesians 5:31-32 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.”
Christ is represented as the Bridegroom and the Church is the bride which of course is a “Woman.”
- Matthew 9:14-15 “Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but your disciples fast not? 15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”
- Revelation 19:7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his WIFE has made HERSELF ready. 8 And to HER was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
- Revelation 12:1 “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a WOMAN clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:”
Some have wrongly concluded that this woman is Mary but the following verse demonstrates that this woman represents God’s true Church by the symbolism used. The time period here represents the 1260 years called the dark ages where the Church had to flee into the wilderness to survive the persecution. Mary did not live for 1260 years or have eagles wings!
- Revelation 12:14 “And to the WOMAN were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
Mystery Babylon is a CORRUPT Church: Just as a pure woman represents a pure Church, a corrupt woman represents a corrupt Church. The woman in white is Christ’s bride, the true Church. But Revelation 17:1, 15-16 and 19:2 call this second woman a “WHORE” or “HARLOT”, a fallen Church teaching false doctrines.
Mystery Babylon is a RICH Church: This symbolic wicked woman, this corrupt Church is a rich one with gorgeous display. Revelation 17:4 says she’s “decked with GOLD and PRECIOUS STONES and PEARLS, having a GOLDEN cup in her hand.” Which Church would you say is the richest in the world?
Mystery Babylon is a Church built on SEVEN HILLS or MOUNTAINS: This identification given in Revelation 17:9, is impressive and clear, for ROME is proverbial as “the city built on seven hills.” Webster’s large unabridged dictionary says this under the entry “seven-hilled”: “as, the SEVEN-HILLED CITY, that is, ROME, Italy.” Furthermore, Revelation 17:18 tells John, “The woman whom you saw is that GREAT CITY which reigns over the kings of the earth.” John wrote this using the present tense for the word “reigns” and he knew as well as anyone else that “that great city” was ROME.
Mystery Babylon is a LARGE, WORLDWIDE Church: She sits on “many WATERS,” explained as being many “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:1 and 15. The very word catholic means “universal,” and the Papal Church has the largest, most widespread membership in Christendom.
Mystery Babylon is a Church that revives BABYLON’S pagan teachings: “On her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT...” Revelation 17:5. Long before John wrote the Book of Revelation, the ancient city of Babylon had been completely destroyed and never rebuilt. For centuries it lay in ruins and had faded into insignificance. The apostle Peter could not have been referring to literal Babylon when he wrote in 1 Peter 5:13 that: “She who is in Babylon ... greets you.” For there was no Church or any other human institution in the desolate ruins of ancient Babylon. He was referring to ROME as all authorities agree. It is easy to see why early Christians used “Babylon” as a code word or nickname for Rome, for there are many striking parallels between the twin cities of literal Babylon of ancient times and figurative “Babylon” or Rome. Consider just a few: Babylon was the dominant warring power of its day and Rome was the dominant warring power of its own era. Babylon conquered Israel and centuries later, Rome also conquered Israel. Babylon destroyed the first Jerusalem Temple and Rome destroyed the second. Each carried sacred vessels from the Jewish Temple back to Babylon in the east and Rome in the west; each completely destroyed and devastated the city of Jerusalem; each carried away surviving Jews into captivity. Rome was Babylon all over again. As Babylon’s “carbon copy,” Rome provides a perfect example of history repeating itself! But more to the point, this woman who sits on seven hills which is this Church located in Rome, has revived the same pagan teachings that ancient Babylon taught ages ago. She baptizes them, sanctifies them, and brings them into the Christian Church. Ages ago, when presumptuous men tried to build the Tower of Babel at Babylon, God confused their language. Genesis 11:1-9. So here in the last book of the Bible, “Babylon” is a spiritual term referring to confusion, not the confusion of languages in the Old Testament but religious confusion as the Church drifted away from God’s Word.
Mystery Babylon is a RELIGIOUS power dominating the CIVIL powers: Revelation 17:3 and 7 tell us the harlot, or fallen Church, is RIDING the beast. Daniel 7:17 and 23 tell us a beast represent a king or kingdom. When we ride a horse, we direct it and control it, so the picture God gives here is of a Church dominating the civil power. For centuries, the Papacy dictated to kings. When she wanted to punish or execute any who dared to question her teaching, she would often call on the police power of the state. Revelation 17:2 describes this harlot: “with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication.” She has influence over the kings of the earth, great influence over heads of state. Today, unlike other Churches, the Vatican exchanges ambassadors with every major nation on earth. They come to her city on seven mountains, and they bow before her, having “lived luxuriously with her.” Revelation 18:9
The Harlot and NATURAL Immortality: Sincere Catholics often bow down before a statue of a SAINT and devoutly pray, even though the saint is DEAD. But the Roman Church doesn’t teach that they’re dead. Even though the idea that man’s soul is naturally immortal is a PAGAN one. All the ancient pagan religions, without exception had the idea that the soul, or man’s essential being, was immortal. That non-biblical concept, inherited from Babylon was a common thread running through them all. In Egypt for instance, the pyramids were great monuments, great houses for the dead to hold their immortal spirits. But the heathen idea of man’s soul being naturally immortal comes from Egypt and Babylon and Greece, not the Bible whose teaching directly contradicts it. See such verses as 1 Timothy 6:15-16, Ezekiel 18:4, 20, Ecclesiastes 9:5, Psalm 6:5; 13:3; 115:17, John 11:11-14, Ephesians 5:14 etc.
The Harlot and IMAGE Worship: Many false doctrines entered the Church, but let’s focus on just three: IMAGE worship, IMMORTALITY of the soul, and SUN worship. First of all, Babylon was the center of idol worship. Everywhere you turned there were images, idols representing the pagan gods, not just statues of Bel-Marduk, their chief god. King Nebuchadnezzar set up a huge golden idol and commanded all to bow down before it. But God’s Second Commandment in Exodus 20:4-5 FORBIDS using images in religious worship, FORBIDS bowing down before them. Today the Papal Church not only fosters those very things but also has DELETED the Second Commandment from its catechisms (official training manuals).
The Harlot and SUN Worship: The main deity of Babylon and Egypt was the Sun god. Astrology and worship of the heavens originated in Babylon. But God calls it one of the greatest of “abominations” in Ezekiel 8:15-16. Roman Emperor Constantine was a sun worshiper who never gave it up. The Roman Church disregards not only the Second Commandment about image worship but also the Fourth Commandment about the Creator’s Seventh-day Sabbath, substituting the unscriptural SUNDAY.
Mystery Babylon is the Mother of Harlots: This is because SHE has continued to have a massive impact on what truly does matter to God, i.e., His Church. She is the root of many false doctrines, has changed God’s law and shed the blood of millions of Christians etc. When Israel committed spiritual adultery, God called His Old Testament Church a “WHORE”, a “HARLOT” and a “WHORISH WOMAN” and accused her of “FORNICATION” and “ADULTERY.” The Catholic Church is guilty of much worse than Israel. In a recent address to the nations, Pope Benedict caused a major uproar among many Churches as he referred to the Catholic Church as being the “MOTHER” Church and called for all the daughter Churches to come back to HER. They are referred to as daughter Churches because they originally came from the Catholic Church, eg: Martin Luther, who had been a Catholic priest established the Lutheran Church. Some say mystery Babylon represents all false religion but not so as SHE is the Mother of Harlots as in SHE has many daughters that came from her so SHE is one Church. It is very sad that so many of the daughter Churches have ignorantly inherited her various false doctrines and again, this is why SHE is called the “Mother Of Harlots.” See mark of the beast and paganism for many images that reveal more on why God also calls her Babylon. See also the origins of 666 and how it relates to Babylon and the Catholic Church.
The Testimony of History:
- “It has often been charged… that Catholicism is overlaid with many pagan incrustations. Catholicism is ready to accept that accusation and even to make it her boast… the great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized” — The Story of Catholicism p 37.
- “The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” — An Essay on The Development of the Christian Doctrine John Henry “Cardinal Newman” p.373.
- “It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans … Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those of pagan creeds…” — (The Externals of the Catholic Church, Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacramentals and Devotions, by John F. Sullivan, p 156, published by P.J. Kennedy, NY, 1942).
- “The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom. ... The sun has worshippers at this hour in Persia and other lands. ... The PAGAN Sunday dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” — Catholic William Gildea, Doctor of Divinity, wrote in The Catholic World, March, 1894, page 809.
- Doctor Alexander Hislop, in his classic work, The Two Babylon’s, page 105, says this: “To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals [that’s the Sabbath and Sunday] amalgamated, and ... to get Paganism and Christianity now far sunk in idolatry in this as in so many other things, to shake hands.” He says further: “A glance at the main pillars of the Papal system will sufficiently prove that its doctrine and discipline in all essential respects have been derived from BABYLON.”
- “In ancient Babylonia the SUN was WORSHIPPED from immemorial antiquity.” — Sir James G. Frazer, an authoritative scholar, makes this statement in his book The Worship of Nature, Volume 1, page 529.
- “The doctrine of natural, as distinguished from Christian, immortality ... crept into the Church, by a BACK DOOR. ... When arguments are offered for the purely natural immortality of the soul, they are rarely, if ever, derived from Scripture. ... The natural immortality of the soul is a doctrine wholly unknown to the Holy Scriptures, and standing on no higher plane than that of ... PHILOSOPHICAL OPINION ... of philosophical speculations DISGUISED as truths of Divine Revelation.” — William E. Gladstone, four-time Prime Minister of Great Britain and a theologian in his own right, wrote in Studies Subsidiary to the Works of Bishop Butler, pp. 195-198.
- “The adoration of idols that is in Babylon was succeeded by the adoration of saints.” — Henry Thomas Buckle, a world-famous historian, says in his book The History of Civilization, Volume 1, page 188.
- The book Catholic Belief, by Roman Catholic scholar Father Joseph Faà di Bruno, page 45, states this: “Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible AND divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truths. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of EQUAL sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, Tradition is to us MORE clear and safe.” Are the traditions, customs and practices of man safer than the Bible? Rome baptizes tradition with the word “divine” and dares to hold it above the Bible.
- “Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is IMPOSSIBLE.” — Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore and noted writer, said in The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.
- “One cannot well refer to those cults of Babylon and Egypt and the rest as DEAD religions. For the echo of their ancient thunder is still to be heard reverberating in almost every form of faith existing today. Ancient Babylonian image worship is in the church today. Ancient Babylonian sun worship is there. Ancient Babylonian belief in the immortality of the soul is there. Yes, the echo of that thunder is still heard in the church today!” — Lewis Brown says this in The Believing World, page 112.
- “His coins bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ; on the other, the figure of the SUN GOD, as if he could not bear to relinquish the patronage of the bright luminary.” — Historian Arthur P. Stanley in his book, The History of the Eastern Church, page 184, says this about the Roman Emperor Constantine.
Is Mystery Babylon America? - Page 2