Building up believers and the New Testament church

The End Times

The Great Harlot in the Book of Revelation

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘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.' 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 names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 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. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 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" (Revelaton 17:1-6).

This great harlot represents the greatest religious institution in all the world, the so-called Catholic church. Chapters 17 and 18 provide a detailed description of this deceitful institution. Some characteristics of the great harlot are as follows:

1. Is named the Great Harlot, Mother of Harlots (vss. 17:1, 5)

This name comes from a spiritual adultery or fornication. Israel was called an adulteress when she left God and served other gods or committed idolatry. Ezekiel 23:37 says, "For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them." Revelation 17:2 says this is one "with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (see also vss. 18:3,9). She is also called mother of harlots, signifying that she has many "daughters" who imitate her actions and religious system. These "daughters" have leaders who serve for money, fame, power, or any other thing that does not honor the name of God. "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

Christ has a bride, the church, which is virgin, holy, and without blemish. The Antichrist will imitate this also, having a bride, but this one will be a "harlot," the Catholic church.

The Catholic church teaches to worship and serve idols of wood, metal, and other materials. This institution teaches also to adore and serve other creatures, including people like the apostles, Mary (Jesus' mother), and even persons that they declare "saints." They use the so-called rosary to "pray" and make petitions to God and to dead human beings.

2. Is seated on many waters (vs. 17:1)

"Then he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues'" (Revelation 17:15, see also Jeremiah 51:13). It is clear that this religious system is present in all nations of the world, exerting authority over the main leaders and governments. The Catholic church is the only religious institution that is considered by all nations as a "state" (Vatican City), having her own embassy in all nations.

3. Is a great city, settled over seven mountains (vss. 17:9,18, 18:16-19)

Vatican City is located in Rome, capital of Italy. Rome is settled over seven mountains (this is not a coincidence), named as follows: Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, Aventine and Palatine. "What is like this great city?" (vs. 18:18). How great and true is the word of God!

4. Uses a particular attire (vss. 17:4, 18:16)

"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" (vss. 17:4, 18:16). These are the vestments used by the Catholic priests. They also use a golden cup in their religious activities and ceremonies. The Vatican was built and adorned with gold and precious stones.

5. Carries a particular name, Babylon the Great (vss. 17:5, 18:23)

The woman carried a written name: "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth" (vs. 17:5). The word Babylon comes from the word babel, which means confusion (Genesis 11:9). Therefore, Babylon the Great means the great confusion. This religious institution has deceived thousands and thousands of people around the world. She has filled the whole world with her false doctrines. Then the Lord says, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (vs. 18:4).

6. Maker of religious merchandise and idolatry (vss. 18:3, 11-13, 19)

These passages describe the types of merchandise the Catholic church has produced since her origin. She uses this kind of business to enrich herself and to spread her deceitful doctrines. Among these are: idols (images) and other objects of different materials, crucifixes, candles, etc. Another thing that brings great earnings to this religious institution is the trade with slaves and souls of dead persons. "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold...and bodies and souls of men" (vss. 18:11-13). Part of the activities of these religious people is to intercede in prayers for the souls of the dead, similar to the activities of those who practice sorceries and spiritism. As part of some of these activities, they ask for a lot of money to fulfill these intercessions.

God has His own judgment prepared against this religious institution: "And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath" (vs. 16:19). God will use the Antichrist and his army to destroy the great harlot: "And the ten horns (European Union) which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 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" (vss. 17:16-17). The Vatican City in Rome will be burned (see Revelation 18:8-10, 17-18).