Who Are You Calling a Whore?

The INC are bold and shameless in smearing, not only the Catholic Church, but other Christian religions. One of their most uncharitable accusations against the Catholic Church is derived from the Revelation. with the slanderous story of the Catholic Church as the Whore of Revelation.

It is quite unfortunate that the INC has to resort to lies, deceit and slander to 'demonized' its 'competition'. The INC Administration even dedicated at least one "samba" or worship service in 1999 to demonstrate to their members why the Catholic Church is the Whore of the Revelation.

Fortunately, there are not only Catholic but non-Catholic Biblical scholars who seek to reveal the truth rather than bring pretensive accusations such as these the INC bring to their unknowing members.

This exegesis will show you that the INC is built on deceit. Here are the verses in question:

In Revelation 17, John tells us: "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk.' And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: 'Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations. And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly'" (Rev. 17:1-6).

 

In Revelation the coming of Christ, the New Creation, judgment and resurrection are associated with the fall of Babylon. To mistakenly identify Babylon is to incorrectly interpret these issues. Whatever one makes Babylon to be these issues are inextricably linked with her fall! Can we identify Babylon? Yes indeed!

Revelation 16:6; 17:1-6; 18:20, 24 tell us that Babylon was drunk with the blood of the prophets. This is a critical point! The term "the prophets" appears 88 times in the New Testament. The overwhelmingly normal usage of the term refers to Old Testament prophets.

Now the city of Rome, the Roman Catholic church, apostate Christianity, nor any modern world-wide church ever persecuted Old Testament prophets! But Babylon of Revelation did, therefore none of these can be identified as Babylon; it is just that simple!

What city persecuted the Old Testament prophets and filled the Cup of her Sin by so doing? It was Jerusalem.

 

Comparing Matthew 23 with Revelation plainly reveals this. In Matthew 23:31 Jesus said it was Jerusalem that had killed the prophets; in Revelation it is Babylon. In Matthew 23:32 Jesus said the Jews were about to fill the cup of their sin by continuing to persecute those sent to her; in Revelation 17 Babylon has filled her cup by persecuting not only the prophets of old but the followers of Jesus as well, 17:6.

In Matthew 23:35 Jesus said Jerusalem was guilty of "all the blood shed on the earth," 23:35; in Revelation 18:24 Babylon bears the guilt for "all the blood shed on the earth." In Matthew 23:36 Jesus said judgment on Jerusalem for killing the prophets would come in his generation; in Revelation Jesus said "Behold, I come quickly" 22:6, 10, 12, 20. Such parallels are not accidental!

Finally, the Great City Babylon is "spiritually called Sodom," Rev. 11:8; and the only city in the Bible--other than historical Sodom--that is ever called Sodom is Jerusalem, Isaiah 1:10; Jer. 23:14, Ezek. 16:44f. Babylon is also "where the Lord was crucified" Rev. 11:8. Jesus was not crucified in Rome, or by the Catholic church; Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem!

Avenging the Prophets

One of the major themes of Revelation is the avenging of the martyrs. This theme is stated in chapter 6:9ff; 11:11-19; 17:4-6; 18:20, 24, to cite a few passages. The judgment of Revelation is on "Babylon" the city "drunken with the blood of the saints" and "all those slain on the earth," 17:6; 18:24. Who was Babylon?

Many believe it was Rome because the city was said to "sit on many waters" 17:2; and to rule over the kings of the earth, 17:18. But "waters" in Revelation often signifies "people" or nations instead of "H2O." See Revelation 13:1ff where the beast arose out of the "sea."

Further, the city of Jerusalem was "supreme, and presided over all the neighboring country as the head does over the body" so says Josephus the Jewish historian of the first century. He also called Jerusalem "the great city" Every designation of "Babylon" in the book of Revelation was used by secular writers of the first century to describe the city of Jerusalem!

More importantly, as just seen, Jesus defined Jerusalem as the persecuting city drunken with the blood of the saints. In Matthew 23:31-39 Jesus said it was Jerusalem that had slain the prophets through the ages. He said he would send them prophets and they would slay them also. He also said the blood of the martyr's all the way back to Abel would be judged in that generation, vss. 35-36! Read Matthew 23:29-36 side by side with Revelation 18 and see the perfect correlation.

The Bible places the blame for persecuting the church squarely at the feet of Israel/Jerusalem; not on Rome!

It was the Sanhedrin that beat Peter and John, Acts 4-5; and stoned Stephen, Acts 6-7. The Jews instigated a "great persecution" against the church in Jerusalem, Acts 8. Saul the persecutor of the early church had letters of authority from the High Priest to persecute Christians, Acts 9:2-3. Even Herod, when persecuting the church did so to please the Jews, Acts 12:1-3. The Jews in Antioch stirred up the city against Paul, Acts 13:50. The Jews stirred up the Gentiles to persecute Paul in Iconium and Derbe, Acts 14:4ff, 19f. At Thessalonica the Jews "set all the city in an uproar" attempting to kill Paul, Acts 17:5f. The Jews attempted to involve the Romans against Paul but they refused to persecute him, Acts 18:12ff. The Romans actually rescued Paul from the Jews, Acts 21:27-40.

While the Gentiles participated in persecution against the early church, blame for instigating the persecution was pointed by Biblical writers at the Jews "who have both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men," 1 Thessalonians 2:15f.

If Revelation was written in A.D. 95-98 as is generally suggested, Rome had only persecuted the church for about four years! Nero, at the instigation of the Jews, persecuted the church from approximately A.D.64-68. It is now being admitted that Domitian did not actually persecute the church! Are we to believe that Revelation ignores Jerusalem, the city that had persecuted the saints for centuries, and focuses on the destruction of a city that had persecuted the saints for only four years?!?

If Babylon was Jerusalem of the first century as we have suggested then the modern ideas of a coming Armaggedon, a millennium, and "end of time" judgment are false concepts. What more evidence is there that Babylon was Jerusalem of the first century?

In Revelation 14:6f John's vision revealed an angel with the gospel to preach to all the world with the message of the soon coming judgment on Babylon. When the gospel had been preached to all the world we find the coming of the Lord in judgment because the sin of the land was full, vs. 14ff. The elements of concern here are 1.] the preaching of the gospel into all the world; 2.] the filling of the measure of sin; 3.] the soon coming of the Lord. Notice the comparison chart of Revelation 14 and Matthew.

Mat. 23-24

Revelation 14

Preaching to all the world, 24:14

 

Preaching to all the world, 14:6

Message of judgment, 23:34-35

Message of judgment, 14:7

Filling the measure of sin, 23:32

Harvest is fully ripe, 14:15f

Judgment in Jesus' generation, 23:34; 24:34

The hour of his judgment has come, 14:7

This chart shows the perfect harmony between Jesus' prediction against Jerusalem and Revelation's prediction of coming judgment against "Babylon." Can it be shown that the gospel was preached into all the world before Jerusalem fell?

In Romans 10:18; 16:25-26 the apostle said, about 60 A.D., that the gospel had been preached to all the nations in all the world. In Colossians 1:5-7, 23, about 63-64 A.D., he said the gospel had been preached "to every creature under heaven." In Titus 2:11 he said the gospel had appeared to all men. If we are going to accept scripture the Bible says the gospel was preached in all the world before the fall of Jerusalem!

Now unless one can demonstrate that there were to be two great commissions to be preached into all the world, declaring the imminent coming judgment upon two cities that were about to fill the measure of sin by persecuting the saints of God, then consistency demands that we identify Babylon as Jerusalem of the first century. It was Jerusalem that was to fill the measure of her sin by killing the prophets; Jerusalem that Jesus said the gospel would be preached world-wide before her fall; Jerusalem that was to see his coming in his generation. Babylon was first century Jerusalem.

How do Anti-Catholics fall into the Trap of Believing that the Whore is the Catholic Church?

The Whore and Premillenialism

One reason many Anti-Catholic Churches and Organizations do not recognize that the Whore existed in the first century is that they usually straightjacket Revelation into a premillenial interpretation which requires that the events of the book refer primarily to the future. This belief warps the correct understanding of the book and prevents them from listening to the data in the text itself.

Premillenialism was rejected by all the Protestant reformers, but most Fundamentalists such as INC embrace it anyway. The great popularity of the system goes back less than 150 years and is due largely to the Scofield Reference Bible, which espoused the system and was widely circulated in the United States.

According to premillenialism, the millenial reign of Christ and the saints mentioned in Revelation 20:1-10 refers to an earthly reign in an earthly paradise, prior to the end of the world and the general judgment. It does not interpret the millenial reign of Christ and the saints, as did both the Reformers and the Catholic Church, as the current reign of Christ and the saints in heaven and through the Church on earth, during which Satan is bound in such a way that he cannot deceive the nations by preventing the spread of the gospel (Matt. 12:28-30, Mark 3:23-27, Luke 10:1-2, 16-18, 11:20-23, 2 Cor. 10:2-4, Col. 2:15, Rev. 20:3).

Because premillenialism forces them to distort the text of Revelation and say that the millennium (Rev. 20) is future, Fundamentalists do not recognize that the doom of the Whore (Rev. 17-18) happened in the early centuries, and they are forced to miss obvious cues in the text of Revelation, such as those at the beginning and the end of the book, which state that the chief events it recorded were "what must soon take place" (Rev. 1:1, 22:6, 20)--not what would take place in the distant future.

Revelation 18:20 and 18:24 prove that the Whore had to be a creature of the first century, which, on the Fundamentalist view, the Catholic Church was not. Their identification of the Catholic Church with the Whore is thus completely impossible, no matter how hard they strain at the evidence from the text. Only ancient apostate Jerusalem could possibly be the Whore.

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If Not the Whore, the Bride

The fact that the Catholic Church is singled out by Fundamentalists as the Whore reveals that they intuit the fact it has an important role in God's plan. No other Church gets accused of being the Whore--only the Catholic Church. And it is understandable why: The Catholic Church is the largest Christian body, larger than all other Christian bodies put together, suggesting a prominent place in God's plan. But what part? If it is not the Whore of Babylon then it must be the Bride of Christ.

Fundamentalists assume, without rationally looking at the evidence, that the Catholic Church cannot be the Bride of Christ, so it must be the Whore of Babylon. Yet the evidence for its true role is there. The First Vatican Council taught that "the Church itself . . . because of its marvelous propagation, its exceptional holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in all good works; because of its Catholic unity and invincible stability, is a very great and perpetual motive of credibility and an incontestable witness of its own divine mission" (On the Catholic Faith 3).

So why is the Bride maligned as the Whore? Jesus himself answerd the question: "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household" (Matt. 10:25). "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world . . . the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you" (John 15:18-20).

The INC is, again, exposed for what it isa deceiver, and propagator of lies against others. Their proof is nothing but a self-serving wrangling of the Word of God.