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Originally posted by miriam0566
there are several distinct characteristics of the harlot, however you must first understand babylon in order to understand why the comparison is being made
¨the two babylons¨ by rev hislop is a very interesting read on this topic
you can read a digital copy here - www.biblebelievers.com...
basically he compares teachings in the church and how closely these elements that are not in the bible seem to be linked with ancient babylon.
but pre-trib is right, this babylon the great is greater than the RCC.
ancient babylon was built in open defiance to god. nimrod wasnt building a city and starting his own religion out of ignorance. he would have known about the flood and god´s prophecy about a coming seed. he would have understood mankinds need for a ransom, but much like the rest of the world he wouldnt have known exactly how that was going to play out. he (and others) wanted to make a name for themselves. they didnt want to need a savior.
when you examine the ¨mysteries¨ of ancient babylon, or its religion, you see how nimrod (or those close to him, possible even by inspiration of the demons) took some element of truth and then twisted it. instead of awaiting a saviour, nimrod became the saviour. instead of god being 1 god, he became 3 in the form of a godhead. instead of preaching the truth freely, the religion became a ¨mystery¨ held by only the few, the priesthood (beginning of gnostic thinking)
when god stepped in and threw them into confusion, what happened? they scattered right? why wouldnt they take these beliefs with them?
its interesting to note that nearly every civilization that exists today has a folklore tale of a flood that wiped away evil. in all the examples elements change wildly, but they still have similarities. ( home.earthlink.net... ) this also shows that cultures and languages did infact spread with the scattering. its probable and very possible they brought babylonian teaching with them. of course it would change over time, but certain similarities would be evident even with the passing of time.
another interesting thing to note is that sometimes people look at this evidence the other way. they try to say jesus was inspired by these mythologies. but if nimrod knew about the need for a seed, then likely it would have been included.
what is scary is how everything came full circle. babylon was scattered and its teaching diluted and changed. but the last of the apostles die off and a great apostasy sets in and the corruptions that were introduced are extremely close to the original babylonian. if you look at the 2 babylons, hislop points out that virgin worship today is almost identical to the way is was in babylon. its almost as if satan is signing his signature so that we know it was his idea.
my point is that all ¨false¨ religion started with the rebellion in babylon. it was at that point that people decided that they wanted to believe something else. i think its fitting that false religion would be named ¨babylon the great¨. again, this is not only the RCC, but any and all religions that embrace a lie.
does this fit the bible account?
¨great whore that sitteth upon many waters¨ - ancient babylon eventually became indestructible, not only did it have double walls, but it was protected by rivers. this made assaults on the city nearly impossible. verse 15 of chapter 17 says that the waters are people. people supply an amount of protection for false religion in that they support it with money and even loyalty. an attack on false religion by any element of this world would likely end in failure due to this support. verse 16 talks about an attack by the ten horns (ill get into that later). so obviously something happens to these waters. in ancient babylon, the waters were diverted by cyrus and dried up. it is likely that a similar thing will happen to babylon the great. she will lose the protection and support of her people.
¨With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication¨ - Isreal was sometimes called a whore for building alliances with nations that god told them not to (ezekial 16:26,29). even gomer, habakkuk´s unfaithful wife, was used as an example of how god would forgive the fornication of isreal and would allow them to return to him. false religion has committed fornication with the kings of the earth by getting involved in their affairs. the RCC is most known for this, however all false religion is guilty of this.
¨I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast¨ - do people sit on wild animals? no, you sit on animals you have tamed. so while this beast is is ¨wild¨, babylon the great is confident that she has tamed it. enough is her confidence that she even rides it. if the beast is the governments of the world (ill explain why later) then false religion is too confident. not only do they commit fornication (mettle in government affairs) but they also think they have a measure of control
¨the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:¨ - false religion lives in shameless luxury. again not only the RCC
¨And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.¨ - several things about this verse. first you have the word ¨mystery¨ which is a direct reference to the babylonian ¨mystery¨ or religion. mother of the harlots, not all religions today are like babylonian beliefs, but all have ties to it, so while they may be harlots themselves, babylon is there ¨mother¨ or from where they got their basic beliefs from. abomination can also be a reference to idol worship which seems to be a corner stone in false worship.
¨I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints¨ - false religion has one purpose and one purpose only. to lead mankind away from god. from the false baal worship the isrealites did, to the church, they have killed and persecuted those who worship in truth. even the jewish leaders of his time called for the death of jesus and his apostles. from jezabel killing the true prophets of god to the church killing those who were trying to translate the bible into the common tongue. the bloodguilt of false religion is so much that she is drunk from it.
"And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth;¨ - its really interesting that alot of these services and things are found in temples and churches. there is always musician and sculptures and candles and weddings. but the angel here is saying no more.
¨for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.¨ - this is a key to understanding too who this is. magic is something that is forbidden by god, why? well for one it was a false form of worship. if you are asking spirit for help with something and that spirit is not god, then who are you asking? babylon teaching relied on lies and false beliefs. the world is saturated with dissenting beliefs, all designed to pul people away from god. the blood of these people who are deceived is on the hands of babylon the great. she perpetuated and coerced the world to follow her. this is why god deals with her so badly.
lets say im wrong, lets say babylon is not false religion. there are some reasons i think its defiantly NOT america.
for one, america is a political entity. political entities are usually described as wild beasts. daniel uses very similar language to revelations in describing beasts who come out of the sea. daniel clearly explains that these beasts are political nations. IF america is mentioned in revelation, it is more likely to be the beast the whore is riding on than the whore.
second. the harlot deceived with spiritistic practices. yes american government is known for lying but not with ¨spiritistic¨ ways.
third. the harlot commits fornication with the kings of the earth. even though there is nothing to say that the whore isnt a ¨king¨ (or queen if you will) the context implies an organization outside the category of ¨kings¨. not rock solid, but its hard to make it fit another way.
Not to directly contradict you, in case you are a JW, I might venture a guess as being the anti-christ which promotes Yahweh as God, in opposition to the Christian God, Theos.
Hence, this woman named Babylon the Great clearly represents the world empire of false religion, which includes all religions that stand in opposition to Jehovah God.