Two House Chronicles

Babylon, the Mother of Harlots

Babylon, the Mother of Harlots

by Marsue and Jerry Huerta

copyright 2017

edited 2018

 

In analyzing the Revelation through the historicist’s lens in the previous chapter we saw that it was the twelve-hundred and sixty-year-old papacy that received the wounding of its head in fulfillment of Revelation 13:3. The conclusion was also reached that the metaphor of the woman in Revelation 12 and 17 represent the same entity. In support, the church is anthropomorphized corporately as a virtuous woman in 2 Corinthians 11:2, Matthew 25:1–4 and Revelation 14:4, in a similar way discovered in the OT wife before she apostatized herself (Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 14:17, 31:4, 13). Further, the woman Babylon is prophesied to fall in Revelation 12 and 14, which is also conveyed concerning the corporate church in the last days in such NT texts as Matthew 24:12, 2 Thessalonians 2:2–3 and 1 Timothy 4:1–3. The woman in Revelation 12 is initially observed in heaven but afterwards falls to the earth in flight, enveloped by the wilderness of the earth to escape persecution from the dragon—which some historicists have rendered as the early flight of militant groups like the Paulicians, Albigenses, Cathars, Waldenses and Anabaptists from the coercive and apostatizing penchant of the union of state and religion developed particularly through the Roman bishopric, who dwelt “in the seat of Satan” and became the papacy. The historicist’s lens also parallels the woman’s wilderness experience with the era of the church of Thyatira, that was warned of the apostatizing penchant of the false prophetess Jezebel, who historicists have also interpreted as the papacy during the Dark Ages.1 Consequently, the historicist’s lens conveys two women in the message to the church in Thyatira: the woman Jezebel and the woman who fled into the wilderness during the era of the fourth church, Thyatira. Historicists have blundered on who mothered Protestantism; they mistakenly have held that Jezebel mothered Protestantism.

 

So too does John’s description of the woman herself. For she is no more the virgin bride of Christ of which the Church of Rome was once a part, prior to the rise of Papal Vaticanism. No! By the time reflected in John’s description, in much the same way that the Older Testament’s Israel degenerated into a veritable Sodom also the Early-Christian Virgin had now degenerated into a mediaeval “Whore” or a painted Jezebel. This Whore had been unfaithful, constantly, to the heavenly Bridegroom to Whom she owed loyalty. For she had fornicated with the Kings of the Earth. Thereby she had also intoxicated the inhabitants of the Earth with the wine of all this fornication all this immoral commerce going on between an apostate ecclesiastical power and international political leaders. The great Whore, then, is Rome. Thus Tertullian, Eusebius, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Bede, Berengaud, and many others. Specifically, she is the Romish Papacy. Thus Waldo and the Waldensians, Joachim of Floris, Eberhard of Salzburg, Pierre d’Olivi, Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Wycliffe, Huss, Savanorola, and all of the Protestant Reformers.2

 

But upon further analysis only the woman of Revelation 12 meets the criteria as the mother of the Protestant denominations.

The woman in Revelation 12 appears first in heaven in the representation of a chaste state in the metaphor. The twelve disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, comprised the nascent church in its chaste state. This same corporate abstract is conveyed by the phrases “Jerusalem which is above” in Galatians 4:26 and “heavenly Jerusalem” in Hebrews 12:22. These images convey the inaugural corporate abstract. Nevertheless, the woman of Revelation 12 falls from her position in heaven signifying that the chaste state does not endure, which agrees with numerous NT texts that prophesies corporate apostasy and a final judgment prior to Christ’s return (Matthew 5:13, 24:12; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; 1 Timothy 4:1–3).3 It is written that “in the last days” there will be corporate apostasy and mystery Babylon in Revelation 17 is symbolic of this apostasy.4

In the corporate abstract, from whence did Babylon fall? Ancient Babylon never attained moral rectitude; the city’s origin was pagan. This perception is also applicable to Jezebel in the OT. In juxtaposition, the OT expressed a fall from moral rectitude in Israel’s marriage metaphor (Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:1, 8; Ezekiel 16:15); in the corporate abstract, a great falling away was prophesied by the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 31–32. The fall of the woman in Revelation 12 is analogous to the OT motif of “the unfaithful, divorced wife returned to her first husband” (Hosea 2; Isaiah 50:1, 54:4; Jeremiah 3:12–14), conflated with chastisement and the trial by fire or adversity in Malachi and Paul’s epistles (Malachi 3:1–5; 1 Corinthians 3:9–15).

Again, it was through the historicist’s lens that the aforementioned transition was rendered as the fall of Protestantism when it fornicated with the kings of the earth at the time the Reformation had all but dwindled away and capitalism rose. It was broached in chapter four that John was taken by the Spirit into the future to witness the harlot women in Revelation 17 entering the final judgment, and from this perspective, the sixth king of verse 10 “is.” From this future perspective, the sixth king is easily reconciled as the two-horned beast in Revelation 13 and the image it makes of the previous beast becomes the seventh that rules for a short space before the eighth, the revived papacy is once again clothed in the civil powers it had before the rise of America; all the beasts in Daniel and the Revelation are accounted for as the seven, nay eight kings in Revelation 17. America cannot be overlooked as the sixth king that “is,” who makes the image to the papacy under the direction of apostate Protestantism, Babylon. The woman in Revelation 17 represents apostate Protestantism during the prophetic era depicted by the last church, the final era of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14–22). The woman is depicted as highly attached to her affluence and to her corrupt merchants during this era, which is easily seen as the Protestant’s far-reaching corrupt influence of capitalism in the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries. The fallen commerce associated with the church/woman falls right into place with the exploitation of the poor to enrich the merchants at the height of the Industrial Revolution, foreseen also by James.

 

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.  Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. (James 5:1–6)

 

Apostate Protestantism is fulfilling the prophecy of the woman riding the scarlet beast in Revelation 17 and when it elects to reestablish religion again with the aid of the state it will have inaugurated the image, that is, when looking through the historicist’s lens.

Revelation 17:10–11 expresses that the eighth king ruled prior to the sixth king and not that the sixth king's power was interrupted, as earlier historicists had resolved. The traditional historicists attempted to maintain the misapprehension that it was Rome that “was and is not” and who received a wound inflicted by Christ, not to be healed again until the papacy interacts with an international empire.

 

That is the same Beast already described in earlier chapters. That Beast “was” before Calvary. It “is not,” ever since it was “slain” through Christ’s resurrection. “And yet [it] is,” even thereafter. For its deadly wound was inflicted by Christ’s death and resurrection (and further by Constantine’s resultant accession). Yet later, it was to be healed (particularly by the Papacy) so that it would even thereafter continue to live on. Explained the Angel to John: “The seven Heads are seven Mountains, on which the Woman keeps on sitting. And there are seven Kings [or Kingdoms]. Five are fallen; and one is; and the other has not yet come. And when he [or it] comes, he [or it] must remain for a short age” meaning: keep on ruling for a time.5

 

It was Christ, not Rome, who suffered a deadly wound by his crucifixion (Genesis 3:15; Psalms 22; Isaiah 49:7, 52:14, 53:1–3; Zechariah 11:8). The traditional view pales in comparison with a progressive historicist’s view that the wounding of the head in Revelation 13:3 occurred with the rise of America and disestablishment. The traditional historicists’ determination that the sixth king was Rome cannot be taken seriously in light of progressive revelation. John picked-up where Daniel left-off to unveil two more kingdoms that persecute God's people, bringing the number of these kingdoms to seven, the complete, full number of the kingdoms that persecute the covenant people of God in Revelation 17:10–11.

 

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1. Jezebel is interpreted as the papacy by historicists such as Reid: “It is supposed that the church of Rome is described in the epistle to the church of Thyatira, under the name of that woman, ‘Jezebel.’ And it must be confessed, even by those who reject this theory, that the similarity is wonderful.” William J. Reid, Lectures on the Revelation, (Stevenson, Foster & Co., No. 48 Fifth Avenue 1878), 87.

2. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee, John's Revelation Unveiled (Ligstryders 1999), 211.

3. Meaning, few that profess actually worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).

4. (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; Jas 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3) Preterists hold the “last days” commenced with the first advent. What they fail to grasp is Prophetic Telescoping. To the prophets the two advents appeared in immediate sequence, like looking down a mountain range and viewing peaks than appear adjacent but instead are a great distance apart. Even so, PT conveys that both advents inaugurate new beginnings at the end of the previous age or dispensation. The end of the Mosaic age ended in reformation and salvation for a remnant, which will be repeated at the inauguration of the Messianic Kingdom. The reformation is a trial or hardship that inaugurating this age or dispensation will be repeated at its end. The Baptism of fire at the first advent was also seen on the last mountain peak, which is not grasped by Preterism. It helps to explains their misapprehension about temporal indicators.

5. Lee, John's Revelation Unveiled, (Ligstryders 1999), 215.