The Great Harlot of Rev 17-18 is Jerusalem, & what that means.

It's very important to know who the Great Harlot is if we are to obey the command in Rev 18:4, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

There are many different views on the identity of the harlot.  So, who is she?
The literal city of Babylon?
The UN?
USA?
New York City?
Rome?
The Catholic Church, in Rome?
The apostate Church?
False religion in general?
All world religion?
International bankers and/or money lenders?
The literal city of Jerusalem?

I believe the best answer is a combination of the last two views, that of the international bankers and Jerusalem.  The harlot is Jerusalem, not the literal city, but the people who represent the rulers of the city, the Pharisees, religious leaders, moneychangers, and modern day equivalents who rule the kings of the earth, as we will see.

There are already a great number of interpreters who have excellent, compelling, and irrefutable Biblical proofs that the harlot is Jerusalem, but unfortunately, they use the evidence to support the preterist view that Revelation was fulfilled in 70AD, and that there is no future fulfillment.

Others see from scripture that the harlot rules the kings of the earth.  And from the study of money, they see that the international bankers rule the nations.  Therefore, they conclude the harlot is the international bankers.  Unfortunately, those who advocate this view have comparatively poor scriptural proofs, and they just match scripture with what is seen in the real world.

So, when considering these two views, the question becomes:  "Does the Bible ever teach that Jerusalem, or that some people of Jerusalem, will rule the nations through money lending?"  YES!  And that is the subject of my first proof below.

I believe the Bible irrefutably teaches the great harlot is Jerusalem.  I will show the scriptural evidence, discuss the various implications of this view and what it means, and how this view actually incorporates many other views, because the other interpretations of the woman are really just daughter harlots of the great mother of harlots, Jerusalem.

Since very few people advocate this view, and since you may never have heard of it before, I will start by listing a few web sites that teach that the great harlot of Revelation 17-18 is Jerusalem, to show that this is not a "private interpretation" not by any means.  Please note, the implications and conclusions these authors make regarding what it means that "Jerusalem is the harlot", are vastly different than mine, mainly because their overall eschatology concerning what will happen in the future (pre tribulation rapture) is different.

http://members.aol.com/johnprh/whore2.html (excellent scriptural proofs, Dr. Scott Hahn)
http://www.catholic.com/library/Whore_of_Babylon.asp
http://www.kensmen.com/catholic/endtimes.html
--These Catholic authors see "Jerusalem is the harlot", but generally use the evidence to say that the whore is therefore not the Catholic Church.

http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterism/preston-don_p_03.html
http://hellbusters.8m.com/prophecy/BabylonJerusalem.html
http://www.geocities.com/newearthcs/studies/BabylonJerusalem.html
http://www.souldevice.org/pret_babylon.html
http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/whore.html
--These all see "Jerusalem is the harlot", but denies the prophecy has a future fulfillment, saying Rev 17-18 were speaking of 70AD

http://www.apostolic.net/biblicalstudies/post/worldtrade.htm
http://www.lookup.org/mysterybabylon.htm
http://www.post-boks.dk/rev-list/msg00097.html
--These all see "Jerusalem is the harlot", but make no solid conclusion of what it means.

http://www.post-boks.dk/rev-list/msg00427.html
--A list of nine book authors who see "Jerusalem is the harlot".

http://www.mvpca.com/escha-12.htm
--This sees "Jerusalem is the harlot", and concludes we should resist the harlot.

http://www.gracepleasanton.com/Hard_Questions/rev/A%20Revelation%20TOC.htm
http://www.wiredweb.com/~shades1997/Babylon_the_Great_The_Secret_Meaning.html
http://askelm.com/prophecy/p000201.htm
----These all see "Jerusalem is the harlot", and see a future judgment of the harlot.

http://members.tripod.com/sheltonjack/id53.htm
http://theseventhtrumpet.org/iscarlet.html by Jeffrey Brackeen (large site)
http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/bb980313.htm
http://www.samliquidation.com/mystery_babylon.htm
http://www.nationmakers.com/chap8.htm by Robert Harris Brevig
http://www.roytaylorministries.com/am00037.htm
http://www.bethelcog.org/Bablon.htm
http://www.cyberclass.net/turmel/babyl12.htm
http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Transcripts/Dart_nafta_gatt.html
--These all see the international bankers as Babylon, as I do, but they generally do not spend time showing that "Jerusalem is the harlot".


Lazarus and the Rich Man -- The Rich Man in the parable is shown to be Judah.

Unfortunately, many of the authors above come to odd conclusions that follow the interpretation of "Jerusalem is the harlot". Nevertheless, those other authors list many, many solid proofs that "Jerusalem is the harlot". I will briefly cover several of the best scriptural proofs, and then spend time discussing implications and conclusions.

Summary of proofs:
1. Jerusalem rules the nations through lending money.
2. Jerusalem kills the prophets and saints.
3. Jerusalem is the "great city" where Jesus was killed.
4. Jerusalem sits on 7 mountains.
5. Jerusalem is described as a whore in the Bible.
6. Jerusalem's priests wore purple, red, precious stones, and gold.
7. Jerusalem drinks the cup of wrath.
8. Jerusalem's lovers, the kings of the earth, turn on her to destroy her.
9. Jerusalem is called "Babylon" by Peter in 1 Peter 5:13
 

Proof #1.

Prophecy tells us who will rule many nations. It is a blessing of God to Israel, and it even describes how they will rule over the nations. They rule by lending money to the nations. 

Deuteronomy 15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

Deuteronomy 28:12 "... and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow."

Of course, the harlot woman rules the kings of the earth.
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
This, my first proof, is an extremely important argument, one that I have not seen any other authors make who teach that "Jerusalem is the harlot".  The great harlot lends money to the nations to control them.  This is the opposite of how a harlot operates; normally a harlot receives money from her lovers.  Ezekiel 16:33 describes how Jerusalem plays the harlot, oddly enough, by giving money to her lovers, which is "contrary" to how other women commit whoredoms:
Eze 16:31 In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;
Eze 16:32 But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!
Eze 16:33 They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.
Eze 16:34 And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.
Does the fact that the woman lends money to the nations prove that she rules them?  Yes!  Deuteronomy 15:6 clearly shows that by lending money, she rules the nations.  Further proof that the lender rules over the borrower.
Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Implications of this proof: If you study the role of gold in history, and the history of money, you will find that the international moneylenders control the nations through lending money to them, and that a portion of these bankers have a certain tie to Jerusalem.

This is not a racist view, nor is it a condemnation of Jewish people, nor of the nation of Israel, but rather, it is merely the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.  In fact, this interpretation cannot and is not a judgment against the Jewish people, because the common people do not lend to the nations or kings of the earth.

In 2006, the literal city does not fit the prophecy, and the 7th beast riden by the harlot has not yet come into being.  And the prophecy is not about a location; it's about a people in a location.  The literal city of Jerusalem will not be destroyed, but the people who will practice the money lending to control the future world government will operate out of Jerusalem in the future, and they will be destroyed.


Proof #2.

The Pharisees of Jerusalem killed Stephen who was the first of "the martyrs of Jesus". Any other interpretation of who the woman is, if it does not include the Jewish religious leaders in the time of Jesus, including the Jewish religious leaders who killed the Old Testament prophets (Rev 18:24), is therefore incorrect.

Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Rev 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, fingers the council at Jerusalem as the murderers of the prophets, and they were so angry they killed Stephen, too:
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Jesus speaks harsh words to the leaders of Jerusalem, saying they are worse than harlots, and also says that "Jeursalem kills the prophets":
Mat 21:31 "...Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luk 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Luk 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Luk 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Luk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Luk 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.


Proof #3.

The great harlot is the "great city". The "great city" is Jerusalem.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Revelation, earlier, tells us which city is THE GREAT CITY: it is Jerusalem.
Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
The Lord was crucified in Jerusalem, the great city, which is the great harlot.

Babylon, as a name for Jerusalem, is not unlike the comparison to other cities, such as as Sodom, Egypt, and Gomorrah; "spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt" Rev 11:8. (Isaiah 1:10; Jer. 23:14, Ezek. 16:44-56 all compare Jerusalem to Sodom. (also, Jesus in various NT scriptures, compared various Isralite cities to Sodom and Gomorrah by comparing judgment), Luke 10:12, Mark 6:11, Matthew 11:23-24, Matthew 10:15.)


Proof #4.

As the woman sits on seven mountains, Jerusalem is built on seven mountains:

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
From http://www.kensmen.com/catholic/endtimes.html ,
Mt. Goath, Mt. Gareb, Mt. Acra, Mt. Bezetha, Mt. Zion, Mt. Ophel, and Mt. Moriah.

A second source, http://www.angelfire.com/pr/truth/whore.html , lists the same: Mount Zion, Mount Ophel, Mount Moriah, Mount Bezetha, Mount Acra, Mount Gareb, and Mount Goath.

A third confirming source, http://jesus-messiah.com/prophecy/rev-13.html , lists the same seven, and explains a bit more of why some authors list different mountains, and includes a map: "The seven hills identify Jerusalem not Rome: Jerusalem was a large city spreading outside the walls and covering the seven hills there during the time of Jesus and the Apostles: 1.) Mount Gared; 2.) Mount Goath; 3.) Mount Acra; 4.) Mount Bezetha; 5.) Mount Moriah; 6.) Mount Ophel; 7.) Mount Zion. For what ever reason, and by what ever hands and manipulation, Mt. Gared, Mt. Goath, Mt Acra, and Mt. Bezetha have been deleted from nearly all maps of Jerusalem."

http://www.unlimitedglory.org/txtrevcha4.htm "look at any old map showing the topography of Jerusalem immediately prior to 70 AD. In so doing I believe that you will find that the 7 hills of Moriah, Ophel, Zion, Bezetha, Golgotha,
Bareb and Offence are all or partially located within the confines of Jerusalem as it existed at that time."

I could not find Mt. Acra or Mt. Bezetha in scripture, but five others I could. Gareb & Goath in Jeremiah 31:39, Ophel in 2 Chronicles 33:14, Moriah in 2 Chronicles 3:1 and Zion yielded 153 occurrences.

Jeremiah 31:39 And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.

2 Chron 33:14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.

2 Chron 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

The two mountains not found in scripture, Mt. Acra and Mt. Bezetha, are both mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia under the listing for"Jerusalem": http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=242&letter=J

Here is a Psalm about the mountains around Jerusalem, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever." {Psalms 125:2)

The word in Rev 17:9 is clearly mountains, not hills.

3735 oros {or'-os}
probably from an obsolete oro (to rise or "rear", perhaps akin to 142, cf 3733); TDNT - 5:475,732; n n
AV - mountain 41, mount 21, hill 3; 65
1) a mountain

There is a word for hills in the Greek language, even used in the New Testament, a word that John was aware of, and could have used, if he meant to say hills.

Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
1015 bounos {boo-nos'}
probably of foreign origin;; n m
AV - hill 2; 2
1) a hill, eminence, mound

Therefore, the interpretation that the woman is Rome, a city on seven hills, is not fitting with scripture nearly as much as the interpretation that the woman is Jerusalem, a city on seven mountains.

I suppose it is possible that the seven mountains have another symbolic meaning; in addition to literal mountains or kings. That the seven mountains are the seven continents of the earth: North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica, which would mean that the woman sits on and rules the entire earth. After all, the whore is also said to sit on many waters, which are the people, and multitude and nations of the earth.

Rev 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.



Proof #5.

Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Israel is described as a harlot in many texts of the Hebrew Scriptures: Isa. 1:21, Ezek 16, 23, Isaiah 57, Jeremiah 2-3 and Hosea 2

Isaiah 47 is a striking parallel passage, with 3 key elements repeated: She calls herself a queen, not a widow, and will see her destruction in one day.

Isaiah 47:7 You said, 'I will continue foreveró  the eternal queen! ' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what mighthappen. 8 "Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.'  9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.

Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.  



Proof #6.

The woman is wearing red and purple, with a cup of gold in hand. The Israelite priests wear red and purple, and used cups of gold in the temple worship.

Rev 17:4 And 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:

Rev 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

God commanded that the priests' vestments be made with purple and scarlet yarn (Ex. 28:4-8, 15, 33, 39:1-8, 24, 29).
Exodus 25:29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.

Dan 5:2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
Dan 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.


Proof #7.

The woman also drinks the cup of wrath.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Isai 51:17 Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the Lord's hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.

Rev 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:



Proof #8.

The kings of the earth (the horns of the beast) (Rev 17:12), who the woman rules (Rev 17:18), will turn on the woman and destroy her. Ezekiel, in chapter 16, and Jeremiah chapter 4, say the same thing about Jerusalem and Israel.
 

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Eze 16:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 16:2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, ...
Eze 16:37 Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.
Eze 16:38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.
Eze 16:39 And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.
Eze 16:40 They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.
Eze 16:41 And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.

Jer 4:1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. ...
Jer 4:30 And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.
Jer 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.

Proof #9.

Peter uses the word "Babylon" to describe Jerusalem, where he lived, in a greeting at the end of his first epistle.

1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
Peter was in Jerusalem, writing from Jerusalem, living with his son Marcus in Jerusalem, not Babylon.
Galatians 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

At the time Peter wrote 1 Peter, the literal city of Old Babylon was in ruins, and uninhabited. Therefore, "babylon" was a name for Jerusalem.



Conclusions and the implications of this view that "Jerusalem is the great harlot".

Now that I have made the case that "Jerusalem is the great harlot," I now have to spend some time saying why it is NOT the literal city of Jerusalem.  And this, I believe, is why this topic is such a MYSTERY, (Rev 17:5).

When I first heard this view over a year ago in July, 2001, I said it cannot be Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is the capital city of the millennium, and in Rev 18, the harlot appears to be completely destroyed to never more be inhabited.  Thus, it was extremely difficult for me to see or accept the scriptural evidence that "Jerusalem is the great harlot", which is why this is a mystery.  Nevertheless, the scriptural evidence was extremely compelling, and forced me to seriously consider it further.  So, then, here is the conclusion and explanation for this seeming contradiction.  It is not "the literal city Jerusalem".  For example, I don't believe the inhabitants of modern-day Jerusalem need to move out of the city, to "come out of her my people".  So, if the harlot is not "literal Jerusalem", what does this mean?

From proof number one, we saw that the harlot woman rules the kings of the earth (Rev 17:18) through moneylending (Deut 15:6).  Obviously, the literal city of Jerusalem does not do this; it neither rules the kings of the earth, nor are all the inhabitants who live in Jerusalem engaged in ruling the kings of the earth through moneylending.  This prophecy about Babylon the Great, as Jerusalem, is about the rulers of Jerusalem, the Pharisees and moneychangers who Jesus repeatedly rebuked, and their modern-day equivalents.

People sometimes think of Jesus as a man who never got angry or said an unkind word to anyone. But Jesus did both. Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple (Matthew 21:12), and he called the Pharisees hypocrites seven times in Matt 23. These moneychangers and Pharisees (or their spiritual children) are still working today to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, and their descendants are the great whore of Babylon.

In the Bible, a spiritual whore or harlot indicates false worship, or rather a true system of worship that has become perverted. It is therefore the system of worship that God gave to Israel, that, when perverted, can be described as a whore.  They are a whore because they turn to the kings of the earth for security instead of turning to God.

Babylon is an appropriate name for a fallen Jerusalem (or true religion perverted), because the city of Babylon came from Babyl, which was mankind's initial system of perverted worship as recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. Although the people wanted to ascend into the heavens, they were in rebellion against God. Babylon was also the name of the first world kingdom as recorded in Daniel 2, and was represented by the head of Gold in Nebuchadnezzar's dream.  This Babylon also conquered Jerusalem.  We also know that those who oppose the truth are in darkness, and in confusion. Babyl means confusion, and confusion comes from sin.

Daniel 9:8 O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
Therefore, those who oppose God and work to set up their own world kingdom can rightly be described as "Babylon".  That the whore is called "Babylon" is also appropriate to help us to see that it is not "literal Jerusalem" that is in view in Rev 17-18.  The point is that this prophecy is about a people who are attempting to rule the earth in opposition to God.



Starting from the most general, here are a few personal implications of this doctrine:

Many commentaries on Rev 17-18 instill in the reader a sense of fear of the great powers of the world, or a sense that we should fight either the woman or the beast.

But God is in control of all governments, as is the lesson of Daniel Chapter 4, verses 17, 25, 32.

Dan 4:17 "...the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Second, we are not to fear men or their governments.
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

2Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Third, we are not called to physically fight against governments, but be subject to them, so long as they don't require us to break the laws of God.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Although we are to be subject to the governments, there is no call to be subject to the woman who controls the governments. When the Jewish religious leaders commanded the Apostles to stop preaching, they did not obey.
Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
We need not fear the woman, nor do we need to fight her physically. There is no call in Rev 17-18 for us to do so. The kings of the earth will overturn her in due time, and if we tried to overthrow a power that God has put in place and has decreed and prophesied will rule the kings of the earth until a certain time, then we will be fighting against God.

But we are called to "come out of her" (Rev 18:4), and to not be "drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Rev 17:2). So we are not to comit fornication with her, but rather, we are to come out from under her influence. She rules the kings of the earth through lending them money. Therefore, we are not to borrow money from her which would make us her servants.

Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

1 Corinthians 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

The woman rules over the nations, the world, but she does NOT rule us, because we are not of this world.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
So, to avoid being ruled by the woman, we need to avoid debt. Live debt free. Do not rely on using credit cards in an emergency, rely on God, and on family instead. Do not borrow money to buy a house, or buy a car, or use margin to buy stocks, or invest in options or futures contracts. Who will you turn to when times are tough? God, or the great harlot?

In the United States in 2002, the great harlot woman exerts control over society in many ways. She controls most of the media, the Universities and schools, the Federal Reserve, and also the IRS, and thus also she controls Churches who have sought 501c3 tax exempt status. To maintain the IRS 501c3 tax exemption, Churches need to agree to not endorse political candidates, nor preach politics. Therefore, I believe, to obey God's command to "come out from her" would require that we are not to support Churches that have incorporated under 501c3 status.

Those who say the great harlot woman is "organized religion", or "apostate Christianity", or even "the Catholic Church" are not seeing the larger picture of who controls even those religious groups. These other religions are merely daughter harlots of the great mother of harlots.

As we saw in the first proof for who the great harlot was, the primary means that the woman uses to control the nations is through lending money (Deut 15:6, 28:12, Rev 17:18). These days, she lends not gold, but paper money, which is a false weight and measure, and thus, one of her abominations.

Leviticus 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.

Deuteronomy 25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Proverbs 20:10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

Therefore, to "come out from her", people need to avoid storing up wealth in the form of abominations, or false weights and measures, like paper or electronic money. We are to store up wealth in heaven, or be wise stewards and use real gold and silver, which is real wealth, which God gave to man for a purpose.
Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.

The harlot woman provides only a false illusion of wealth for those who fornicate with her by borrowing money from her, or storing up her false form of wealth which is paper or electronic money. Through this control, she deceives people spiritually, as is strongly indicated by the condemnation to the Laodician Church.
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
To "buy gold tried in the fire", literally, is one way to avoid the spiritual deception of the great harlot woman. Yes, gold belongs to Jesus, to the Lord, (as he says to "buy OF ME gold", Rev 3:18) who created it for men to use.
Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
The use of gold and silver as money keeps men honest; it prevents the theft of wealth by those who endlessly create ever more paper money to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Our fight with the woman is not physical, but spiritual.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We fight the great whore, not by attempting to kill her, but rather, we fight by coming out from her by not letting ourselves be controlled by her by lusting after her abominations (paper money and loans), which is spiritually deceiving and like fornication against God.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Matt 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Parents! Do not lust after money, but rather, provide for your children; do not sell them into slavery by forcing them to go into debt if they need money.
1Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Christians! Work for a living!
2 Thess 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Laboring in the Word to teach doctrine is an honorable form of work!
1Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
And those who preach and teach have a right to ask the flock for material things after having provided spiritual things.
1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
We also fight the woman spiritually by exposing her abominations (paper money and loans).
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.


Prophetic implications:

The desolation of the harlot:
When will the ten kings of the earth (the horns of the beast) turn on the woman and destroy her? (Rev 17:16). These ten kings are of the eighth beast which is destroyed by Jesus. This eighth beast reigns for the final half of the 7 year tribulation; 42 months, or 3.5 years, or "time, times and half a time."

Rev 17:13 These [ten kings] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Thus, the ten kings will turn on the woman at the time they come to power to give their power to the beast, right at the middle of the tribulation, to set up that kingdom of the antichrist.

Also, as is indicated in Daniel 9:27, the antichrist breaks the covenant (with Israel), leaving her desolate, in the middle of the tribulation.

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Isaiah describes the covenant with the antichrist as a covenant with "death" or "hell", and identifies who makes this covenant, which is Israel, or the Jewish leaders who make the treaty in the time of the end, who are the great harlot.
Isaiah 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
The antichrist, or beast, in the last 3.5 years of the tribulation, goes about setting up his own religious system of worship, the worship of himself as God.
2 Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Most commentaries take great pains to say that the woman of Rev 12 is not the same as the woman of Rev 17-18. Yet, both are identified with Israel. The woman in Revelation 12 is the relatively faithful part of Israel who will be protected by God during the final 3.5 years of the tribulation. In contrast, the great whore of Rev 17-18, will utterly be destroyed at that time, the middle of the seven year tribulation.

After the great harlot is destroyed, and her great wealth and spiritual control is lost, it will create the necessary conditions to bring about a new economic system of worship, that of worshipping the beast through the taking of the mark of the beast. See Revelation 13.

What else does this view, of "Jerusalem is the harlot" mean? It helps to explain Ezekiel 38, and when that happens.  In Ezekiel 38:12-13, we see that Israel has become wealthy in gold and silver and cattle, and that the wealth of Israel inspires the invasion.

So, the obvious question is "how does Israel become so wealthy as to cause the events of Ezekiel 38 to begin? The answer is that the international moneylenders will eventually bring their gold and silver to Israel.

In the invasion in Ezekiel 38, we also see that Israel is not destroyed by the invasion, but rather, Israel plunders the invaders, and Israel's wealth is not lost as happens in the middle of the tribulation. Therefore, this comparitively unsuccessful invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38 is at the start of the tribulation, not at the middle or the end.

What lies in our future? I believe the international moneylenders will continue to grow more wealthy and powerful, most likely even creating a world government with Jerusalem as the capitol of the world, prior to the 7 year tribulation. I have read from many different sources that the plan for world control consists of collapsing the economies (and fiat currencies) of the nations of the world, weakening them and disrupting them to make the world more able to accept a world government. The goal is then to reintroduce gold as money to the world economy, which would create conditions of both peace and prosperity. Such a scenario could create the necessary conditions of peace and wealth for Israel; which are the conditions prior to the invasion of Israel that starts the tribulation in Ezekiel 38.


Finally, I will conclude with what this view refutes:

1.  Some people write as if the harlot of Revelation 17 and 18 are different harlots; as if chapter 17 is a religious whore, and chapter 18 is an economic whore. But the reality is that they are one and the same; Jerusalem, the great whore, controls the nations and spiritually deceives them through wealth, through lending money. Thus, spiritual deception is the result of economic control by moneylending.

2.  Most people who write to prove that the great harlot is Jerusalem try to use these proofs to support preterism, a view which say the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in the past, in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. Their views are clearly wrong, because Revelation was written about 93-96AD. The destruction of the whore is written as a future event. The woman, in the future, will sit on a king (or world kingdom?) that "is not yet come" (Rev 17:10).

Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come..."
3.  The most popular interpretation of the great whore, (the view of many Protestants) is that she is Rome, or the Catholic Church, who killed many saints in the inquisitions. This view is wrong because Revelation was written about 93-96AD. The great whore killed the prophets, and is written as if that is an ongoing description that is fitting with all the martyrs up to the point of 93-96AD, of which the Catholic Church had no part, since it came into being well after 300AD. The view that the whore is the Catholic Church is wrong because the Catholic Church does not rule the nations as do the international moneylenders do. This view is wrong because Rome is on seven hills, not mountains. This view is wrong because Rome is not "the great city" where Jesus was crucified. Nevertheless, the great whore is the "mother of harlots", and the Catholic Church, having partaken of the blood of the saints, is therefore at the very least, a daughter harlot, and will not escape the judgment of God simply because "Jerusalem is the harlot woman".

4.  Another view is that the whore is the Antichrist's system.  It is not.  The beast (of ten kings) (Antichrist's system) destroys the whore.

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
This is an extremely important distinction.  The Antichrist's world system comes on the heels of the destruction of another world system; that of the Great Harlot.  The important implication is that the first world system is NOT the system of the Antichrist.  The Antichrist system is the eighth beast.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
5.  Still another view is that the whore is "Apostate Christianity" in general, including the Catholic Church.  That's a very large number of people considering that there are over 1 Billion professing Christians on the planet.  I believe this view is wrong because Apostate Christianity does not control the kings of the earth; and certainly the lay person in the Apostate Churches does not control the kings of the earth, and certainly not through lending money to them.  If so, it would be through democracy, and through the purchase of bonds.

But still, I think this view is wrong because the whore sits on many waters.  The waters are the masses of the people in the vision, so the whore is not composed of the masses, the whore rules the masses, just as the whore rules the kings of the earth.

Rev 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Now, by refuting this, I don't mean to say that Apostate Christianity will not be judged.  But with regard to the vision in Revelation 17-18, Apostate Christianity is not the "mother harlot", but is better seen as a daughter harlot in relation to the mother. 
Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
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