The Roman Catholic Church the Mother of Harlots
By Nick Bibile
Re 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Because of the events of the past weeks as the death of the pope, electing of a new pope and how some Christian leaders and the news media have praised the pope, my heart is grieved and it is my duty as the pastor of this church not to compromise but to defend the gospel of Christ.
We saw in our last two sermons the sign of the end of the ages given by our Lord was deception and increase of deception of false religions, cults and apostasy. The word apostasy means to fall away from the truth of the gospel. In Revelation chapter 17, we find the master deception.
One thing to understand that this book is not written in Chronological order, meaning the events does not come after the other chapters. We see in Revelation chapter 13 and 17 speaking of the beast. Chapter 17 reveals the beast and chapter 13 already got rid of the beast. God had made the divisions. There is a blessing to those who read this prophecy.
Re 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
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: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and deckeda with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
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.
The seven vials or the seven bowls contains the last plagues. Read Revelation 15:1.
Re 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
This is dealing at the very end of time. This fulfillment is not found in history nor in the present but in the future, but the fulfillment is just before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today in our present day are seeing things getting shape up, as we have never seen before.
Come hither, I will show thee.
Come hither, means an urgent invitation, come now! An urgent invitation to the true believer from God as only the true believer is given to see the will of God to see what this chapter contains.
I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.
Here we see the judgment, meaning indictment, and the damnation that is going to come for the great whore that sits upon many waters. Who is the great whore that sits upon many waters? Obviously, this cannot be taken literally but symbolically.
In verse 3, we read. . 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness.
In order to see the whore John was taken into wilderness. Carried me away in the spirit. Carnal man cannot understand, you need to be in the spirit. Wilderness is sometimes a symbol of separation in order to know the will of God. Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist and our Lord were led into wilderness. Only the people who are separated unto God can understand this prophecy. Many cannot understand as they are already in this apostate system.
Here we see a woman. There are two symbolic types of women in the Bible.
1. Woman is a symbol of the church.
The church, under the figure of a woman, is first espoused, and then presented, as a chaste virgin to Christ. "I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (II Corinthians 11:12.)
The church is the true woman, the bride of Christ, the Lamb's wife.
2. The other woman is the counterfeit woman; a woman who is professing to be the wife but she in reality is a prostitute and a harlot.
The woman who sites on many waters is called a whore.
The word whore is porne in Greek; our word Porn or pornography comes from this word. This has to do with sexual indulgence, immorality, and sexual fornication. This woman is a whore means she is a harlot, a prostitute who has committed adultery.
As I said before this is a symbolic meaning. The woman who is a harlot is a system of apostasy.
We see in the Old Testament the children of Israel were called symbolically the wife of the Lord.
Jer 3:1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.
But we see when they committed spiritual adultery God called them a harlot and a whore.
Eze 16:28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast insatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
This woman is sitting on many waters. What do you mean by waters here?
Re 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Re 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigned over the kings of the earth.
In the Bible the bride of Christ, the church of Christ is called a holy city. The true woman is the church and also it is called a city.
Re 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
So here, we see both the woman and the city is the symbol of the true church of Christ.
But there is another woman, the counterfeit woman; the harlot is also called a city in verse 18. She is a great city. It says, the woman whom you saw is that great city. This is in present tense, in John’s time. The only great city of the world in John’s time was Rome. Rome was the capital of the world. So her identity was not difficult to find.
She sits on many waters, the waters is a symbol of peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. She is not sitting on one location but universal. There is another word for universal and that is catholic. The city is Rome and this woman is the Roman Catholic Church, the master counterfeiter. A professing church but in reality a whore, a harlot.
Let us see some of the examples of past popes and you can see very clearly, what I mean.
Pope Symmachus (498-514) was a fornicator. A regular lover, named Conditria and cheated the fund of the church. Italian bishops discussed the charges of fornication and cheating of money. But came to the decision that as pope no human court could try him.
Pope Sergius (in office 687-701) who wanted to become pope so badly that he offered a bribe, one hundred gold pieces, to the emperor's representative to Italy.
Pope Stephen VII (VI) (in office 896-897). He charged his predecessor (Pope Formosus) who was dead. Trial was arranged against Pope Formosus who was dead, they dug out his dead body and he was charged guilty, of coveting the papal throne. The corpse was stripped and the three fingers of its right hand chopped off. The body was then finally flung off into the River Tiber.
John XII (in office 955-964) was the person who initiated the tradition of changing names upon elevation to the throne. He went after every woman he could find. He was reputed to have slept with his niece, his father’s ex-lover and even his own mother! He died the way he lived; from a heart attack while making love to a married woman.
Pope Gregory IX (in office 1227-1241). Gregory was the pope who established the infamous Inquisition. In 1231, Gregory extended the legislation against heretics making them liable to the death penalty, which at that time, was to be burnt at the stake. In fact, the death penalty became mandatory for those who were condemned by the Inquisition for heresy.
Pope Sixtus IV (in office 1471-1484)
He was involved in murder and he was dragged into war. Rome's financial resources were drained due to the war. Sixtus was the first pope to license the prostitution in Rome; prostitution brought a large income to the papacy. He introduced the of sale of indulgence for the dead. Thus living relatives of the dead, eager to help their loved ones in purgatory dug deep into their pockets to reduced the dead’s suffering.
Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) illegitimate children by marrying them off into princely families.
Alexander VI (in office 1492-1503) both before and after he became pope had countless number of mistresses through which he fathered at least ten children.
Leo X (in office 1513-1521) The city of less than fifty thousand had seven thousand registered prostitutes! A large part of his income also came from the licensed brothels in Rome.
Pope Julius III (in office 1550-1555) a lover of pleasure, a glutton and a heavy gambler.
Pope Alexander VIII (in office 1689-1691) with the rise of Protestantism, pope’s behavior began to improve.
Luther saw the immorality of the Roman church when he visited Rome, Luther said if there be a hell Rome is built over it.
She is a seductress. The seat of the seductress is Waters. She is sitting on the people of the world. You go to any country and you will see world wide universal influence of Roman Catholicism. She is sitting on them, she is comfortable sitting on peoples of the earth, here we see she is oppressing them, lording over the people instead of serving them.
She is called the whore. Seductress, a woman who seduces people with her man made doctrines and even the very kings of the earth commit fornication with her. The kings of the earth are rulers and leaders of the earth.
The Roman Catholic Church is an institution of vast importance to politics from the very beginning. Constantine the Roman emperor regarded himself as the head of the church. It was called the Holy Roman Empire. The popes were engaged in war, Kings borrowed money from the popes; Rome has much influence with the kings of the earth.
You saw when Pope John Paul II died how all the world leaders attended his funeral including President George W. Bush and his wife. Bush was the first U.S president to attend a funeral of a pope. He said, “He said the services that brought kings, presidents and pilgrims from across the globe to Rome was a "powerful and moving reminder of the profound impact this pope had on our world." (CNN.COM April 9, 2005)
Verse 2. Look at her influence; the inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of her fornication, meaning people were made drunk of her sins. Her influence is worldwide influence and for evil. Spreading sin, abominations where ever she goes. She seduce them with wine, with false doctrine, false worship. When a man is drunk, the man believes anything, losing the senses, man believes a lie and believes the woman. You heard when you are trying to witness to a Roman Catholic they say, “I am a born Catholic and die catholic.” They are drunk; they have been seduced by the harlot of Rome.
Verse 3-4) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
The seven heads are seven mountains.
Re 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Seven Hills of Rome The hills upon which the ancient city of Rome was built, including the Palatine (traditional site of the founding of the city), Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Quirinal, and Viminal hills.
The heads are the symbols and the heads are the explanations of the mountains, literal mountains. It gives a very clear picture of the geographical location of the woman.
Beast supports the woman.
This harlot the Roman church is sitting on a beast. Who is this beast? See verse 8.
Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit.
The beast you saw was once, meaning once in existence. Then it says and is not, meaning it was existence in the past. Then it says the beast shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, meaning the beast will come back into existence.
For us to understand we need to read Daniel.
This scarlet-colored beast is identical with the fourth beast of Daniel's vision. Daniel says: "After this I saw in the night visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns."
An angel explains the vision to Daniel: "Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise." (Daniel 7:23, 24.)
Speaking of four great world empires, the fourth is the Roman Empire. It existed in the past but no more but it will ascend again out of the bottomless pit. When the Lord comes in the second time, the fourth empire is back in existence and the Lord will crush that empire. We can see in our day how these things are beginning to take shape.
The man does not know the Bible will say this is a good thing but the man who knows the Bible see this is from hell.
This beast gives the support to the woman. The beast will use its power to exalt the woman; the world is going to see the great world church the only church.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and deckeda with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
The distinctive color of the woman is scarlet. Rome’s cathedrals, Notre Dame at Paris, the statue-pointed cathedral at Milan, Saint Peter's at Rome, and you will find gold, silver, pearls, and all precious things. You will find all kinds of gifts from kings, from emperors and queens; offerings from the richest of earth, wealth enough to make even kings envy.
Look at this church filled with gold, with silver and precious stones, and you will find that its official color is scarlet, scarlet in the hat of its cardinals, scarlet in the robes of its pontiff and priests, scarlet everywhere - a scarlet-colored church.
What was the color you saw during the funeral of pope John Paul II? The color of scarlet. Here I am holding Los Angeles Times see the picture of the dead pope and cardinals and the color is scarlet.
Why it is scarlet?
Remember just before the crucifixion of Christ.
Mt 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
They mocked him as the king, the Messiah. But this woman arrayed with purple and scarlet color is an expression of her authority and power.
This scarlet-clad woman is drunk with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Verse 6)
It is the picture of the Roman Catholic, that in the name of Christ, causing the martyrdom of true saints, and thirsting after their blood till and she is drunken by it. It happened in history and a day is coming again that she will persecute the true woman the bride of Christ, the church, this woman will drink the persecuting of God saints as a man drinks the taste of wine. She will be intoxicated with the martyr’s blood.
Professor Arthur Noble writes the following.
“The crusade of Pope Innocent III against the Albigenses in 1208 was a war of extermination, lasting for several years, and was one of the bloodiest in history. We recall the persecution of John Wycliffe, the "Morning Star of the Reformation", and the martyrdom of William Tyndale, who gave the English people the Word of God in their native tongue. So bitterly was Wycliffe pursued by his Papal foes, that his very bones were exhumed, burnt by the Church of Rome, and their ashes scattered on the river Swift. We remember the burning at the stake of the Czech Reformer John Huss by the Council of Constance in 1415, which in spite of the Emperor's guarantee of safe conduct declared that "faith need not be kept with heretics"! The death of Huss was followed in the next year by the martyrdom of Jerome of Prague, also by fire. Savonarola was put to death at Florence in 1498, because he fearlessly denounced the wickedness of Pope Alexander VI, and earnestly sought the reformation of the Church. In the 30 years between 1540 and 1570 no less than 900,000 Protestants were put to death by Papists in different countries of Europe. During the four-year reign of Pope Paul IV (1555-59), the Inquisition alone destroyed 150,000; when he died, the people of Rome crowded to the prison, broke open the doors, released 1,700 prisoners and set fire to the building. In England 300 Protestants were burnt in three years by the Romanist Queen "Bloody Mary", 17 of them being the famous Lewes Martyrs. In Paris, on St. Bartholomew's Day, 1572, 30,000 Huguenots, "the flower of France", were massacred at the command of Pope Pius V, who so rejoiced at the news that he had a special 'Te Deum' sung and a medal struck, inscribed with his name and the words 'Strages Ugonotorum', "The Slaughter of the Huguenots". The Duke of Alva's "Council of Blood" cruelly destroyed thousands of faithful Christians in the Netherlands: for the success of this crusade the Pope earnestly prayed, and sent the Duke a "consecrated" hat and sword. During no less than thirty persecutions, the blood of the noble Waldenses was shed in the valleys of the Piedmont, and yet they heroically kept the faith. For 300 years, the horrendous Papal Inquisition spread terror over Europe. In Spain, alone 31,000 persons were burnt alive and 291,000 imprisoned. It is estimated that in the sixteenth century no less than 900,000 Protestant martyrs laid down their lives for Christ. Even in this twentieth century, which boasts of "enlightenment", the Church of Rome still persecutes. Pope Pius XII was an arrogant and cunning fanatic who helped Hitler to power, blessed Mussolini's troops and colluded with the Nazi Ustashi in Yugoslavia in slaughtering 250,000 Orthodox Serbs, many herded into churches and burned alive; his priests also forcibly converted over a million of them to Roman Catholicism.
Since the rise of Popery 50,000,000, people had been put to death in various ways for their religion by the end of the 19th century. [Documented in The Protestant Echo, July 1, 1903.] These figures make the atrocities of Hitler or Phol Pot look like a Sunday school picnic.”
The Roman church not only committed fornication herself, but also has made the inhabitants drunk with the wine of her fornication. Fornication in the book of the Revelation signifies idolatry, and idolatry is - image worship. This woman is a church, which practices, and has taught the people of the earth to practice, idolatry, to engage in the worship of images. Visit the churches of Rome and you will find them full of images, images of the virgin mother, and images of the saints.
Verse 4 says, the woman is decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. This shows her outward beauty, the look of holiness but inwardly rotten, corrupt and filthy.
Jesus in his days called these people by saying the following.
Mt 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto white sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
In verse 4, the woman having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.
Jer 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore, the nations are mad.
The golden cup is the external worship of splendor but filthy idolatrous worship. Also, the Roman church performs mass with a golden cup.
Verse 5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
This professing church of Christ, the woman has a name written on her forehead, it is called a MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.