In the previous post, we have started looking into the identity of the great prostitute, and I want to continue along this same line.
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 This title was written on her forehead:
BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (NIV)
In verse 3 above, we see the word desert. Spiritually speaking a desert is a place that has little or no spiritual relevance; think of a professional boxing match or a typical university campus. This woman’s entire existence is in a spiritual desert. She doesn’t know the truth and she never speaks it. She is herself deceived.
Revelation 12:3, 9
3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.
9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (NIV)
It is clear that the dragon is Satan’s entity or person. This beast with seven heads and ten horns is seen in several other places in Scripture: [Revelation 13:1], [Revelation 17:3, 7 & 11] and indirectly in [Daniel 2, 7 & 9]. This beast symbolically represents the fourth kingdom to rule over the biblical world (and Jerusalem.) This fourth kingdom started as the Roman Empire and when this Scripture is fulfilled it will consist mostly with the remnants of the Roman Empire, that is, Europe. What we are seeing here is that while Satan controls this kingdom and its leaders, he is himself being controlled by the human entity represented by this ‘Mother of Prostitutes’.
This great prostitute is dressed in fabulous wealth and power. Symbolically the golden cup filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries means that she brazenly and freely flaunts her abominable qualities that bring her power. She has no shame. She believes in her own delusions.
The title written on her forehead is very interesting and informative. Let us look at the first word, mystery. A mystery is not a mystery in the normal modern sense. A spiritual mystery is a thing that is hidden from the uninitiated and revealed to the initiated. In this case, the meaning of the great prostitute is hidden from all those who have not had the meaning revealed to them by the Holy Spirit of God. There are two groups of people in the world, those who understand this mystery and those who do not, those who are not deceived by her and those who are, those who have the Holy Spirit and those who do not.
He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. (NIV)
God, that is, the Holy Spirit is the revealer of mysteries.
BABYLON THE GREAT
The word Babylon is a Symbolic Bible Word or key-word, that is greatly helpful in unraveling the prophecies of the Bible. The key-word Babylon is symbolic of the collective human belief which makes up the foundation of this whole mystery. I want to look into this in greater detail later, but for now, let us say that Babylon is an ‘understanding’ or belief whereby man is in control of his own destiny. Man’s belief that he can cut out for himself the destiny that he desires is summed up in the biblical keyword Babylon. This totally incorrect belief is the foundation of all of man’s evil deeds. Wow! But it is true.
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
In a previous post, I already discussed the concept of spiritual adultery and spiritual prostitution, so I will not go into that again at this time. The thing to note here, however, is that this great prostitute is the mother of prostitutes, which means that what she is, is the beginning of spiritual adultery/prostitution. This means that we are going back in time, back before the literal kingdom of Babylon, back to the first act of selfishness.
Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” (NIV)
Here we take the way-back machine all the way back to the Garden of Eden, outside of which Cain killed his brother Abel.
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH
The act of disobedience by man (Adam and Eve) in the Garden that separated man from God is the root of all that is wrong in the earth. Sin entered into the world and we are all affected by it, BIG TIME! This symbolic image of the great prostitute originates in the original sin. Rebellion is behind everything that she does, and her adulteries have deceived the whole world, that is, the whole world thinks that her rebellious ways are the best ways. But rebellion against God is spiritual death, which leads to physical death, which means eternal separation from God, which is hell.
Something to remember here is that this great prostitute doesn’t look evil or bad to most people. She is exactly what they want. That is why she is so effective; she deceives the whole world after all. She is portrayed here in the Bible by God, who sees through her deceptions, but to the average person what she offers is exactly what people want. She offers beauty (physical), money, power, fame, health, and safety. She can’t deliver on any count, but she is rolling in dough now, so those that look to the here and now are easily deceived.