My pastor gave us the heads up that he would be teaching on prophecy recently; that day has come and gone, but the ripple effect has continued for several weeks. The subject was, “Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?” He has been our pastor for a little over a year and thankfully he has delved into end times prophecy on several occasions.
One of the points he tried to make in this particular sermon had to do with the woman clothed in purple. He stated that the woman represented the church. Just hearing this throws up a string of red flags for me, and this was only one of the issues I had. So let's talk about this.
As I sat with several of the men, one who goes to the church said, "wasn't that a great talk? He covered it all so well." I am learning to soften my blows so as not to dishearten someone so excited. I responded by saying, yes, he made his point well, but there were points he made that I take issue with. The Apostle Paul ran into people like this but he did not let it bother him. On the contrary, he seemed to admire their tenacity to search the scriptures. In Paul's case, they were the Berean's, and they found what Paul said to be true. Sadly, as I sit in church, "bible studies", and more casual conversations with people who should be skillful in God's word, I hear opinion and tradition preached as gospel, along with bold statements, such as, the woman in purple represents the church, without anything of substance to back up the claim.
The Apostle Paul ran into people like this but he did not let it bother him. On the contrary, he seemed to admire their tenacity to search the scriptures. In Paul's case, they were the Berean's, and they found what Paul said to be true. Sadly, as I sit in church, "bible studies", and more casual conversations with people who should be skillful in God's word, I hear opinion and tradition preached as gospel, along with bold statements, such as, the woman in purple represents the church, without anything of substance to back up the claim.
There is a horrendous problem in having someone like a pastor make blatant statements, such as, "the woman in purple is the church." The problem emanates from his place of authority as many, sitting in the pews, merely accept what he says as law without challenge. Another issue has to do with the terminology. As the Pastor makes the claim that this woman is the church. Since no direct correlation to scripture was given, the audience is left to make the assumption that there is one. Presumptions then are made about the Catholic church, associating it with Revelation 17:9 CJB which states: "This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman is sitting; also they are seven kings." But did the pastor clarify that there are many cities that sit upon seven hills, including Jerusalem? No, so, once again we are led to potentially false conclusions because of a man's position.
Am I to make a blanket statement indicating all blame falls back on the "believer", as we should be taking the time to study on our own. And, therefore not be subject to false teaching because we read on own? Think about the advent of the printing press, which, in time, made it possible for many to have a copy of the scriptures. The early church and let's take this all the back to Paul's day. In the majority, converts were Jewish that had come to accept Jesus as the Messiah. No one, except for synagogue elders, would have been permitted to touch the scrolls because of their rarity, fragility, and expense. That means all training in the scriptures would have done through oral teaching. Now, tell me how the masses could have possibly been held responsible for a lack of understanding? Jump forward to today, where many, like myself, have ten copies of the bible, many of which collected dust for years.
In light of false teachings and our lack of understanding let's talk about this woman in purple.
Since he initiated the study in the Revelation, I did a concordance search within the book for the word woman. The NASB produced 15 references, but, as I took the time to study these out, I found that there are only three women: Jezebel, Israel, and a final, seductive entity, clothed in purple, and identified as “that city Babylon.”
The first woman you meet in Revelation is Jezebel.
Revelation 2:20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
At the time of this writing, the historical Jezebel, the one every Jew makes an association with, is long since dead. Now, it is even remotely possible that there is a continuous string of women, with the same name, having a similar adverse impact on the church body, while acting like the ancient, evil one by the same name? Probably not; so, what are we looking for? Most likely something spiritual, demonic, and deadly. Keep that idea in mind.
The next woman we see is distinctly Israel and takes up the entire twelfth chapter of the Revelation. For the sake of space, I suggest you read it yourself. (Revelation 12:1-17 MKJV)
The last woman, while being undefined and nameless, is introduced to us as a harlot. Several translations call her a whore. This is the woman in purple. Again I urge you to read Revelation 17:1-18 independently.
Some points to consider:
Revelation 17:1 NASB “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,”
- She is brought into our view so that we can know that this entity will be judged.
- Note that it sits on many waters.
If this is something like the Illuminati or Bilderberg group, it is well-known that these people, who think they are in control, supersede all government, and come from every corner of the earth.
One of the methods of gaining clarity and understanding is to let scripture interpret scripture. The following is an example of that and applies to verse one.
Revelation 17:2 NASB with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."
- This is an entity that has served in the role of a harlot/whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality.
How could all the kings, throughout all time, have committed their acts of evil with one woman? They could not, so this has to be something more, something spiritual.
There is still a clue buried within verse two. Note where it says “those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” Perhaps the answer lies in 1 John 2: 15-16.
1 John 2:15-16 NASB “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
- So these “kings” are apparently indulging in everything that opposes God.
They have no love for the Father for they do not know Him. They feed their lusts (desires) and their pride, at the cost of the populace.
- What makes this even worse, is that the tortured populace are too drunk pursuing their desires to pay attention or do anything to stop the cruelty of the rich.
If this seems ridiculous, then try to explain how we have voted traitorous people into office and then reelected them again and again after they have obviously destroyed everything we stand for.
“a woman sitting on a scarlet beast”
Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
Both this woman and the woman of Revelation 12 are found in the wilderness. If, the woman of Revelation 17 is Islamic and means to harm Israel, then perhaps it would make sense to find her in this wilderness. But keep in mind, that the woman in purple only possesses physicality in her scattered lovers; while the beast, however, is a somewhat unified body with a central leader. The beast fits the Islamic description more closely when you think about it.
An obvious thing to note is what she is sitting upon “ a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.” What do I make of this; that the "beast" is backed, supported, and used at the whim of the lustful wealthy of the earth? Do you know anything about the Rothschild family? They have funded both sides of every “modern” war. Why, because wars create opportunities for the wealthy and evoke economies.
Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
“I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” This entity called a woman, sounds nothing like the church, for she clearly has a hand in killing off the Saints. As I tried to explore some possibilities other than the Catholic church, with a small gathering of men, one of them had to point out the damage done by the Catholic church in the crusades.
A short synopsis.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "The Crusades were a series of intermittent Papal sanctioned military campaigns beginning in the late 11th century. They commenced with a call to arms by Pope Urban II who was responding to a request for military support for the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I, needed military reinforcements for the conflict with the westward migrating Turks in Anatolia. Historians debate Urban and the Crusader's primary motivations. One of Urban's stated aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy Land that were under Muslim control while his wider strategy may have been to establish himself as head of the united Church and bringing together the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom that had been divided since their split in 1054. What is known though is the unprecedented response to Urban's preaching and the basis it established for later crusades. Hundreds of thousands of people from many different classes across Western Europe became crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church. Some were peasants hoping for Apotheosis at Jerusalem. Urban preached that anyone who participated would be forgiven by God of all their sins. In addition, some historians argue that participation satisfied feudal obligations and provided opportunities for economic and political gain."
I get it; horrible things have been done in the name of religion, but I cannot buy into the “woman clothed in purple” as being the Catholic church. Besides, watch how scripture answers our question about who this is.
Revelation 17:9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
Verse nine requires thought, much more thought than the traditional answer. I did a quick internet search for cities that sit on seven hills, and there are many, including Jerusalem.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
A List of cities claimed to be built on seven hills:
- Amman, Jordan
A very Westernized Arab country east of Jerusalem. They recently made the news as their president put on his uniform and flew into battle, a retaliatory move against ISIS for murdering one of Jordan's pilots.
- Istanbul, Turkey
An aspect of Asia Minor, where the Apostle Paul did a great deal of his preaching.
- Jerusalem, Israel
During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries.
- Moscow, Russia
Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), and this interesting name - The First Throne (Первопрестольная), [From Wikipedia]
- Rome, Italy
After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.
Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1422–55) pursued coherently along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic program aimed to make of the city the world's artistic and cultural center. Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors, and architects made Rome the center of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.[From Wikipedia]
While verse nine “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,” is something that can throw you for a loop, verse 18 tells us explicitly what this woman is.
Revelation 17:18 "The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."
The word "sits" in Revelation 17:9 is the Greek word kathemai and also means: to have a fixed abode, or to dwell. Since we recognize that this entity, represented as a woman, is primarily a demonic, spiritual being, how then can we give it physical traits? We also know that fallen angels/demons are incredibly powerful and have particular regional assignments. So, I can assume that this one has a task that also impacts a group of "kings of the earth” as they get drunk with the wine of her immorality?
Remember what I described the woman as in the beginning of this post?
“An entity that has acted in the role of a harlot/whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality.”
How could all the kings, throughout all time, have committed their acts of immorality with one woman? They could not, so this has to be something more; something spiritual.”
How can this be physical and spiritual at the same time? Not likely, is it.
The questions this symbolic woman poses exposes our need to study to find the relationship between the beginnings of Babel (Babylon) and this whore.
I pointed out how 1 John 2:15-16 tells us: “ not to love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.” This is but another clue that helps our comprehension.
An obvious factor to some would be the almost strictly bible study nature of this post. Well, much of that stems from the foolish and unskilled responses I get from "learned" people. Spend a fair amount of time in church and you will hear about giftings of the Holy Spirit. Because, like a multi-level marketing scheme, the church needs new life and members to stay fresh and alive, they will emphasize evangelism. Pastor Greg Laurie is an amazing example of an evangelist, but I can tell you emphatically, that evangelism is not my calling. Teaching is.
Here is my shot at evangelism: Whether you agree or not, you need Jesus. He paid a huge price to redeem you out of the slavery to sins demands. While sins are forgiven, ignoring his love will not be treated the same. You see, to ignore him tends to put us in the category of those will worship the beast, take his mark, and worship his image. Those three things will seal your fate. If I was not a good gambler, and I am not, then trying to push the boundaries of God's grace would not be a good thing for me. An example might come from having "them" drag my children in front of me and do horrendous things. What would I do? The answer is, I don't know, and that can be a huge problem because I might just collapse and give in. That is one reason I would not want to take that chance. Besides that, God loved me. He proved that on the cross and I have experienced that love. It is beyond anything this world has offered me, and since it is personal and experiential, you will just have to experience it for yourself. It all started with, Jesus, make yourself real to me.