REVELATION 17Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 17:1-1817:1-5 THE GREAT HARLOTBABYLON IN SCRIPTURE AND HISTORYBABYLON’S NEW HOMEBABYLON INVADES THE CHURCHTHE BEAST AND THE GREAT HARLOT17:6-8: THE BEAST THAT WAS, IS NOT AND YET IS17:9-11 SEVEN HEADS17:12-18 TEN HORNS AND THE HARLOT


BABYLON INVADES THE CHURCH

Gratian, one of the last emperors in the west, refused to accept the pagan title. “Gratian's reign marks a distinct epoch in the transition of the empire from paganism to Christianity. At the time of his accession he refused the insignia of Pontifex Maximus, which even Constantine and the other Christian emperors had always accepted.[1] However, instead of abolishing the pagan office, he transferred it to Pope Damasus I! “Within a few years after the Pagan title of Pontifex had been abolished, it was revived, and that by the very Emperor that had abolished it, and was bestowed, with all the Pagan associations clustering around it, upon the Bishop of Rome…When this Pagan title was bestowed on the Roman bishop, it was not as a mere empty title of honour it was bestowed, but as a title to which formidable power was annexed.”[2]

“Though Paganism was legally abolished in the Western Empire of Rome, yet in the city of the seven hills it was still rampant, insomuch that Jerome, who knew it well, writing of Rome at this very period, calls it ‘the sink of all superstitions.’ The consequence was, that, while everywhere else throughout the empire the imperial edict for the abolition of paganism was respected, in Rome itself it was, to a large extent, a dead letter. Symmachus, the prefect of the city, and the highest patrician families, as well as the masses of the people, were fanatically devoted to the old religion; and, therefore, the Emperor found it necessary, in spite of the law, to connive at the idolatry of the Romans. How strong was the hold that paganism had in the Imperial city, even after the fire of Vesta was extinguished, and State support was withdrawn from the Vestals, the reader may perceive from the following words of Gibbon:[3] ‘The image and altar of Victory were indeed removed from the Senate-house; but the Emperor yet spared the statues of the gods which were exposed to public view; four hundred and twenty-four temples or chapels still remained to satisfy the devotion of the people, and in every quarter of Rome the delicacy of the Christians was offended by the fumes of idolatrous sacrifice.’ Thus strong was paganism in Rome, even after State support was withdrawn about AD 376”.

“But look forward only about fifty years, and see what has become of it. The name of paganism has almost entirely disappeared; insomuch that the younger Theodosius, in an edict issued A.D. 423, uses these words: 'The pagans that remain, although now we may believe there are none.' The words of Gibbon in reference to this are very striking…He expresses his surprise at the rapidity of the revolution that took place among the Romans from paganism to Christianity. ‘The ruin of paganism,’ he says—and his dates are from A.D. 378, the year when the Bishop of Rome was made Pontifex, to 395—‘The ruin of paganism, in the age of Theodosius, is perhaps the only example of the total extirpation of any ancient and popular superstition; and may therefore deserve to be considered as a singular event in the history of the human mind[4]

“Now, how can this great and rapid revolution be accounted for? Is it because the Word of the Lord has had free course and been glorified? Then, what means the new aspect that the Roman Church has now begun to assume? In exact proportion as paganism has disappeared from without the Church, in the very same proportion it appears within it. Pagan dresses for the priests, pagan festivals for the people, pagan doctrines and ideas of all sorts, are everywhere in vogue”[5]

To even suggest that the Roman Catholic Church was the continuation of Babylonian paganism seems incredible, but this is what the book of Revelation teaches. This can be seen by comparing the woman on the beast of Revelation 17 who is identified as Babylon with the beast from the sea of chapter 13, which was conclusively shown to be the papacy of the Middle Ages.

BEAST OF REVELATION 13

(THE MEDIEVAL PAPACY)

HARLOT AND BEAST OF REVELATION 17

(END TIME BABYLON)

“A beast…having seven heads and ten horns…and on his heads a blasphemous name” (v. 1).

“A scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (v. 3).

“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them” (v. 7).

“Drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (v. 6).

“Authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (v. 7).

“The waters…where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (v. 15).

Continue to next section: THE BEAST AND THE GREAT HARLOT



[1] Thomas Scannel, "Gratian," The Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06729c.htm Accessed Sept. 1, 2014.

[2] Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, (New York: Loieaux Brothers 1959) (First published in 1853)

[3] Hislop here refers to the monumental work by Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which was published in the late eighteenth century.

[4] Hislop

[5] Hislop