God will judge Spiritual Babylon in Revelation 17. Nimrod, Noah’s great-grandson, and his wife Semiramis, brought the first organized false religion to man. His city, Babel, was the place where the Tower was built. The tower was a monument to man and what man could do, not a monument to God and what He can do. God stopped the building of the tower but that did not stop the growing of the false religion. It still grew. Babylon is therefore forever known as by full name: “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth”. (Revelation 17:5)
So where is Spiritual Babylon today? Does she still exist? Yes, she exists. Technically, Babylon the Mother of Prostitutes is the mother of all false religions, starting with Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, who called herself Queen of Heaven. The Queen of Heaven is mentioned in Jeremiah 44:15-19. The Queen of Heaven’s counterparts in different cultures are Ishtar and Isis. All false religions that spawned from her are the harlot daughters of the original. But there is one religion that can be said not to be a daughter of the original Harlot Babylon but is still the Mother herself: The Catholic Church. Mary is the Catholic’s Queen of Heaven.
I bring Catholicism into this discussion because of the prophecy in Rev. 17:9, “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” Rome is known as the City of Seven Hills. I do not know dogmatically that the city of 7 hills refers to Rome. I do not believe that the Harlot of False Religion is only the Catholic Church, I believe that it refers to ALL false religions in the world. The prophecy in Revelation shows us that though all false religions are tolerated by the Beast (Antichrist), in the middle of the Tribulation the Beast puts a stop to them all, and any semblance of ecumenism goes out the window. Catholicism will not be tolerated. Wicca will not be tolerated. Judaism will not be tolerated. Islam will not be tolerated. The Beast insists all worship HIM and him alone. (Revelation 13:11-18).
But…since the antichrist will emerge from the revived Roman Empire, it behooves us to look at its capital, Rome and the nation nesting inside Rome, Vatican City.
The Fuel Project Series explores the coming New World Order from a Biblical perspective. In this part, it discusses how Catholicism was created by putting a Christian facade on Mystery Babylon paganism. This Fuel Project, Know Your Enemy, Part 23 is only 16 minutes long. It gives a great overview from Constantine onward to the solidification of Catholicism, its marriage to money, and its relation to Babylon.
FUEL Project part 23 transcript, excerpt beginning at ~7:00–
“Stanley’s history on page 40 says, The popes filled the vacant place of the Emperors at Rome, inheriting their power, their prestige and their titles from paganism Pope Damascus recognized the power inherent in his new title. He believed himself to be head over not just the Christian church, but also over the pagans in Rome. It meant complete authority and domination; both the secular and the sacred, under one system. So how was the Roman Church to consolidate this rule over the pagans and the Christians under one system? They needed to somehow iron out the differences between the Babylonian system and the Christian system to create a unity between all peoples… and that meant compromise. What the Catholic Church did was consistently compromise the Gospel message with pre-existing pagan beliefs and adapted it based on whatever form of Babylonian mysticism existed a culture held to.”
That melding of all the religious beliefs will find its ultimate expression in the first half of the Tribulation. This movement has already begun. It is called the Ecumenical movement
Ecumenical movement is a pursuit of a unity in and among all churches with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church began its modern pursuit of ecumenism in 1961, but actually it has always been its stated aim, since at least 1274 if not before. The Catholic Church believes that it is the identical Church Christ founded and that all others have wandered. Ecumenism is the pursuit of the wayward churches back to the Catholic fold.
“Ecumenism takes as it starting point that Christ founded just one Church, not many churches; hence the Roman Catholic Church has as its ultimate hope and objective – that through prayer, study, and dialogue, the historically separated bodies may come again to be reunited with it. Before the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church defined ecumenism as a relations with other Christian groups in order to persuade these to return to a unity that they had broken. Pursuit of unity, thus understood, was always a principal aim of the Church.” (source)
Knowing the past will help us identify the future when it arrives, as we see the pursuit of the folding-in of all religions into one.
A missionary couple our denomination supports recently came to speak of their work. They said that the Catholic Church’s influence and embeddedness in Guatemala makes their work in bringing the truth of the Gospel very hard. The Mayans in the area are completely melded to the Catholic Church, mainly because the Catholic Church allows them to retain their Mayan rituals. Outside one local Catholic Church, he showed us a photo of a cave kind of pit, where the indigenous Indians sacrifice to the Mayan god before entering the Catholic Church to worship. The Catholic Church built the sacrificial pit as an honorary understanding that both religions could be accommodated. Therefore the Mayans sacrifice outside and then enter the Church and leave their money tithe inside.
Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world. It is not just a city, it is its own nation. “The size of a golf course, the Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It’s basically a walled enclave inside of Rome, Italy. It’s so small that the entire country does not have a single street address.”
“Another unique thing about the smallest country in the world is that it has no permanent citizens. Citizenship of the Vatican City is conferred upon those who work at the Vatican, as well as their spouses and children, and is revoked when they stop working there. The Vatican City may be small, but it is very powerful. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See, or the seat of the Catholic Church, its central government, which has over 1 billion people or about 1 in 6 people on the planet as constituents. The Vatican City was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, which was signed by one of history’s most repressive dictators, Benito Mussolini and is ruled by the Pope, a non-hereditary, elected monarch who rules with absolute authority. He’s the legislative, executive and judiciary all rolled into one. Indeed, the Pope is the only absolute monarch in Europe.”
Interesting, isn’t it?
“The country’s economy is unique: it is the only non-commercial economy in the world. Instead, the Vatican City is supported financially by contributions of Catholics worldwide (called Peter’s Pence – hey, even the Pope accepts credit cards!), the sale of postage stamps and publications, and tourism.”
I had shown through scriptures in Part 1 the tie-in between money and false religion. Being wealthy is not a sin. Abram was wealthy (Genesis 13:2). It’s doing wrong things with the money and for the money that brings judgment. Remember Elisha’s greedy servant Gehazi? “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Behold, my master has spared this Naaman the Aramean, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” (2 Kings 5:15-27). He ended up a leper. Remember Ananias and Sapphira? They stole from the tithe by falsely holding back and lying to Peter? They ended up dead. (Acts 5)
Jesus reminds us that where vast wealth exists, falsity likely exists too. “And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24). Jesus repeats His warning in the same verse.
How rich is the Catholic Church? Time Magazine wrote in 1965,
“Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate. … Unlike ordinary stockholders, the Vatican pays no taxes on this income, which led the leftist Rome weekly L’Espresso last week to call it “the biggest “the biggest tax evader in Italy.”
That was in 1965. I wonder how much more wealth the Vatican has accumulated in the ensuing nearly 50 years? If I calculated right, and I may not have, 15 billion in 1965 dollars in today’s dollars would be 105 billion. The Catholic Church is the wealthiest organization on earth. Italian author Avro Manhattan wrote,
“The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars.”
Babylon the False Religion will be destroyed and its partner the Babylon the false economic system will also be destroyed. The Catholic Church has a role to play, whether it is prophetically the Babylon of the city on 7 hills or whether it is a part of the general destruction of all false religions.
The Harlot is mentioned again in the destruction of Babylon the false economic system. “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.” (Rev 18:3). It’s called prostitution because of the addition of the exchange of morals, faith, and conscience for money. It is the money exchange that makes it the harlot.
The lesson for us is to heed Jesus’ warnings that vast wealth corrupts. In Revelation 18 when the Babylon economic system is destroyed, the woes that are heard from the crying participants only for the loss of the consumer goods, not the people. It is all about them, they are crying, ‘where will be get our luxuries from, now?’ (Rev 18:11, 14, 18-19).
The Son of Man had no place to lay His head, (Mt 8:20) but the King of Vatican City has golden monstrance, gold embroidered robes, gold jewelry, velvet garments and a satin pillow to lay his head…
Fornication with false religions and fornication as a greedy consumer and hoarder of wealth will find their ultimate whorish marriage both fulfilled in the Tribulation and judged in the Tribulation.
If you are blessed with wealth, that is wonderful. But take care to be a generous giver, (2 Corinthians 9:7), a diligent doer of the Word, (James 1:2) and pray always for the Holy Spirit to guard your heart from prostituting yourself for filthy lucre.
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 1, here
Babylon: The Spiritual and Economic Harlot, Part 3 here