Sunday, July 27, 2014
Who is the Woman?
(Following quote by Dave Hunt)
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication....
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [or hills], on which the woman sitteth."
A woman rides the beast that represents Antichrist and the revived Roman Empire he will rule. She is a city built on seven hills that reigns over the kings of the earth! John equates the readers' acceptance of this revelation with "wisdom." That insight demands our careful and prayerful attention.
Many prophecy teachers insist that the woman is the United States. No, the US is a country . It might justifiably be referred to as Sodom, considering the honor now given to homosexuals, but it is not "Mystery Babylon." She is declared to be a city .
Nor is the woman ancient Babylon now being rebuilt in Iraq, for it is not built on seven hills. Some other cities are, but only Rome meets all the criteria, including being known as Babylon . Even Catholic apologist Karl Keating confirms that Rome was known as Babylon and cites 1 Peter:5:13. 1 The Catholic Encyclopedia states, "It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined."
The woman is called a "whore" (v 1), with whom earthly kings "have committed fornication" (v 2). Against only two cities could such a charge be made: Jerusalem and Rome. Jerusalem was indicted for spiritual fornication by numerous prophets (Isa:1:21, etc.), but does not meet the other criteria. Vatican City claims to have been the worldwide headquarters of Christianity since its beginning. Her pope claims to be the Vicar of Christ, and his Church the true Church and bride of Christ.
Christ said His kingdom was not of this world, otherwise His servants would fight. The popes have fought with armies and navies in the name of Christ to build a worldwide empire. Vatican II states that even today the Roman Catholic Church ceaselessly seeks to bring under its control all mankind and all their goods . And in furtherance of these goals it has engaged, exactly as John foresaw, in fornication (unholy alliances) with the kings of the earth.
She is clothed in " purple and scarlet " (v 4), the colors of the Catholic clergy. The Catholic Encyclopedia states,
Cappa Magna - A cloak with a long train and a hooded shoulder cape...[it] was purple wool for bishops; for cardinals, it was scarlet watered silk....
Cassock - The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb....The color for bishops and other prelates is purple , for cardinals scarlet .... (Emphasis added)
Her incredible wealth next caught John's eye. She was "decked with gold and precious stones and pearls...." (v 4) Even Christ's blood-stained cross has been turned to gold, reflecting her riches. The Catholic Encyclopedia says, "The pectoral cross [suspended by a chain around the neck of abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and the pope] should be made of gold and...decorated with gems ...."
She had "a golden cup [chalice] in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (v 4). The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the gold chalice "the most important of the sacred vessels...." That Church is known for its many thousands of gold chalices around the world. A recent newspaper article reported,
The fabulous treasure of Lourdes [France], whose existence was kept secret by the Catholic Church for 120 years, has been unveiled....Rumours have been circulating for decades about a priceless collection of gold chalices , diamond-studded crucifixes, silver and precious stones ....
After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection... [some] floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid gold chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy gold brooches, many encrusted with precious stones .
Almost hidden by the other treasures is the "Crown" of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris goldsmith in 1876 and studded with diamonds.
Church authorities say they cannot put a value on the collection. "I have no idea," says Father Pierre-Marie Charriez. ..."It is of inestimable value."
Across the road is a building housing hundreds of [antique] ecclesiastical garments, robes, mitres and sashes––many in heavy gold thread....
"The Church itself is poor," insists Father Charriez. "The Vatican itself is poor." 7 (Emphasis added) [And the treasure described here is only part of that which is kept in one location, the small town of Lourdes, France!]
She has practiced evil to gather her wealth, for the "golden cup" is filled with "abominations and filthiness." Much of the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church was acquired by confiscating property of the Inquisitions' pitiful victims. Even the dead were exhumed to face trial and property was taken from their heirs by the Church. That practice, one historian writes, offered "unlimited opportunities for loot."