How Does Church Become a Babylon Harlot?

“…I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” ~ Revelation 17:1-2

In many places in the scriptures (in both the Old and New Testaments) it equates religious hypocrisy to being a spiritual harlot. And in every case it is speaking about those who at one time were considered God’s true people, but they have begun to embrace hypocrisy and spiritual unfaithfulness to God.

In Ezekiel 16:15-30 we have a complete narrative concerning the Israelites and their spiritual downfall at that time. Like here in Revelation 17, these in Ezekiel are also described as being a spiritual harlot.

1. First, they trusted in their own righteousness. They acted as if the righteousness of God was for them to use as they pleased. So now they are wasting what God has given them on their own selfish forms of pagan worship.

“But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them. My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord God.” ~ Ezekiel 16:15-19

2. Second, they take the children that God has blessed them with, and they sacrifice them to their selfish pagan idol worship.

“Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.” ~ Ezekiel 16:20-22

3. Thirdly, (after bringing upon themselves the two previous woes) they have now become ecumenical in their worship. They are fellowshipping people of all kinds of other religions. The one true faith and Almighty God they have completely forsaken.

“And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord God;) That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street. Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms. Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way. Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman.” ~ Ezekiel 16:23-39

This pattern of forsaking God and bringing woe upon themselves, is also described in Revelation as the final three woes.

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” ~ Revelation 8:13

The three trumpet angels each sounded a “woe” warning against the three spiritual conditions:

  1. The first angel sounded against the temple, the place of worship. Where the blessings of worship should come from, and the place where God’s blessings should be used to honor God alone.
  2. The second angel sounded against the spiritual children (those claiming to have been born again.) They are spiritually sacrificed to the idols of their favorite teachings that people have set up in their places of worship.
  3. And the third angel sounded against the spiritual city, the church, because it is no longer a visible, holy and separate people. But it has become ecumenical and mixed with all kinds of other religions.

This is the pattern of spiritual harlotry: described by Ezekiel in the Old Testament, and by Revelation in the New Testament. This general downward pattern is what people follow when they fall away from a pure faithfulness to God. That is why it is reflected in both the Old and the New Testament. And again, the end result is a very visible spiritual harlot condition.

“…I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” ~ Revelation 17:1-2

In the New Testament, this corrupted condition shown through her (and what is in her cup) is named “Babylon.” And in Revelation, Jesus exposes that this judgement comes upon all Nations because they all have partaken of this corrupted wine of hypocrisy that is in spiritual Babylon’s cup.

Now in the Old Testament, the physical kingdom of Babylon was also identified with this cup. And the Nation’s that existed then were judged by showing that they also had drank of it’s corruption. (Read Jeremiah 25:11-17)

So the warning is clear to us today: be sure we are not drinking of the cup of religious hypocrisy. Be sure that we have been forgiven and delivered from our sins, and that we are living faithfully obedient to all the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Don’t be deceived into playing church! Don’t become a spiritual harlot!

Note: this diagram below shows where the seventeenth chapter is within the full Revelation message. The judgment messages of chapter 17 are part of completing the purpose of God to destroy the influence of hypocrisy. To better understand a high level view of Revelation, you can also see the “Roadmap of Revelation.”

Revelation Overview Diagram - chapter 17

Revelation of Jesus Christ