Just the other day I was witnessing to an old friend. The subject of sex outside of marriage came up. I named it for what it is, what it is called in the Bible: fornication. From his arguments, it became apparent my friend is greatly deceived about it, just as I was in my previously immoral life before I became a committed Christian. Some of the points he made about fornication were: It’s not a sin if it’s love and (the couple) are together forever; Birds don’t get married, they choose mates for life; God didn’t say a priest has to marry you – a priest did; Fornication is straying from your mate (whether you are married to them or not) for sexual pleasures. Except for some birds, he was wrong on all counts.
For the record, fornication according to the dictionary, is: sexual intercourse between people who are not married. Usually if one party is married to someone else, it is called adultery. And the definition of a whore is: a prostitute, or a woman who has sex with men for money. In Old Testament days in ancient Israel, a woman or girl who was found on her wedding night not to be a virgin, because she had committed fornication beforehand, was taken out and stoned. She was considered to be a whore. If the woman was not betrothed to a man, and committed the act, the couple had to get married in order to save their skins. If they didn’t marry, both were stoned.
In the New Testament the apostles were always very careful to especially warn their new Gentile converts to abstain from fornication (any sexual sin) [ACTS 15:20]. Notwithstanding, several times in the book of REVELATION we are warned that the sexually immoral will be cast into the lake of fire. As a Christian, I was told many years ago by YHWH not to even enter the house of a couple living in sin. They can visit me so long as they do not stay the night in that state, but I may not visit them.
Having cleared that up, we’ll also clear up some misconceptions about the MYSTERIOUS BABYLON THE GREAT in REVELATION 17. Verse 17:18 states the woman who is the whore–a false system of worship, as most Christians would know–is also a great city. By using Scripture to interpret itself, we can easily discover which great city this is. Many have pointed to Rome because it sits on seven hills. But so do many other cities. Among them is Yerushalem in Israel. I have read that children in that country learn the names of these seven mountains in primary school. They are apparently the ones on which Yerushalem was built at the time the prophecy was spoken: Gared, Goath, Acra, Bezetha, Moriah, Ophel, and Mount Zion on which sat the temples of Shelemoh and Herod, but now is situated the Moslem Dome of the Rock. I found these names as a result of research on the Internet, but forgive me if I am wrong.
In addition to the above, only Yerushalem fulfils all the Scriptures in REVELATION 17. So let’s take a look at them. Verse 2 states the kings and the inhabitants of the earth have committed fornication–there’s that word–with the great whore. Ezekiel (16:2, 15) once declared this very thing in regard to Yerushalem: Son of man, cause Yerushalem to know her abominations…thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pourest out thy fornications on everyone that passed by… One may continue reading about the depth of Yerushalem’s lewdness for the following 48 verses, until the end of chapter 16 of EZEKIEL.
Verse 4 has the woman clothed in scarlet and purple coloured garments, decked with gold and precious stones, and a golden cup in her hand. These are precisely the colours and accompaniments worn and used by the Levitical priesthood: …they shall make holy garments for Aaron…and his sons, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office. And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment…And thou shalt set in it settings of stones…sardius…topaz…carbuncle… (EX. 28:4-5, 15, 17). Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Yerushalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold… (DAN. 5:2-3).
Verse 6 has the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and…martyrs of Yahshua. It was Yahshua Himself who said: O Yerushalem, Yerushalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee… (LUKE 13:34). Stephen was the first Christian martyr after His Messiah. And cast him out of the city, and stoned him…And they stoned Stephen… (ACTS 7:58-59). He having immediately before testified thus: Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers (ACTS 7:52). James the Just, brother of Yahshua, head of the Yerushalem Church, was quick to follow in Stephen and his Saviour’s wake.
Verse 9 has the whore sitting on seven mountains, as previously discussed. Verse 18 declares the woman to be that great city. REVELATION 11:8 calls the great city Sodom and Egypt and has it where also our Messiah was crucified. ISAYAH 1:10 names Yerushalem as Sodom: Hear the word of YHWH, ye rulers of Sodom: give ear unto the Law of YHWH, ye people of Gomorrah. He cannot have been speaking about the original cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for they had ceased to be almost one thousand years before. Yeremyah (23:14) likewise declares: I have seen also in the prophets of Yerushalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto Me as Sodom, and the inhabitant thereof as Gomorrah.
REVELATION 17:5 has it written on the woman’s forehead, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Isayah (1:21) back in the days of King Uzzyah writes: How is the faithful city become a harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. This is further enlarged and descibed in such passages as YEREMYAH 2-3, EZEKIEL 16 and 23, and HOSHIYAH (HOSEA) 2. Peter the apostle describes Yerushalem as Babylon: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so does Marcus my son (I PETER 5:13).
Isayah (51:17) speaks of a drunken Yerushalem: Awake, awake, stand up, O Yerushalem, which hast drunk at the hand of YHWH the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out. As does REVELATION 14:8: And there followed another angel saying: Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
In REVELATION 17:16 is described the whore’s destruction at the hands of the ten kings reigning on the earth in the LAST SEVEN YEARS. Interestingly, Ezekiel (16:2, 37-41) described it 2,600 years ago: Son of man, cause Yerushalem to know her abominations, Behold…I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure (REV. 17:2)…all them that thou hast hated…I will even gather them round about against thee, and I will discover thy nakedness unto them…and I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. And I will also give thee into their hand…they shall throw down thy…place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee…and take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare. They shall also bring up a company against thee, and…stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thy houses with fire, and execute judgment upon thee in the sight of many women: and…cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou…shalt give no hire anymore.
Yeremyah (4:30-31) also described her latter end: And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson…deckest thee with ornaments of gold…rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thy make thyself fair; thy lovers shall despise thee, they will seek thy life. For I have heard a voice of a woman in travail…saying, Woe is me now! For my soul is wearied because of murderers.
The seven mountains on which sits the spiritual Yerushalem, or the false church of the end-times may not only be geographical mountains but spiritual entities. It may also mean the seven continents of the earth, because she sits on many waters or people, meaning she rules the entire earth until her demise. The seven mountains are also seven heads or authorities connected with the demonic principality controlling the One World Government system.
There are three Yerushalems about which we must be aware. First the physical city of Yerushalem is a pattern for us NOT to follow, for it reflects the second, the earthly spiritual Yerushalem or false church. This is now on the earth, thinks it is the True Church and survives on into the FINAL SEVEN YEARS in which period the One World Government destroys her. No doubt she has some vestiges of Christianity which the OWG will be determined to eliminate.
Finally there is the Heavenly Yerushalem in which dwells the True Church, some of whom are yet on Earth. By the middle of the FINAL SEVEN YEARS they will be almost wholly in Heaven. She will be brought down following the one thousand-year millennial reign of our Messiah. During the thousand years, her citizens will live and rule on a cleansed Earth.