I do not know about others but I do not call the body of Christ a wh*re? The body is all believers, no Catholic or Protestant division and is how I view the body of Christ . If you love and follow Christ and know Him as Lord and you do not love the world or your life in it, and only await the Lords second coming, then you are his church and not a wh*re.
I thank you for at least acknowledging that we Catholics love and follow Christ, (I assume you were doing so.), and as to what follows, you have answered the principle problem of equating the Catholic Church with the Babylon spoken of in Revelation in doing so. Scripture very specifically tells us that the one who is Anti-Christ, the Babylon which will be spiritual, will also deny Christ, in fact scripture is even more specific than that...1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
...that effectively excludes the Catholic Church. Unless you can prove and provide evidence
that the Catholic church has ever in the past or now, denied the divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as incarnate God and denied that God exist, then to equate the Catholic Church with Rev. 17&18 is a serious blasphemy and sin.
At the beginning of REV 17 The angel shows John the judgment of the great wh*re. That sits on many waters. Verse 15 says the waters represents peoples, and multitudes, nations and tongues. This is important to remember because it speaks to an entity that has influence on a world scale. Not just any entity but one that is Christian because the New Testament only concerns itself with Christ church and does not speak to any other entity out side of it. Christ refers to his church as his bride and the use of the word wh*re then only speaks to a bride that has been unfaithful.
Well, no. You are making two huge, huge errors here. 1. There are two Babylons spoken of in Revelation or more accurately two aspects of Babylon, as the name "Babylon" is meant to be emblematic. So much of this guess work can be eliminated if one only understands that St. John is making clear reference to pagan Rome and apostate Jerusalem, the two persecutors of the Christian Church that he writes of. 'Anti-Christ's' and 'Babylon' have always been interpreted by the vast majority of biblical scholars and historians throughout the ages as the pagan Roman enemies of the Church and the Jews who were apostate from it and scripture is fairly specific in that. 2. Why can it not
be the Church that is refered to? Because that would make a lie of other scripture. It would make a mockery of the New Covenant that will not end until we are taken up. The Bible cannot contradict itself. Christ specifically stated when naming Peter as head of the Apostles that, "The Gates of Hell will never
prevail against it." At Pentecost Christ sent the Holy Spirit to "reside with the Church until the end of time." The Church is stated in Holy Scripture as the "pillar of fire, pillar of truth". Christ spoke of the Church as His Body, His bride, but there are two
women of Revelation, the bride, His Church of Rev. 12 and the Harlot, the repudiators, of revelation 18, the bride of the Old Covenant, Jerusalem. The repudiators, those who denied Christ, were the Jews, not His Church. To claim otherwise states that Christ lied when he claimed that His Church would never have Hell prevail against it. Those who claim His Church is "Babylon" are clearly and literally stating that the 'Prince of Lies', the Anti-Christ, not only prevails against it, but will own it. The blasphemy against God and the wh*re who "they are to come out of" is clear reference to Jerusalem and the persecution of the Church by the Jews with Roman assistance. Who crucified our Lord?
Paganism or any other relgion or empire cannot be unfaithful because it does not know Christ in any relationship. So when the word says wh*re that sits on many waters it is saying that this entity that claims to be his bride has its true affection in the world, and its interests in power and influence globally. 1st John 2: 15 says Love not the world neither the things of it, for it any loves the world the Love of the father is not in him. This is not private interpretation but simply states what is being said here. The rest of Rev. 17 is specific in its description of this church and many things must be noted.
Again, the problem with your thesis is the the phrase "wh*re of Babylon" or just "Babylon" was used by far more early Christians than just St. John of Revelation, and they as he, very specifically referenced it to pagan
Rome and apostate
Jerusalem. The Harlot is that women who says, God! God!, but sold Him to the Romans for crucifixion. It was the common shorthand that Christians used for the pagan Roman Empire and the Jews collusion in Rome's persecution of Christ's followers. Second, the depiction that Revelation gives of a power that controls kings, commerce, and has vast military power, well, whatever the Catholic church was in the past, (and it still would not really fit that description.), it clearly is not so now, unless your counting the 139 members of the Swiss Guard as an immense world military power.
The second verse should noted for it says of the wh*re ( the apostate church ) 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.
Now look at Rev 18: 3 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.#
Well, first, you have decided to add to the Bible. "(the apostate church)", is simply your opinion, and as stated, a horrifically misguided one that Holy Scripture before Revelation categorically negates. Second, Vatican City has no power over other nations; it certainly does not reign over them. In fact, the Vatican’s very existence has been threatened in the past two centuries by Italian nationalism.
If one really wants to play guess work here, and I am not offering my own interpretation, I think what is being described is much more accurately that of a vast trading and financial power. One that has real military power in it's hands. One that puts a McDonald's or a television network or a bank or a big box store or a trading center, in practically every city in every country on earth, all backed by secret deals and diplomacy and a vast array of armies and weapons. In short, I'll see your Catholic interpretation and raise you one American capitalist behemoth! Think not? Well, I don't really either as God has not made me a Church authority nor a prophet, but I can sure point you to a dozen Internet sites who argue their cause for the great "Babylon's" identity being "Wall Street" and not the Vatican, or you can try your fancy with those who claim it will be the very resurgent secular and apostate Israel that so many Fundamentalist and Pentecostals are sending boat loads of money to every week, or maybe it will be simply a new pagan age that is clearly already here. I prefer to abide in Christ's Church, His Body, and not be afraid. It is of no consequence to me who or what "Babylon" is and I actually give very little credence to the interpretation that I offered.
Note the emphasis on fornication with the kings of the earth and the merchants that wax rich through their intimate relationship. Listen, this is not rocket science. The kings represent the leaders of the nations. And wealth is largely through trade and commerce. Also note that both 17,and 18 speak of Babylon and speaks of government religion, and merchant trade system
Bingo! See my last post. I think you are right, now where does a Church that is in no way, shape, or form, a trading power or economic power fit in with that?
1st the apostate church is one of power and government which would plainly be in relationships with many nations for trade and commerce. I never saw a government that didn’t seek economic wealth. The Vatican is a testimony of wealth.
2nd point the church is Christian and not any other entity or religion. There is no other church outside of the RCC that fits this description.
Silly, sorry, but that it just silly. Again, the only apostate religion that is being referenced is those who blaspheme God or Christ, i.e., Jews were the clear inference, but it simply cannot mean authentic Christians, it simply does not fit. No Catholic would think that of Christians who are conventional Protestants for that very reason. There is no reference or statement in scripture or indication that it refers to Christ's Church, it clearly does not. You keep saying that "it must be Christian, it has to be!" when every reference for "Babylon" used was as shorthand for Pagan Rome or apostate Jerusalem and every statement of the indomitable nature of Christ's Church is given to us in earlier scripture. Second, to say, that the Babylon of Rev. is vast with trade and economic wealth and well, "hey, see all those fancy paintings and buildings in the Vatican...well that must be it!" UH...no. Revelation is talking about an economic power that the whole world will be controlled by and sorry, the Vatican under it's most ambitious Popes, was hardly that, and if it was, it was long, long ago.
By the way, while I'm on it, you do know that the secret to the identity of the "Mystery" cannot possibly be
the Catholic church..."This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a little while" (Rev. 17:9–10).
Problem: Vatican City is not built on seven hills, but only one: Vatican Hill, which is not one of the seven upon which ancient Rome was built. Those hills are on the east side of the Tiber river; Vatican Hill is on the west. Oh, and the Vatican, is not
Rome. It is an independent country. Rome is in another country all together. We are told that the heads "are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come." If five of these kings had fallen in John’s day and one of them was still in existence, then the wh*re must have existed in John’s day. Yet Christian Rome and Vatican City did not.
3rd point it is described in detail and no other entity even Christian fits that description except the RCC This is not personal interpretation.
Well of course it is! How silly that you think it not.
This church is clearly marked and is only described in detail here so that their can be no mistake as to its identity.
And yet, again, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of religious "Christian" crack-pot groups have been making that very error for hundreds of years. The one common denominator that history does
clearly demonstrate, is that whatever is the popular "bogey-man" for that group and for that time, is the one that is "absolutely and irrefutably the identity of "Babylon"! They know with complete certainty, just ask them. Oddly, I'm wondering if you even realise that your interpretation has been out of fashion for some time now as for the very reasons that I stated earlier. In a world that is obsessed by the Babylon in our midst, one of money, global economies, greed, pornography, social injustice, drugs, corruption, filth on television, on computers, a poisonous secular society, that somehow, you would still archaically site the one institution, the Catholic Church, that in many of these countries is at the forefront of spreading Christ's Gospel and faith in Him, and of fighting these things, as the "wh*re of Babylon". I find that tragically odd. Don't you feel just a wee bit dated?
God wants his bride to know the church and why it is called the Great Harlot of Babylon. Rev 18 is a clear call for his bride to recognize her and come out of her. Those who fail to recognize this church and the call to come out will be judged along with her and the government of this world. I have said many times the word of god will be our indictment for life or death. Yes death is serious and who wants that.
There are two
women of Revelation. The Holy Mother Church, in Revelations 12 and the Harlot who blasphemes, literally, repudiator
of the Christ, i.e. Israel-Jerusalem. Israel is described as a harlot in many texts of the Hebrew Scriptures: Isa. 1:21, Ezek 16, 23, Isaiah 57, Jeremiah 2-3 and Hosea 2. The Apostle Peter identifies "Babylon" as Jerusalem...1 Peter 5:13 "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."
"Apostles existed only in the first century, since one of the requirements for being an apostle was seeing the risen Christ (1 Cor. 9:1). Prophets existed as a group only in the Old Testament and in the first century (Acts 11:27–28, 13:1, 15:32, 21:10).
Since the wh*re persecuted apostles and prophets, the wh*re must have existed in the first century. This totally demolishes the claim that Christian Rome or Vatican City is the wh*re. Rome was not a Christian city at that time, and Vatican City did not even exist, so neither of them could be the wh*re. Furthermore, Fundamentalists continually, (though wrongly, and as the Church did
exist, it certainly wasn't doing the persecuting of Apostles, the Romans and Jews were.), claim that Catholicism itself did not exist in the first century, meaning that based on their very own argument Catholicism could not be the wh*re!
Fundamentalists are fond of conjecturing that in the last days there will be a "revived Roman empire," such as the one that persecuted Christians in the first century. Yet they never draw the inference that this empire would be headed by a revived pagan Rome, with the bishop of Rome leading the Christian underground, just as he did in the first century. (And the increasing globalisation and secularisation of the planet seems to be heading that way.)
Still, Revelation 18:20 and 18:24 prove that the wh*re had to be a creature of the first century, which, in the Fundamentalist view, the Catholic Church was not. Thus, on their own view, their identification of the Catholic Church with the wh*re is completely impossible! Only ancient, pagan Rome or apostate Jerusalem could possibly be the wh*re." Scripture is clear that the "New Israel" that is the church, will live undaunted until He comes again. The old Israel became apostate in her denial of Christ, fell from God's grace, and cannot. (I want to make perfectly clear that I mean no anti-semitism in saying this. I think Revelation is a bit more broad and difficult to pin down than that, but I do mean to say that it is clearly what scripture meant, what St. John wrote of and what the early Church was experiencing under Roman/Jewish oppression.).
Earlier chapters in revelation clearly make this case...Revelation 17:15-18 "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the wh*re sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the wh*re, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. and the woman which thou sawest is that Great City, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
"Great City"? Which city is "the Great City"?Revelation 11:8 "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the Great City, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified.."
Was our Lord crucified in Rome?