In the 3rd chapter of the Book of Revelation an angel is revealing to the Apostle John the state of spiritual affairs for Christ’s church at that time (90-100 A.D) which reveals, in time-progression, the characteristics of each church era leading up to His return to earth which He refers to as “… the things which must be hereafter” (Rev. 4:1). Beginning with 2:1 the Lord God reveals to His people what will take place on earth from the founding of the New Testament Church up to His Second Advent and the end of this present world. Bear in mind that beginning with chapter 2 the revelation is a vision concerning the spiritual condition of the church as it existed at that time as well as how it would evolve until the second coming of Jesus Christ. “As goes the church, so goes the nation” (and the world in general) in that the world follows in the footsteps of the church on both the national and global level. Beginning with 3:7 the Lord depicts the condition of the last two eras of His church: the Philadelphian and the Laodicean eras. One will note that the Philadelphia era, which began in the earl 1930’s, was the best era of the modern age. By contrast, the Laodicean era, which began in the Mid-1980’s, was (and still is) as rebellious as the previous era was obedient. I was fortunate in that I came along during the Philadelphia era and was able to learn God’s Truth through the founder of that era, Herbert W. Armstrong, whom God used to preach His Truth to the world. God’s holdovers of true believers (His remnant from the Philadelphia era) continues to live and minister His Truth to the few who yearn for it. Beginning with 3:14 Jesus speaks to those in the (Laodicean) church era that exists at this time and will continue to constitute “the church” until His return. In verses 14-17 He describes the spiritual condition of the church as it exists today. Please read that segment carefully. Though the Laodicean church comprise 99.99% of professing Christendom, God’s Philadelphia remnant still exists to keep His Truth alive for those referred to in verse 22. To those few He says: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the (Philadelphian and Laodicean) churches.” His remnant, His Very Elect, His peculiar people hear the voice of the Spirit, believe it and obey it. These He calls “Philadelphians.” The vast majority within the church are “Laodiceans” who despise the Philadelphians.
The Apostle John testifies that he was “in the spirit on (“in”) the Lord’s Day” when he received the vision that has become known as the Book of Revelation (1:10). Biblically, “the Lord’s Day” refers to the final year of the 3 1/2 year period leading up to Christ’s return to earth. The previous 2 1/2 year period Jesus calls the “Great Tribulation” (Mat. 24:21). This period will bring about the death of the majority of the world’s population as Satan is allowed free reign to express his hatred of mankind. The “great and terrible Day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5) is the year in which God will pour out His wrath on those who survive the Great Tribulation. This period will make the Tribulation seem mild by comparison.
Beginning with chapter 15 verse 1 John is being shown what would take place during the Day of the Lord in which 7 angels will pour out the Lord’s 7 last plagues on those who had refused to obey Him, for “in them (the plagues) is filled (will fill) up the wrath of God.” The 16th chapter describes in horrific detail what will happen to those still alive on the earth during this time of unequalled terror.
Chapter 17 tells us that during the centuries leading up to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord there will have been a powerful, deceptive (“mystery) force at work in the world. This force has been at work for 2000 years, is at work today and is gaining power. This force is spiritual, seemingly harmless, ultimately welcoming, deceptively cunning and deadly. Since shortly after the founding of the New Testament Church it has lured billions of people into its deadly web. Today it is embraced by over 2 billion unwitting, willing captives. Let us examine this force beginning with 17:1.
One of the vial angels takes John to where he can see it. John is amazed as he sees a “Great Whore” that sits upon (influences) “many waters” (nations). The wonderous sight is presented as a “woman” (church) sitting on a scarlet “beast” (government) that is filled with blasphemy. Notice that she is called “THE” woman, meaning that she “THE” only church. The woman is arrayed in purple and scarlet and decked out with gold, precious stones and pearls. In her hand is a cup filled with abominations, filth and fornication. And written upon her forehead is her name: “MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” The woman is “drunken with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus.” This last part reveals the identity of the Great Whore. This is the Catholic Church which, in the past, martyred over 50 million people who would not obey her dictates. The majority of those martyrs were God’s saints. Another clue to her identity is the fact that this GREAT WHORE is “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.” Whores and harlots are one and the same. Her “daughters” bear a strong resemblance of her. These are the Protestant churches who are spiritual “chips off the old block.” As this website has made clear, Protestants are simply whitewashed Catholics. The difference between the mother whore and her harlot daughters is found only in outward form, not inward substance. Spiritually, they are one and the same.
In the next posting we will examine the theology behind the “mystery” aspect of the church’s operation. Our teacher on that subject will be none other than Adolf Hitler. L.J.