Daughters of Babylon

 Theme Text– 'The woman was adorned with gold, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.” Rev 17:4-6 NASB.

1) If the true Church was always in the wilderness (not mainstream), then what about the Reformation Era’s famous Protestant churches? Weren’t they any good?
The leaders of the Reformation movement did well in terms of identifying the Anti-Christ accurately. And they sure debunked many of the unbiblical teachings of the Papacy.

  • But centuries of doctrinal corruption had taken hold by then. So those leaders failed to correct critical foundational errors. They continued to preach eternal hell torment and worshiped a Trinity.
  • And most of these churches that came out of the Catholic Church during the Reformation ended up behaving exactly like the Catholic Church.
  • They started associating themselves with worldly kingdoms. They hungered for power.
  • This created fissures between the kings who endorsed the Catholic Church and the rulers who supported the Protestant churches. Wars and massacres ensued.
  • Believing these to be holy wars, they treated the horrific violence as acts of faith done for God.

2) Did the Bible predict this behavior?
Predicting the church of this time period, Jesus says – I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead - Rev 3:1. This was an accurate description of the Reformation.

  • It did seem to be spiritually alive to onlookers as its leaders promoted the Bible over the Papacy. But unfortunately they missed the critical foundational doctrines. And they waged violent wars considering them acts of faith. So Jesus deems those acts as dead (useless).

Daniel also forecast the movement attracting power-hungry people – When they [the true wise followers] fall [persecuted by the Papacy], they will receive a little help [from the Protestant Reformation], and many who are not sincere will join them (Daniel 11:34). Yes, many, who were not sincerely seeking scriptural truths, became the flag-bearers of the Reformation movement. Their motives were more towards acquiring political power or rather to blindly follow earthly loyalties.

3) According to biblical prophecies, are there any mainstream churches that could be trusted today?
The Bible pictures the medieval Roman Catholic Church as ‘the Great Harlot of Babylon’ in Revelation 17&18 because the bride supposed to be betrothed to the heavenly king Christ, commits fornication with earthly kings and governments. But it also interestingly calls her ‘the Mother of Harlots’.
'I will show you the judgment of the Great Harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.' And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
The woman was adorned with gold, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus - Rev 17:1-3, 5-6 NASB.

  • There’s a part of this prophecy where it says about the woman - This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits - Rev 17:9. Historically, and even today, Rome is called the City of Seven Hills. So this sure does match with the Papacy whose seat is at Rome.

But why is the Papacy also called the Mother of Harlots?
That’s because all the churches that would come out of her - like the churches of various Protestant denominations - are still considered ‘harlots’ by the biblical prophecies, because they would still behave like their mother in associating with earthly kingdoms/governments, and imitate her in doing the same abominable things she did. Yes, they are their Mother’s daughters!
So, according to the Bible, there aren’t any institutionalized churches that could be trusted today.

4) How about the various popular church systems that have emerged in recent decades?
Like we saw earlier, all of these institutions are born from the same Mother (the Catholic Church). In recent decades, the Pentecostal movement has gained traction, and so have non-denominational mega-churches that sell worldly prosperity for their members. Let us take a look at them too.

Read Next: Pentecostalism

Scriptures, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Scriptures indicated NASB are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.