The Great Harlot of Revelation 17
Issue No. 210
Babylon Sits on “Many Waters”
Revelation 17:1 says,
1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.”
The “many waters” are interpreted in verse 15:
15 And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”
John’s description of Babylon is similar to that found in Jer. 51:12, 13, which says,
12 Lift up a signal against the walls of Babylon; post a strong guard, station sentries, place men in ambush! For the Lord has both purposed and performed what He spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 O you who dwell by many waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your end.
The Babylonian harlot sits on “many waters.” This indicates Babylon’s rule over all nations, even as we see in the original Babylon in Jer. 27. Verse 5 sets forth God’s legal right to give all nations to Nebuchadnezzar, saying,
5 I have made the earth, the man and the animals that are on the face of the earth, by My great power, and by My outstretched arm, and I have given it to whom it seemed right in My eyes.
In other words, by right of creation, God owns all things, and this gives Him the right to give dominion to whomsoever He wishes. He gave to the king of Babylon not only Judah, but ALL nations. Why? Because God had chosen the House of David and had given his descendants the divine right to rule all nations. But that right was still conditional upon their obedience. When they misused their divine authority and oppressed the other nations, God had mercy on those other nations and limited Jerusalem’s power. Thus, all the nations that David once ruled were able to revolt and become independent. Of course, that also meant that they were able to continue worshipping their idols and rejected the rule of the God of Israel.
Judah’s world authority ended with God’s judgment to put the nation under the authority of Babylon. But because all the nations were technically under the spiritual authority of Judah, God gave ALL these nations to Babylon—not just Judah. He says in verse 6,
6 And now I have given ALL THESE LANDS into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him.
It is important to understand that God had a reason for giving all nations to the king of Babylon, and that all the modern nations have been given to Babylon for the same reason—SIN and a refusal to repent.
The Lawful Reason for Babylon’s Captivity
God told Israel in Deut. 28 that if they were obedient, God would bless them and make them the head of the nations (28:13). But if they were disobedient, verses 48 through 52 tell us the divine judgment:
48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst [a famine of hearing the Word—Amos 8:11], in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar . . . 52 and it shall besiege you in all your towns . . . 63 . . . and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.
This describes the “iron yoke.” It is an iron yoke when they are taken off the land and forcibly taken to a foreign land. This iron yoke did not come upon Judah until God gave that land into the hands of the king of Babylon. But meanwhile, they had experienced a number of lesser forms of judgment, recorded in the book of Judges. This was where God brought foreign nations to conquer Israel, but Israel was allowed to remain in their land. Their judgment was primarily in paying taxes to those foreign nations.
Such lesser judgment is not defined in Scripture until the time of Jeremiah. Jeremiah defines it as a wooden yoke, as opposed to an iron yoke. God says in Jer. 27:2,
2 Thus says the Lord to me—“Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck.”
So the prophet did so as an illustration of the captivity that was to come. But when he told the people about God’s judgment and the captivity that was coming, another prophet disagreed. Jer. 28:10 says,
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it.
This shows that the original yoke was made of wood, not of iron. If the people had submitted to God’s judgment, they would have been sentenced to a wooden yoke only. This means they could have remained in their land and just paid the Babylonian tax each year. But the people refused to submit to God’s judgment. So the word again came to Jeremiah in 28:13, 14, saying,
13 Go and speak to Hananiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made instead of them yokes of iron.’ 14 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchad-nezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. And I have also given him the beasts of the field.”
So the people sinned, and God judged them with a yoke of wood. They refused to submit to the divine judgment, and were thus guilty of contempt of court. That is a capital crime (Deut. 17:8-12). For this reason, Judah as a nation was sentenced to death. God then authorized the king of Babylon to carry out the sentence by destroying the nation itself and bringing the survivors as captives to Babylon.
It is of utmost importance that we understand the story of Jeremiah and the original Babylonian captivity as well as the laws underlying God’s judgments upon Judah. These are the same principles by which God has judged America and the rest of the world in the past century.
America as a nation was blessed by God, because the people originally committed themselves to forming a Christian government. And so Deut. 28:1 was fulfilled,
1 Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
But the Church discarded God’s law, saying it was an evil thing. They disagreed with the moral principles on which society ought to be based. They allowed “freedom of religion,” which brought in every ungodly religion, including witchcraft into the country. And then those ungodly people were elected as our representatives in Congress. And then they passed ungodly laws and refused to allow godly judges to rule according to biblical law.
The Church was called to be God’s watchdog, but they refused to bark. The Church saw nothing wrong with usury so they allowed the banking system to be established. Finally, those same bankers became powerful enough and rich enough to establish a union of banks under one roof, a private corporation of bankers who were powerful enough to actually take over the government in 1914. It was called the Federal Reserve Bank. It is neither federal, nor is a reserve. It is a private corporation that creates money out of nothing and lends it at face value to other banks and to our government at interest.
Because of America’s sin, and because the Church cast aside His law, God put America under a yoke of wood. He brought in foreign bankers and set up a system of taxation in 1916 by which we would pay tribute to “Babylon.”
It is fortunate for us that God blinded the eyes of the people to what was happening. In blinding us and making this a “secret, hidden” Babylon, God prevented us from fighting the captivity. Instead, we submitted to it and were thus allowed to remain in our own land, rather than being conquered and destroyed by war and then deported, as Judah was in Jeremiah’s day.
How Mystery Babylon Came to Power in 1914
The great harlot is Babylon—not the original city, as some have supposed, but the secret, hidden Babylon. In the past, some prophecy teachers have insisted that the old city of Babylon would be rebuilt, and indeed, Saddam Hussein attempted to rebuild it. All the bricks were inscribed with his name, as he attempted to make a name for himself. But that has come to an end with his fall from power in 2003.
There is also an inherent contradiction in that view. They say in one breath that “the Antichrist” will rule from a temple in Jerusalem, but they also say that Babylon will be rebuilt. Well, which city is his capital city? In such an interpretation, he could hardly rule from both cities.
But the fact is, Babylon has manifested in our time as a worldwide system. It rules all nations today. We do not have to wait for a future Babylon to rise up. It is already here, and, in fact, it has been here for most of the past century. It came to power in 1914, precisely 2,520 years after the original Babylon became an empire (607 B.C.)
Many are still looking for a future fulfillment of Babylon, not realizing that it has held us captive since 1914. It is now ready to FALL, not rise up in the future. But God blinded the eyes of most of the people in order to judge them without their knowledge—lest they would rise up and try to overthrow it, thereby incurring an even greater judgment.
The Secret (“Mystery”) Kingdom of Babylon
Modern “Babylon” became an empire in 1914 with the signing of the Federal Reserve Act, which brought America and the whole world under its economic bondage. Its real purpose was planned in secret on Jekyll Island in 1910, and was first reported in Leslie’s Magazine in 1916 in an article written by B.C. Forbes in praise of Paul Warburg, the primary founder of this system:
“Picture a party of the nation’s greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily hieing hundreds of miles south, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking on to an island deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance.
“I am not romancing. I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of new currency system, was written.” [Quoted in The Creature from Jekyl Island, by G. Edward Griffin, p. 9]
This was later confirmed in the official 1930 biography of Senator Aldrich, writing,
“Aldrich entered this discussion at Jekyll Island an ardent convert to the idea of a central bank. His desire was to transplant the system of one of the great European banks, say the Bank of England, bodily to America.” [Griffin, p. 17]
Griffin quotes speeches by Senator Aldrich himself and A. Barton Hepburn on pages 19 and 20,
“ ‘The organization proposed is not a bank, but a cooperative union of all the banks of the country for definite purposes.” Precisely: A union of banks.
“Two years later, in a speech before that same group of bankers, A. Barton Hepburn of Chase National Bank was even more candid. He said, ‘. . . it will make all incorporated banks together joint owners of a central dominating power’. And that is about as good a definition of a cartel as one is likely to find.”
The fact that the Federal Reserve System is a private corporation owned by bankers is known to many, but not by the average American, who assumes it is part of the United States government. The bankers have allowed this myth to be perpetuated, but only God could blind the people to such an extent that it could remain a secret.
On page 23 of his book, Griffin quotes from Paul Warburg’s biography,
“Paul M. Warburg is probably the mildest-mannered man that ever personally conducted a revolution. It was a bloodless revolution: he did not attempt to rouse the populace with arms. He stepped forth armed simply with an idea. And he conquered. That’s the amazing thing. A shy, sensitive man, he imposed his idea on a nation of a hundred million people.” (Griffin’s quote from Warburg, the Revolutionist, by Harold Kellock).
This is how America and the whole world came under the dominion of Mystery Babylon. Kellock says, “It was a bloodless revolution.”
The fact that it was done precisely 2,520 years after the original Babylonian Empire was established in 607 B.C. is astounding. All of the major events of modern history from 1776 to the present day are tied to that 2,520-year time cycle. We are repeating biblical history in the greatest parallel of all time. Next year (2006) will be 2,520 years after the completion of the second temple in the days of Ezra and the prophet Haggai.
When Will This Captivity End?
It is obvious that our captivity to this Babylon is more than the 70 years of Judah’s captivity. Why? First of all, the captivity will not and cannot end until America repents of her sin (the cause of the captivity). The law is clear on that point, as well as all the precedents in the book of Judges. In Lev. 26 we find a chapter that runs parallel to Deut. 28. There we find the lawful answer in verses 40-42,
40 If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me— 41 I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies—or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.
This tells us that God will not remember His covenant until we humble our hearts and confess our iniquity. And so, theoretically, if America does not repent, we will be forever under the dominion of Babylon. We will remain under this bondage until we do repent.
To that end, we have been interceding and have been involved in spiritual warfare since the first issue of the FFI back in 1988. In fact, it was for this reason that I began to write these bulletins. This is the reason for the name: Foundation For Intercession. I wanted to give people the foundations of biblical and historical knowledge by which they could intercede for their nation and for the world.
People do not normally intercede unless they know there is a problem. Because Babylon is hidden from most people, most believers do not know that they are already under Babylon—so how can they intercede on this level?
There are many who are praying against Babylon. Most of them see them as the enemy, rather than as God’s servant. Note that God called Nebuchadnezzar “My servant” in Jer. 27:6 (quoted earlier). The banker-kings of Babylon today are God’s servants, sent to execute judgment upon America and upon the Church for its rebellion against God and His laws. Babylon is not the problem. The problem is US. When we repent, God will raise up others to deal with Babylon, even as He raised up King Cyrus and King Darius to overthrow Babylon.
How can a Nation Repent?
Individuals repent for themselves. Leaders can repent on behalf of those who are under their authority. For a nation to repent, it requires repentance on behalf of its leader or leaders.
But at the same time, there is a connection between people a leader. We get the kind of leader that reflects the collective heart of the people. If our leaders do not repent, it is because the people have not repented. Thus, the problem is not the king or president. He is bound by the wishes of the people in their hearts. If our leaders are immoral, it is because the people want the same right.
We get what we deserve. Thus, our leaders are not the real problem either. It still comes back to the heart of the people, and for this reason, I have made no attempt to write our presidents and tell them to repent. The president will repent when the people do. Meanwhile, God will not allow the president to repent early. Prov. 21:1 says,
1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever He wishes.
The kings of the earth are unknowingly God’s servants. King Nebuchadnezzar was no exception to this rule. He certainly thought that he was doing everything according to his own will; but that was because he did not know God, and he certainly did not know that God was manipulating him to carry out the divine plan.
Since 1987, when I first received what I believe to be divine revelation that Mr. Clinton was going to become our president, the Father has been revealing the plan for our leaders’ repentance. The revelation of 1987 was that President Clinton would act out the type and shadow of King Ahab in the Bible. Ahab was, morally speaking, the worst of Israel’s kings up to that point (1 Kings 16:23).
But God brought Ahab to the place where he had to humble himself (1 Kings 21:27-29). This act deferred God’s judgment upon Israel for 3 years. If Ahab had actually repented by giving Naboth’s vineyard back to its rightful owners, I believe the judgment (war with Syria) could have been averted altogether. But he did not. So the land had rest for only 3 years (1 Kings 22:1), and judgment came in the days of his successor (as per 1 Kings 21:29).
Bill Clinton first humbled himself on Aug. 17, 1998 on national television. Then a few weeks later, he humbled himself more thoroughly at a Congressional Prayer Breakfast on September 11, 1998, where he read Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
This gave America a 3-year deferment. Judgment then came on September 11, 2001 right on schedule. And this is what plunged us into war, first in Afghanistan, and now in Iraq. The present war is a judgment upon America. It is designed to bring the people—especially the Church—to the place of repentance. When they do repent, then God will move the heart of the president to repent.
On Dec. 14, 2005 President Bush finally began to humble himself, admitting for the first time that the war was based on faulty intelligence. The next day he came to an agreement with Sen. McCain to stop torturing sinners. These are signs that the Church is realizing it has been getting faulty information from Bible teachers, and starting to see that torture (“hell”) is not a Christian virtue.