… Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 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. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.(Revelation 17:1-6)
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.(John 21:2)
The book of Revelation has a similarity to the book of Proverbs. Both of them have threads which feature two rival woman running through them.
In the Proverbs, the young man has come of age and must pick a bride. He is first tempted by the ‘strange woman’, who flatters with her smooth words, and who assures us that “I have paid my vows”, in other words, she is telling us that she is saved. On the other hand, she is describing her bedroom, and assuring us that ‘the good man is away’ for a long time, so it would be already to spend the evening indulging in fornication.
We are relieved at the end of Proverbs that the beautiful and virtuous woman is finally introduced. She is thrifty and hardworking, she is prepared for the night, her lamp is full of oil. Finally the young man picks the right bride.
Revelation has a similar thread. Early on, Jezebel is seen influencing the church, the Lord warns about her…
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:20-23)
It is bad enough that the church is embattled without, but within she is being seduced into sin and compromise by the harlot.
By the time we get to Revelation 17, the harlot. (which is an obscene parody of a bride) sits in a position of Worldly Power, and is dripping with the trappings of wealth, the very epitome of worldliness. She is drunk, on the blood of the saints of the true bride, for she uses her worldly power to persecute her rival church.
She is a harlot. This means that to her sacred things are for sale. Her convictions and doctrines are bartered away everyday for worldly approval and power. She is certainly ‘relevant’, and savvy as to the World Spirit, therefore a good many in the world ‘speak well of her’.She has certainly gained the world.
The Whore sits on many waters, for she is universal (Catholic), people throughout the world are held under her sway. The titles and appellations she gives unto herself, amount to blasphemy. Titles such as HOLY FATHER, MEDIATRIX, PONTIFF, are some examples of names of Blasphemy for they arrogate to mere man, that which can only be attributed to God and Christ.
But much of the world wonders after her. She will one day soon, help lead people in worship of the Beast,
… and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Revelation 13:3-4)
We sing Exodus 15, the Song of the Sea, unto God saying,”Who is like unto thee…?”, but the day will come when millions will be singing “Who is like the Beast?”, this too is blasphemy.
The true bride and the harlot exist simultaneously, but the Harlot is popular, wealthy, and influential, whereas the bride is poor, broke and persecuted and despised by this world. But she awaits the groom, and keeps her garments white awaiting the day.
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.(Revelation 16:15)
Her lamp burns in the darkest night, she remains faithful and true, even in the pressure of worldly persecution. The world hates her for who she represents and for not going along with their perverted program.
At the end, as in Proverbs, comes full vindication.The Bride is seen standing alongside the friend of the groom, making the great invitation to the weary world,
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.(Revelation 22:17)