ISRAEL WITH JERUSALEM IS BABYLON
THE GREAT HARLOT IN REV. 17
By Jan Lilleby
How many Christians has solid knowledge in the Bible, in the sense that they understand those things God let come upon Israel because of their disobedience against Him?
I think I can answer that right away: Very few among Christianity, shamefully so, has real knowledge in God’s Word regarding Israel and their so-called ‘Holy Land’.
Neither the land nor its inhabitants (except the very few Messianic Jesus believers) , since the time when the Romans cast them out in 70 AD according to the Lord’s decision, can be held as holy ones.
This is why one of the reasons we learn in Rev. 17, and on behalf of the Lord, that Israel with Jerusalem in the end time is called ‘Babylon the Great Harlot’. She who once was the wife of the Lord fell in spiritual whoredom.
“..My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.”
THE LAND WAS DEFILED FOR THEIR DISOBEDIENCE
AGAINST JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES
The Word of God says that the land would vomit out its population for their idolatry and disobedience.
“The land and the earth also are defiled by their inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, disregarded the statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant (the Sinai covenant under Moses)”.
The whole chapter 24 relates to what is written in Rev. 6 – the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls – the Great Tribulation which shall come upon Israel. The land ceased being holy the same instance God judged her. And yet, in Christendom they still hold Israel as the ‘Holy Land’. How ignorant.
Lev. 18:25-28 says clearly what should happen if Israel went disobedient:
“And the land is defiled; therefore I visit the iniquity of it upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants. 26: So you shall keep My statutes and My ordinances and shall not commit any of these abominations, neither the native-born nor any stranger who sojourns among you. 27: For all these abominations have the men of the land done who were before you, and the land is defiled – 28: Lest the land spew you out when you defile it as it spewed out the nation that was before you.”
These strict words from the Law of Moses to Jewry and their proselytes was later transferred in a Messiah prophesy found in Deut. 18:15-19 – and which Peter in his second speech after Pentecost, taught Israel, Acts 3:22, 23:
“Thus Moses said to the forefathers, The Lord God will raise up for you a Prophet from among your brethren as me; Him you shall listen to and understand by hearing and heed in all things whatever He tells you. 23: And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to and understand by hearing and heed that Prophet shall be utterly exterminated from among the people”.
The Jews got the same judgment and penalty by not accepting Jesus as the Messiah, as those whom in olden times committed idolatry and unspeakable sins like those in Lev. 18.
Paul quoted a similar judgment against the disbelieving Israel when he in 60 AD confronted the Jews in Rome, Acts 29:25-28. He quoted Is. 6 – Israel as being spiritually blind, deaf and ignorant as well as unrepentant. Is. 6 ends with Israel destroyed and the land made desolate! Entirely in line with Deut. 18.
The Jews defiled the land because of their unbelief when the apostles preached to them for 30 years after Pentecost in Acts 2. They would not believe and repent, so the Lord could restore and heal the land. The end station was Rome and the servant God used to bring them the judgment was Paul.
The land was down and out in several periods of deportation, and the longest interval of dispersion has been the one which came in 70 AD as the Romans destroyed them and scattered the Jews in the civilized world – thus that land is no longer the ‘Holy Land’.
THE NICKNAME ‘BABYLON’ IS DUE TO THE JEWS’
LONG STAY IN BABYLON
As a consequence of their long stay in Babylon (only 10% of them returned to their land) since Nebuchadnezzar deported them in 586 BC, the Jews were influenced by all the idolatry and astrology and sorcery practiced there. Two evil doctrinal systems came out of this: The Babylonian Talmud (written 500 AD), and the Zohar (Kabbalah). Thus the religious party of the Pharisees emerged, the heretics which Jesus confronted in His ministry. They had illegally overtaken the Levitical priesthood and temple service, and had the Jews in an iron claw.
The doctrines of the Pharisees in the time of the gospels were only by oral tradition, but this was published in writing 500 AD; the Talmud of our time is same doctrine as then. Talmud is the national religion in Israel.
THE DISASTER IN 70 AD WAS THE LORD’S
REVENGE AGAINST THE BABYLON PHARISEISM’S MURDERS
In the prophetic parable spoken by Jesus of the fruitless Figtree in Luke 13, we find that He added one extra ‘Acceptable Year of the Lord’ (equal length of time to the 30 some years that Jesus was on earth) – for the vinedresser (the apostles’ ministry) to dig in the soil and put manure on to see if the tree would bring back fruit; an image of faith in Christ. But after over 30 years with the apostles trying to have Israel repent and believe on Jesus, it all ended by Israel saying their final ultimate ‘No Thanks!’ as Paul confronted them in Rome, Acts 28. And Israel fell from God. The Roman battle axe chopped down the fruitless Figtree.
Likewise, the parable of the King’s Servants in Matt. 22:7, also brings us a prophesy regarding the destruction of Israel with their persecuting religious leaders. The king in this parable sends his soldiers to kill those who persecuted and murdered his servants, and burned down their city (Jerusalem). Jesus (the King) revenged their deaths by using the Roman army, as we learn from history.
For the third time in history, the land vomited out their disobedient rebellious inhabitants. Paul quoted them the final judgment by Is. 6 in Rome 60 AD, as I mentioned above, and Luke did not write down the other verses speaking of Israel’s destruction – but I am sure that every Jew in Rome who met with Paul, knew very well of the judgement mentioned in Is. 6:11, 12, as is written:
“Then said I, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until cities lie waste without inhabitant and houses without man, and the land is utterly desolate. 12: And the Lord removes His people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.”
The land vomited out their inhabitants by the stern actions taken by the Roman army. Jesus called that army for His army in the parable mentioned.
But very soon, an even worse judgment and destruction shall come upon them, namely the Great Tribulation, Matt. 24:21. Also called by Jeremiah for ‘The time of Jacob’s trouble’, Jer. 30:7.
The sin they will be punished for can be looked upon as collateral damage to what happened in 70 AD. I shall explain this below. But don’t forget now that this final action from God in the end time, He shall through this purging and cleansing bring forth an Israel which will be one hundred percent Jesus-believers – following Him in the millennial kingdom prophesied. God smites them, but after that He also heals them!
Notice that this action against the end time Israel is not taken against an ordinary nation, but against a Babylonian fallen nation, a nation in perdition – originally chosen by God and sat above all other nations (ref. Ex. 19:5, 6) – and they refused to repent when God gave them their last final call when the apostle Paul declared His judgment in Acts 28.
THE GREAT TRIBULATION, THE WORST
JUDGMENT EVER TO HIT ISRAEL
Ezek. 36 shows us the day of vengeance of God which shall come upon Israel, after they became a nation again.
It is the Babylon Harlot who shall get her judgment seen in Rev. 18:6, poured her in the cup of God’s wrath in double portions:
“Repay to her what she herself has paid to others and double her doom in accordance with what she has done. Mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed for others.”
God had them vomited out of the land in 70 AD because of their refusing to repent as the apostles during the 30 years of Acts preached the gospel to them. As I mentioned with the parable in Matt. 22 of the king’s servants.
One should think that such a penalty (the religious leaders of Jewry are still wondering how this misfortune could occur) would have Jewry ransack their minds for error, confessing their sin and turn to Jesus in sincere regrets. But what we see in world history after 70 AD, is the very opposite – a fierce anger and hatred against Christ. Even their Talmud has several blasphemies against Jesus, and Maria is called a whore who slept with a Roman centurion.
As it clearly says in Ezek. 36, they have been spending their time in the dispersion trampling underfoot the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, and thus having that grave sin piling up for a soon coming doom and destruction. It is simply mindboggling to know that there are Christian-Zionists supporting this blasphemous Zionist-Israel – right now – and up until the doom falls upon her.
Ezek. 36 speaks straight forward of this judgment to come.
First, verses 19-20 give us what happened with the destruction in 70 AD, and their immediate rotten blasphemous behaviors, saying:
“And I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their conduct and their deeds I judged and punished them. 20: And when they came to the nations to which they went, THEY PROFANED MY HOLY NAME in that men said of them, These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go forth OUT OF HIS LAND.”
The ‘Wandering Jew’ has become a byword of their misfortune, a people who left God for they would not believe His prophets and apostles. Many of the leaders of the nations noticed the Jews like this, for many centuries.
Ezek. 36:23 tells how Christ shall deal with the Jews under the Great Tribulation to come:
“And I will vindicate the holiness of My great name and separate it for its holy purpose from all that defiles it –My name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you (Israel) have profaned among them – and THE NATIONS WILL KNOW, UNDERSTAND AND REALIZE THAT I AM THE LORD, when I shall be set apart by you and My holiness vindicated in you before their eyes and yours.”
The nations in the world shall be terrified witnesses to what the Lord will do to Israel to restore and vindicate His holy name. They will KNOW that it is the Lord Who is behind the Great Tribulation that will plague and punish the ungodly Jewry, the Zionist-Israel.
Israel can shoot and bomb Gaza and the Palestinians and other neighbors in the Middle-East, but the long revenging arm of the Lord will reach them, and there will be no place to hide. The Lord’s penalty against them will be so tough that only a small remnant of one third of the people will be left, as told in Zac. 13:8, or as Moses prophesied, Deut. 28:62:
“And you shall be left few in number, whereas you had been as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Moses called the horrors that should come upon them for ‘All the diseases of Egypt, which you fear’.
Those plagues and horrors are described in Rev. 6 and on, by the seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls plus the three wows. And as only Egypt was punished by the plagues under Moses, and not the nations around, so shall these horrors hit Israel only, and not the nations around. As already pointed out in Biblical manners from Ezek. 36:23, we learned that the nations shall not become victims, but witnesses only. Yes, they will probably be shaking in their knees for fear of what is happening to Israel, but they will know that it is the Lord Who is punishing and chastising His nation to establish it back to Himself.
This serious action against Israel will be administered by the two witnesses in Rev. 11, who are Moses and Elijah. They had a mandate of power and signs with punishments so that they…quote: (Rev. 11:5, 6)
“….if anyone attempts to injure them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their enemies; if anyone should attempt (and they will…)to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain. These two witnesses have power to shut up the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesy (3 ½ years); they also have power to turn the waters into blood AND TO SMITE AND SCOURGE THE LAND WITH ALL MANNER OF PLAGUES AS OFTEN AS THEY CHOOSE.”
No matter how many plagues and scary signs that come against the ungodly nation, it will end with them reduced into just one third remnants. And of this little remnant, as the Great Tribulation is stopped by the coming of Christ from heaven – Ezek. 36:25 says of this:
“Then will I sprinkle clean water (God’s Word), and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness; and from all your idols will I cleanse you.”
This tells us that Israel, up to that point in future, has been unclean, or rather – UNHOLY, unsaved, unbelieving, unrepentant.
There is no doubt that this is their real true spiritual status today, as you read this article. And Christianity should have no sharing with them, for what have darkness in common with light? Paul describes the church as such who are light in the world. We may tell them the gospel of Christ, hoping they will repent and be saved. But we are not supposed to just go in and participate in their evil deeds. Or blindly send Israel money or other aids.
This was a long introduction, but now we come to Israel, and her history testifies to us of her spiritual whoredom.
ISRAEL’S HISTORY TELLS OF THE LIFE OF A HARLOT
The Old Testament is full of testimony from the prophets, that Israel has been a notorious spiritual whore, or harlot as it is written. The nation is infamous for its constant disobedience and rebellion against the Lord their God. We are therefore going to have a closer look at a selection of words and key phrases in that regard.
It seems to me that Ezekiel, the priest who was called into a prophet’s ministry to chastise and reprove the Israelites in the captivity in Babylon, was a chief prophet is such a mission. Israel’s idolatry was the main cause for Ezekiel’s ministry. IMAGE: Ezekiel looking over the valley of the bones as they came to life, Ez. 37.
Ez. 16 has much to say of Israel’s spiritual adultery.
Many in Christendom hold the view that Babylon in Rev. 17-18 is Rome and the Papal Church. But it is not Rome which is the Babylon harlot. Not a chance.
The Papal Church may rather be looked upon in same manner as a child who behaved disobedient to its parents, but never as a wife who fell in adultery. Israel in Scripture is pictured clearly as the Lord’s married wife. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church has committed severe sin and abominable deeds throughout history, not the least in medieval times with the persecutions and terror using torture to bring about confessions. But it still does not make her the Babylon Harlot. Only Israel has had ‘marital’ and other covenants with God.
Jer. 31:32 says a lot of this concept:
“…not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.”
Ez. 16:8 goes to show that the Lord had ‘fallen in love’ with her, and married:
“Now I passed by you again and looked upon you; behold, you were maturing and at the time for love, and I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I plighted My troth to you and entered into a covenant, says the Lord, and you became Mine.”
Then follows verses in which God describes His love and passionate feelings for His newly wed wife, verse 14 set the atmosphere:
“And your renown went forth among the nations for your beauty, for it was perfect through My majesty and splendor which I had put upon you, says the Lord God.”
But then Israel’s beauty started to fade, as she began casting her eyes upon other ‘lovers’ due to her renown status, her religious arrogance.
Ez. 16:15, 16 is brutal truth:
“But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by and your beauty was his. 16: And you took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily decorated high places or shrines and played the harlot on them – things which should not come and that which should not take place.”
This brings our thoughts on the case with Ahab and Jezebel to whom Elijah was sent to have them turn away from their Baal worship, told in 1 Kings 17-18 – thus a prophetic warning of the end time when anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation in Israel occurs. Jezebel, as an image of the climax in ungodliness, Babylon Harlot when God is going to destroy her as in Rev. 17-18.
Christ, when He came, was the One to have Israel as His wife – but the harlot Israel, ruled by the Babylonian Pharisees and their religious false doctrines, killed the Bridegroom.
Ez. 16:17-20 shows us a grave accusation against the occult Baal worship:
“You also did take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played harlot with them. 18: And you took your embroidered garments and covered them and set My oil and My incense before them. 19: My bread also which I gave you – fine flour and oil and honey with which I fed you – you have even set it before the idols for a sweet odor. Thus it was, says the Lord God. 20: Moreover, you have taken your sons and your daughters whom you have born to Me, and you have sacrificed them to be destroyed. Where your harlotries to little….”.
None of this can be said of the Papal Church – other than the outwardly phenomenon that the Catholic Church copied all the worship formalities, priestly garments and accessories, the use of incense, an altar etcetera, not the least an impressive decoration of the buildings inside/outside, using expensive metals and colored glass works. The influence from Hellenistic Roman temples and their practices are so obvious. It was introduced and ‘Christened’ by the Roman emperors, starting with Constantine the Great (312 AD). And still, none of this can compete with the religious whoredom like we now have learned from Israel’s ancient history – as they chose to switch from worshipping God to worshipping false idols!
It is Israel which is the original Biblical historical harlot, and none of the church systems that emerged as Christendom was spread into the heathen nations.
Ezekiel specifically pointed by naming – the Babylonian connection of old – in Ez. 16:29:
“Moreover, you multiplied your harlotry with the land of trade, with Chaldea, and yet even with this you were not satisfied.”
Chaldea was the old name of what later became Babylon! Abraham came from Ur in Chaldea, as we know (Gen. 11:31).
Ez. 16:30 has the rising anger of the Lord in it, against the harlot:
“How weak and spent with longing and lust is your heart and mind, says the Lord God, seeing you do all these things, the work of a bold, dominant harlot.”
Later on Ezekiel had to pay with his life, for having spoken publicly against Israel. This we can comprehend when reading the stern harsh chastisement in Ez. 16:36-41 – but I will not quote all those verses now. Enough is said already, which proves that Israel in the end time is the Babylon Harlot of Rev. 17-18, just as much as she has been that harlot in history past.
But in Rev. 17-18 we learn that God will bring an end to her entirely. The final judgment shall fall – and there shall no more be any ungodly Christ-rejecting profaning Pharisaic religious Babylon-inspired system. It will cease to exist.
Ez. 16:41 is concluding such an ending indeed:
“And they shall burn your houses with fire and execute judgments upon you before the eyes of many women spectators (the nations, see Ez. 36:23). And I will cause you to cease playing the harlot…”
OTHER FACTS PROVING ISRAEL/JERUSALEM
AS THE BABYLON HARLOT
Rev. 17:9 is picturing the harlot in the form of a woman sitting on SEVEN HILLS. Some say that Rome has seven hills, using it as an argument – but Rome has MORE than seven hills! Only Jerusalem, of the cities listed in Revelation has EXACTLY SEVEN HILLS.
Other fractions in Christianity say that Babylon in Rev. 17-18 is a prophesy of the ancient Babylon in Iraq, re-built and restored in the end time. This is easily refuted: The ships in Rev. 18: with its owners and crews observing the smoke pillar of Babylon at fire, as they stood far away from it in fear. If it was a restored ancient Babylon in Iraq, ship-owners in harbors of Haifa or Tel Aviv (the ocean in Revelation is the Mediterranean!) could not possibly see that smoke, for it is 850 kilometers away. But Jerusalem is only 150 kilometers to the south-east of Haifa, the largest container harbor in the area, and knowing Jerusalem is at an altitude of 800 meters, it will be fully possible to see the smoke from a fire there.
I will also use a few words on the idea that USA could eventually be the Babylon harlot. Several Christian pastors and preachers in America thinks so, and you can watch their intense videos on Youtube if you so wish.
The fact that it is indisputably the Mediterranean which is the ocean found in Revelation…of which it says that one third of the ships were sunk (Rev. 8:9), is enough to expose the idea of USA as Babylon as entirely false. And where in USA is there a city with seven hills, which the Babylon harlot sits upon? See what I mean? Where in USA could one find a city on seven hills combined with the historical indisputable fact that in that city the prophets of God had been slain? USA did not even exist when these prophets were slain.
But also another fact worth noticing is the typical Jewish tradition displayed by the frightened ship crews seen in Rev. 18:19 casting dust (sand or ashes) on their heads knowing God just had their enterprises judged and destroyed. They are seen as deeply religious, and we know that the third temple shall be built soon including all the religious practices and rites that follows.
The casting of dust upon their head is logically connected with ships moored in harbors, and not at open sea. These frightened men have all seen recent disasters from God coming against them, as quoted from Rev. 8:9 when a big asteroid hits the Mediterranean and tsunamis sank one third of all vessels at sea! Therefore, now – in Rev. 18 – they have their vessels safely at the piers in Haifa to see if it may be safe to operate at sea again soon. And thus, they had access to religious rites of casting dust/sand on their head.
It seem to me that God in His wrath against the Babylon harlot/Zionist-Israel in the tribulation hits them ‘In both ends’: First He destroys their ships with as much as one third (33,3% wreckage factor!!) within the same hour or two after an asteroid hit, followed up – in the economical end – the destruction of their riches ashore, their assets and organizations. The whole enterprise goes straight down the drain under God’s judgments.
I have a few quotations of this ancient practice of showing sorrow and repentance in Jewish tradition, as follows.
Joshua 7:1, 6:
“But the Israelites committed a trespass in regard to the devoted things; for Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the things devoted for destruction. And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel.”
Because of this sin of greed committed by Achan, the Lord let the army of Ai attack them, and the Israelites lost the battle, east of Bethel. Then Joshua was taken with grief and anger, understanding that something was wrong, and he uttered his grief, as we read verse 6:
“Then Joshua rent his clothes and lay on the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.”
Same thing is practiced by the three friends of Job as they find him in his misery, Job 2:12 says:
“…they lifted up their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe, and they cast dust over their heads towards the heavens (dust falling down on their heads).”
A final example is when we find all the elders in Jerusalem in grief and repentance, Lam. 2:10:
“The elders of the Daughter of Zion sit on the ground keeping silent; they have cast dust on their heads, they have girded themselves with sackcloth. The maidens of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.”
So it is safe to say that Babylon harlot of Rev. 17-18 must be Israel in the end time, with its freshly renewed religious traditions due to the new temple, the third one in history. That even sailors and rough crews, as well as greedy ship-owners, seem to have taken up this ancient religious tradition, tells us that there must be an organized temple based religious practice which the whole population are partakers of, observing these ordinances. This cannot be in any other place or under another religion than the Jewish one, whether Talmudic or otherwise.
ADDED TO THE ARTICLE September 13, 2017:
The Call of warning sounding in Rev. 18:4 is concerning the Jews present in Jerusalem and Judea as described in Matt. 24:15-21….the people are alarmed by a voice from heaven to get out of the place in which God is about to send destruction and death!
Rev. 18:4 says, “I then heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out from her, my people, so that you may not share in her sins, neither participate in her plagues.”
The Expression ‘My people’ gives us the clear addressee: The believing Messianic Jews who listened to the two witnesses during the tribulation. This has nothing to do with us Christians, since we will have been taken into heaven in good time before this destruction comes in Israel/Jerusalem. It is therefore impossible that USA could ever be the Babylon-harlot.
Matt. 24:15-21 goes in details of the very same scenario:
“So when you see the appalling sacrilege (abomination of desolation), spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place (in the temple) – let the reader take notice. 16: Then let those who are in Judea flee to the Mountains, 17: Let him who is on the housetop not come down and go into the house to take anything, 18: And let him who is in the field not turn back to get his overcoat. 19: And alas for the women who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days! 20: Pray that your flight may not be in Winter or on a Sabbath. 21: For then there will be great tribulation….”.
Added to this article September 20, 2017:
We need to reflect some more on the passage in Rev. 18:4 – the voice from heaven calling the People in Israel, those who had faith in Christ, to FLEE out of Jerusalem. Flee towards where? As already quoted above, it must have been the wilderness in Judeah (verse 16) – and that raises another question: Fleeing towards what? Starvation? Icy cold nights in the open or inside caves? Eating what…dust and stone? You see, that this flight/escape from the enemies of God and thus from the disaster to hit Jerusalem, is not as uncomplicated as you you first may have thought! But Rev. 12:6 points to the solution,
“And the woman (the believing Messianic Jews in the tribulation) fled into the dessert, where she has a retreat prepared by God, in which she is to be fed and kept safe for three and one half years.”
I have always wondered WHY did Paul speak of a so-called ‘Rapture’ of the Messianic Saints (1 Thes 4) at the second coming of Christ? And here is the answer: The Lord will gather all the suffering refugees hiding in the said wilderness, in Judeah and swiftly and safely bring them together with Himself. In other words, they need effective and safe transportation. Think of Philip in Acts 8:39, 40 The Holy Ghost lifted him up and brought the evangelist through the air over a distance of 40 kilometers. It happened right after he had baptized the minister from Ethiopia, and Philip ‘landed’ in a place called Azotus.
The judgment upon the religious Jewish Babylon harlot system is the very climax of the Great Tribulation in Israel. It is NOT a world-wide tribulation, but a local domestic one. It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, Jer. 30:7. Italy, Greece and other nations in the east Mediterranean area may be somewhat inflicted by the falling of asteroids as seen in Rev. 8 – having tall tsunamis roll against many shores. I am not sure, but it is certainly a possibility. But still, it does not mean that there will be the Great Tribulation in Italy, in Greece, or other places. Only Israel shall be experiencing such tribulation.
It does not mean that, for example, USA may go scot-free of war or attacks of diverse kinds. In such perilous times many things can happen around this planet. But this doesn’t make USA the Babylon harlot, or Rome or any other nation or city. Bad things happen, even if such things may not have been specifically prophesied in the Bible.