This portion of the book will look at a particular prophetic image that is found in the vision given to John in Revelation 17. Chapters 4 through 11:18 of the Revelation form a general account of the prophecy, with the portion from 6:1-11:18 giving a general progressing history of events that occur after the true church is removed from the earth. Chapters 17 and 18 are a separate vision and parenthetical section with parts that fit into the general history. I say this so the reader is not mistaken in thinking that each chapter of the book of Revelation simply follows one after the other in time. Along this line of thinking, chapters 12-14 is another parenthetical section and forms a separate but complete whole.
The harlot is an interesting prophetical symbol that attracts the attention of believers and prophecy buffs alike. In Christian circles it has recently been misrepresented as the religion of Islam. This is a misdirection of great importance. It becomes almost like the man attempting to remove a splinter from a friend’s eye when there is a log in his own (Luke 6:41).
There are only two religions specifically considered and addressed by Scripture. There are only two religions that have any relationship with God – Judaism and Christianity. This chart gives a short review of what was taught in detail in the first book in this series, ‘The Son of Man Glorified’.
|The religion of man in Adam, man in the flesh||The religion of the second Adam, man in the Spirit.|
|The religion of the earth and the weak and beggarly principles of the world||The religion of the heavens and all that is not of this world.|
|A walk by sight and a religion that appeals to the physical senses of man in the flesh||A walk by faith – the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the unseen|
|The testing of the principle of responsibility||The principle of sovereign grace|
|An administration of death and condemnation||An administration of life and justification|
|Self-righteousness, human righteousness||The righteousness of God|
|The religion of the earthly calling, the worship of Jehovah from a fixed physical location on the earth – the temple||The religion of the heavenly calling, the worship of the Father in spirit and truth.|
God does not give man any other religion but these two. All other religions are man-made and are inspired by Satan, involving worship of false gods and idolatry (Rom. 1:21-23). God addresses idolatry coming into the world after the flood by calling and separating Abram from the world. His descendants are given the law at Mt. Sinai, after their external redemption and deliverance from Egypt (the world) and Pharaoh (the god of the world – Satan) in type. Judaism effectively separates Israel from the Gentiles, building up a wall of separation through the law. It was given by God and it separated Israel from all the false gods of the Gentile world. It gave them a certain worship and relationship with the one true God. However, by this separation God tested Israel as representing all mankind. By Judaism, God was testing the principle of human responsibility, looking for obedience in order to see if man in the flesh could have a relationship with Him.
Man in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8). Man in Adam cannot obey the law of God (Rom. 8:7). To say Israel was separated from the Gentiles as the people of God is one thing, but as a nation they remained in Adam and in the flesh and part of the world. God’s presence always had to stay behind the veil. Man could never draw near. God’s purpose in Judaism was to prove mankind as utterly depraved and hopelessly lost.  The law accomplished this with great results, for when the law entered in, sin abounded more and more (Rom. 5:20). But Judaism is a religion given by God. There should be no doubt that it was, and He had a certain divine purpose for doing so. In its Old Testament form, Judaism was nailed to the cross of Christ and abolished (Col. 2:14, Eph. 2:15). The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD brought a physical end to its practice.
Islam is not given by God. It is a man-made religion. God doesn’t address it or deal with it. For that matter, He doesn’t specifically deal with any other man-made religion in Scripture. It is all idolatry, apostasy, and worship of demons to Him. But some are trying to convince Christians that the Babylonian harlot found in John’s vision is the religion of Islam and its spreading influence in the world. Some are trying to convince us that God takes notice of Islam in His word. If this is true, then Revelation 17 would be the first place in all the books of the Bible where God addresses the importance of a particular man-made religion. How out of character would this be, particularly waiting to do so until one of the last chapters of the last book of His revelation?
The Female Allegory in Prophetic Language
The Babylonian harlot is professing Christendom, or at the very least the Jezebel form of the professing body. It is what the professing church had become around the fifth century. Jezebel existed alone until around the sixteenth century and the development of Protestantism. For almost eleven centuries she was the corporate body of Christendom. She continues to exist today as the largest and most dominant form of the professing church.
The Babylonian harlot first and foremost does represent a religion or an ecclesiastical entity, as would be the proper prophetical category for interpreting the female. When we speak of civil world powers we should be referring to beasts and horns in the prophetic language from God’s perspective, or splendid looking statues from man’s perspective (Dan. 2:31-33, 7:1-7). The figure of a great tree seems to be used generically for a great earthly power (Dan. 4:10-12, Matt. 13:31-32). However, in prophetic language and allegories, the female will always be a religious entity.
- Jezebel is the form that the professing corporate church took on, known as Roman Catholic, in and around the fifth century. It took some time for her to fully develop all her false doctrines, idolatries, and corruptions, and for her to gain her influence with and over the civil kings of the Roman earth. She has done so with persistence. The official edicts of the Roman Empire in 313 and 380 helped pave the way for Christendom to more easily gain her worldly influence and wealth.
- In Revelation 12, the woman in the heavens is Israel as seen in the counsels of God, and when on the earth in that vision she is the Jewish remnant in the last days. Also the widow before the judge in Luke 18 is the elect Jewish remnant in the tribulation period crying out for vengeance against their enemies.
- The bride of the Lamb is a prophetic symbol representing the true church, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ. This has an obvious ecclesiastical meaning.
- Sarah and Hagar are used as types representing stark differences between Christianity and Judaism in their comparison in Galatians 4:21-5:4.
- Eve in the garden before the fall is a type of the church. The body of Christ is bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh (Eph. 5:29-32). The church is united to the second Adam, as Eve was to the first Adam. Adam is a type of the second Adam, Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:14). The type is always a lesser value or reality than the substance that fulfills it. Adam as a type of Christ and Eve as his help-meet has remarkable symbolism of the future glory of Christ and the church found with Him in that glory (Col. 3:4).
- Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, is a type of the church. This is after Isaac was offered up by his father, where he becomes a type of Christ raised from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19).
All of the above females represent a religious or ecclesiastical entity and the same will be found true for the Babylonian harlot. But this point does not decide the case for differentiating between Christianity and Islam as the proper meaning of the whore. It remains true that God only deals with two religions in Scripture and this in a very specific and detailed way. But for some this is not enough of an explanation, and we must dig deeper.
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, (2) with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
(3) So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.(4) The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. (5) And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.
(6) I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”
John’s Wonderment at the Woman
This is the vision. In verse six we have the first clue we will consider as to the identity of the women. Even though John is in the Spirit and having a vision, when he sees her, he recognizes what she is and is filled with amazement. The only plausible reason for his astonishment is because the woman is the corporate body of the professing church. If she is a harlot committing fornications, then her other known prophetic name is Jezebel (Rev. 2:20-23), and she is the Roman Catholic form of Christendom that has existed from the fifth century to today. John is connected to her as the last living apostle of the church.
John would not be astonished if the woman represented Islam. He wouldn’t even be able to recognize Islam if he saw it. It comes into existence hundreds of years after his time. For John, the woman definitely represents something he is familiar with personally because it causes great amazement. Islam simply doesn’t fit the bill here. The harlot is the professing church, and the evidence continues to mount up from this point.
The Blood of the Saints and Martyrs
The woman is drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 17:6). This statement really needs no interpretation. This is part of the reason for John’s amazement – the professing church that he was involved with and part of had become so corrupt and evil that God held it responsible and guilty of all the blood shed of the true church. God is assigning this responsibility. This accusation references the church’s authority and control she had gained in her history, even her ungodly influence over governments and kings during the course of this age. The atrocities committed against the true wheat within her are inexcusable.
What is most hostile to the work of God and His truth? We would think it is Satan when he is using the world to persecute. But here we find it is more so when Satan has control of the professing church. When the Roman Empire became Christian, it was not the removal of Satan’s throne from this world and the triumph of the church. Rather, it was Satan acquiring dominion and control over what is called Christendom.
How could John be amazed with Islam in this respect? Again, John had no knowledge of Islam as a religion. Besides, there is a Biblical principle in play that helps us make the correct association between the shed blood and the identity of the woman who is guilty.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, (30) and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
(31) “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. (32) Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. (33) Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? (34) Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, (35) that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”
The blood of all the Jewish prophets is found in Judaism, with Israel being responsible. Israel, at the time of Christ, was guilty of all the righteous blood shed on the earth from the time of Abel. Jesus didn’t look to anybody else being guilty of the killing of Jewish prophets other than Judaism and Israel. The principle is that the same parallel is used in assigning the guilt of the blood of the saints.
- Jewish prophets killed – Israel is guilty and responsible
- The martyrs of Jesus killed – the professing church is guilty and responsible.
The Character of the Harlot
The parallelism doesn’t fit for the woman being Islam. The parallelism points to professing Christianity as being guilty. The Lord has already shown us Christendom’s prophetic history on the earth by the seven messages to the seven churches. In those messages we easily see that professing Christianity grew corrupt and evil. Tares were sown early on in the crop in the field. Men with responsibility built with wood, hay, and stubble. The evil leaven came in and spread by which man exalts himself in the religious confidences of the flesh. Men did not heed the words of the Lord to leave the crop alone until the end of the age, but took up pretentious authority and unrighteously committed ungodly atrocities in the history of the professing church.
The symbol of the Babylonian woman/harlot is a religious entity of great worldly corruption and evil. It is filled with abominations and filthiness associated with her fornications (Rev. 17:4-5). The harlot’s abominations refer to her idolatry.This is the general character of Babylon. A beast is a civil power in the world. We may assume the four beasts mentioned in Scripture are objects of Biblical prophecy because they were world powers that had conquered and taken possession of Israel and their land – prophecy always relating in some way to Israel. But the salient character of all beasts is apostasy – they are independent from God, they do their own will, and they say, “Who is Lord over me? (Dan. 8:4, 11:3, 16, 36). When Nebuchadnezzar was set up by God as the first Gentile beast, he made a great image of gold to be worshiped, joining civil power with religious idolatry (Dan. 3:1-6). This is the Babylonian character that was established. 
The Babylonian harlot has nothing to do with the physical location of the ancient city of Babylon, or with that part of the world being Islamic today. This is the mistake of those who teach that the harlot and beast as Islamic. The Biblical principle for understanding prophetic language has to do with the character and nature of the prophetic object when it is an allegory. Therefore, all beasts exhibit a general behavior of independence from God. All females are religious or ecclesiastical entities. And the descriptive adjective of Babylon involves idolatrous character, because Nebuchadnezzar originally linked idolatry with the civil power in the kingdom of Babylon.
The harlot’s cup is full of abominations – her gross idolatries. The filthiness of her fornications is all the corruptions and worldliness associated with her idolatry. To those of faith and the spiritually minded, her character is described by the words written on her forehead. This character is as an idolatress, gaining influence over the mass of Gentile nations and committing fornication with the kings of the earth. She does as Nebuchadnezzar did. She joins religious idolatry to civil power to spread her influence. This is the character of Babylon.
The book of Revelation has already shown us something that looks like this harlot. She is what the corporate professing church became in the time of Thyatira (Rev. 2:20-23). This harlot is Jezebel, and Jezebel is the Roman papal system. Her form of Christendom has sought and gained civil power and worldly influence with the kings of the earth. The civil powers have been guilty of intimacy with her, seeking her nepotisms. Her religiosity and pretentions to being the one true representation of Christ on the earth gave her an intoxicating superstitious influence over the inhabitants of the earth. Those who dwell on the earth have lost their senses and any spiritual fortitude to her inebriating effect. Her ungodly abominations and spiritual fornications with the powers of the unbelieving world are clearly documented in her history.
“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
“And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
“For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”
If God holds Judaism and Israel responsible for the blood of her prophets, then God holds professing Christianity responsible for the blood of her apostles, her saints, and her martyrs. We do not have to point the finger anywhere else. The misdirection will only make you, to a greater extent, blind and ignorant to the corporate responsibility of Christendom and its catastrophic failure to be the light of God.
One more point needs to be made from the vision John has, and before we take up the interpretation given by the angel. Verses one and two are introductory information given to John describing the woman (Rev. 17:1-2). The vision starts in verse three and continues through verse six (Rev. 17:3-6). The literal interpretation is given by God through the angel to John and fills the remainder of the chapter (Rev. 17:7-18). In the introductory material she is described as the harlot that sits on many waters. In the vision John sees her sitting on the seven-headed beast. Her ‘sitting’ is her influence, her control, and her power. Obviously God wants us to understand that her ‘sitting’ involves two separate locations or spheres of influence.
The Four Gentile Beasts
In the vision John says, “And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…” This beast is the fourth of the four beasts of Daniel 7, and is the Roman Empire (howbeit in a certain form that we will discuss later). What the reader should understand is that there are only four Gentile world powers that exist during ‘the times of the Gentiles’ (Luke 21:24, Dan. 7:17). These ‘times’ stretch from Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon to the return of the Son of Man coming with power and great glory (Luke 21:25-27). Daniel 7 depicts symbolically this entire time by describing four beasts. The great image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream also symbolically represents ‘the times of the Gentiles’ (Dan. 2:31-45).
the Great Image the Beasts the World Empires
|Head of fine gold||The first was like a lion||Babylon Empire|
|Chest and arms of silver||The second like a bear||Mede-Persian Empire|
|Belly and thighs of bronze||The third was like a leopard||Grecian Empire|
|Legs of iron – as strong as iron, as iron breaks in pieces and shatters all things. That kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others (Dan. 2: 33, 40).||The fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking, trampling (Dan. 7:7)||Roman Empire in the time of Christ on the earth|
|Feet partly of iron and clay (Dan. 2:33, 41-43)||The same fourth beast in the end when it is judged and destroyed (Dan. 7:8-12)||A revived Roman Empire, having ascended up out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7)|
The point to be made is that there are only four beasts of Gentile world dominion. The interpretation of the king’s dream by Daniel only counts up to the fourth kingdom (Dan. 2:40). The same is true concerning Daniel’s dream of the beasts. In relating this dream Daniel says, “…and behold, a fourth beast…” There are only four beasts (Dan. 7:17), and the Roman Empire is the fourth beast. It is what was present in the time of Jesus Christ on the earth, as well as the apostle John at the time of his writing. But the fourth beast is the last beast, and its last form is clearly shown in Revelation 13. This is the revived Roman Empire having ascended up out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 13:1-7). This is the beast in the last 3 ½ years before the Son of Man returns to the earth.
The desire of some is to turn the scarlet beast, which the woman sits on, into some type of new Islamic beast made up of ten Islamic kingdoms. However, the beast with the harlot is the same beast that was present in the time of Jesus Christ, only then it was without the woman. We should resist attempting to create something different than what the fourth beast actually was – the Roman Empire. There is no fifth beast of Gentile world dominion. There will be no Islamic world empire. What clearly exists in the end will be a revived Roman beast.
The Harlot sits on Many Waters
The angel introduces the vision by telling John a little about the extended sphere of influence of its object, “…the harlot who sits on many waters…” (Rev. 17:1) Her impact goes well beyond the Roman beast. The waters would represent the remainder of the Gentile world beyond the Gentile earth – the land mass encompassed by the full extent of the reign of the four empires put together. This area would also be known as the prophetic earth. What is beyond this would be the ‘many waters’. It stands to reason that the harlot has this extended influence and power beyond the territories of the four beasts.
“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
In this verse we see a noticeable distinction between inhabitants of the earth and those of the sea. Have you ever wondered who the inhabitants of the sea are? This is still prophetic language and the use of allegories, and an interpretation is needed. The ‘inhabitants of the earth’ is a reference to the prophetic earth land mass and those nations that dwell within the boundaries of the four Gentile empires. This would include Israel and the Promised Land. The ‘inhabitants of the sea’ refers to the remainder of the Gentile nations. The removal of Satan from the heavens and cast down to the earth is a ‘woe judgment’ and an experience for the entire world – the inhabitants of the earth and the sea.
- The Prophetic Earth – the entire land mass and boundaries of the four Gentile world dynasties put together. The prophetic earth involves the regions and nations included in the extent of Scriptural prophecy.
- The Roman Earth – the physical boundaries of the Roman Empire in the time of Christ. It is that of the fourth beast without the extended lands associated with the previous three preceding it. This will also be the territory of the same beast in its last and final form, ascending up out of the bottomless pit. This very well could be what is meant in the book of Revelation when the phrase ‘a third of the earth’ is used (Rev. 8:7-12).
- The Great Sea – “…the four great beasts came up from the sea…” (Dan. 7:2-3). I doubt that this is a direct reference to the Mediterranean Sea. The Great Sea or sea is an allegory. It doesn’t refer to bodies of salt or fresh water or water at all. The Great Sea is the mass of Gentile nations out of which the original four Gentile world kingdoms were formed. The territories associated with the Babylonian empire are added to the next empire that followed until you get to the Roman Empire. Their total amount of territories forms the prophetic earth. What isn’t included in the prophetic earth is the ‘many waters’ (Rev. 17:1). However, we realize that all four beasts, when they appeared in their time, came up out of the unformed mass of Gentiles known as the Great Sea (Dan. 7:3). We see that this meaning is confirmed by the angel in his interpretation.
“Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”
The understanding of how allegories are used in prophetic language and their consistent interpretations and meanings becomes a valuable tool for any believer in their attempts at understanding prophecy in general, and the book of Daniel and Revelation in particular.
Also understanding general Biblical principles is a key for studying Scripture. For example, consider the proper understanding of the principle of the government of God and what topics are related to this:
- the times of the Gentiles
- the four beasts
- the shekinah glory in the temple
- the presence of God leaving Israel
- God saying to Israel, “For you are not My people, And I will not be your God” (Hosea 1:9)
- the ark of the covenant, the throne of Jehovah
- the function of the Melchizedek priest
- the name of the Most High
- the two separate and distinct destructions of Jerusalem and the temple – one by the first beast, the other by the fourth beast
- the dividing up of the millennial earth by God – this division centering on Israel as a nation of God’s favor and faithfulness (Deut. 32:8-9)
All these things and more are understood and become clear when general Biblical principles such as the government of God of the earth is comprehended.
The true church, the body of Christ, has nothing but heavenly citizenship, heavenly abodes, and heavenly glory. The great harlot has earthly glory and riches, though it is false glory and deceptive. Her conduct is ecclesiastical corruption on the earth, and the glory of the world associated with it. Her union with the world is her whoredom. The apostle John was mystified that the professing church, which he had oversight of as the last apostle, would take on this character and form. However, if we want to have more proof as to whom the harlot is, we must go to the interpretation given by the angel to John. This is what we will consider next.
Chapter 13: Endnotes
 The Biblical truth and teaching of the utter depravity of man after the fall and after being chased out of the garden is one of the most important truths of Scripture to fully comprehend and submit to. Without properly seeing this truth you simply will never correctly understand God or His sovereignty. You will never fully understand grace as it is given by God, nor the proper role of the gospel. You will not be able to clarify and separate the work of God from what man is doing. Finally, you will not be able to fully see the glory of God. All these doctrines and Biblical truths literally hang on this key understanding – man in Adam, man in the flesh, is utterly depraved and 100% lost, and without God and without resource in the world. There is nothing man can do. In and of himself, nothing. From the fall of Adam, man’s will is a slave to sin. Sin is reigning as a king, in the flesh. Man’s will is not free, not when it is a slave.
This state, as taught by Scripture, is 100% depraved, 100% lost. There is absolutely no middle ground, there is not a lower percentage, and there is no partial depravity or lostness. But this is just where the deception and evil of the Arminian and Judaizing doctrine raises its head. It creates a middle ground where no middle ground ever existed. It teaches a partial depravity of mankind where there exists only a full and comprehensive depravity of man. The leaven demands that man still has his resources intact and working for him. His will is still free, and by it he can reason and choose the good. He does not always love the darkness, but in the right situation is attracted to the light and will seek the light. He will seek after God and make the reasonable and intelligent decision (Rom. 3:10-11).
This is the reasoning that the false leaven brings in. But the experience of Israel in God’s dealings with them proves this thinking to be utter nonsense. When God gave them the law, they broke it before the tablets were brought down the mountain. Israel, as man in the flesh, could never do the law of God (Rom. 8:7-8). Further, when God presented His Son to them as their Messiah, they killed Him. So when goodness, grace, and truth were presented to Israel by God coming to them in the flesh, man in Adam could only hate Him, despise Him, and reject Him. When God came into the very world that He Himself had created, man purposely and willingly chased Him back out. Without fully comprehending man’s state of utter depravity in Adam, you will not be able to properly see the glory of God.
 Up to the point that Judah was taken captive into Babylon there remained two great Biblical principles of God with Israel – that of God’s calling and that of God’s government of the earth. These were introduced by God after He destroyed the world in the flood. The sword was placed into Noah’s hand. This is the principle of God’s government. Abram was called and separated from the world. This is the principle of God’s calling.
After Israel was delivered from Egypt, the presence and glory of Jehovah came down at Mt. Sinai to live in the midst of the nation of Israel. Jehovah lived among them, in the tabernacle and later in Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. The basis of His presence there was that Israel was a called and redeemed people. This redemption was only external in the flesh, and through types and shadows, but still, Israel represented a redeemed people that God could live among. However He was still hidden behind a veil.
In Israel the two principles were united together by God – calling and government. Jehovah lived among a called and redeemed people, and ruled the world from His throne between the cherubim. These two principles remained united in Israel until their apostasy and idolatry forced Jehovah to remove His presence from the earth. At that time God allowed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the loss of the ark – the throne of God. Government of the earth was given to the Gentiles, starting with Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon.
Jerusalem would be rebuilt, its walls and streets. The temple would also be rebuilt. However, Nehemiah’s temple was an inferior glory than the previous one. Solomon’s temple had the ark, the throne of God, and the presence and glory of Jehovah was there. Nehemiah’s temple never had this, nor did Nehemiah ever try to duplicate or mimic what was previously started and present through the time of Moses.
This is a lesson of great importance for us to see and understand today, especially Christian leaders. Nehemiah never assumes he has a right to the privileges of Moses’ position. He never attempts to recapture Moses’ power or glory. He never makes a new ark of the covenant to stick back inside the veil in the rebuilt temple. He never prays for the glory and presence of Jehovah to come back down from heaven and live among this remnant of Judah, now returned from Babylon. Along with this, Nehemiah realizes that the Gentiles are in control and rule over them, and it is God’s will that it stays this way (Neh. 9:36-37). He never assumes he has the right to be a second Moses, and has a right to delivering power and miracles etc. He never assumes he has the right to call God’s presence back from heaven, back to the earth and new temple.
Yet this is the mistake we make in the professing church. We read the passage in Luke 4:17-21 about the anointing of Messiah for His ministry in and toward Israel, and we mistakenly assume all believers by faith are privileged to have and walk in this same anointing and power. We are blind to Biblical principles that easily explain His position and title as Messiah and the scope and range of Messiah’s mission (Matt. 15:24-26). We read the book of Acts and see the beginnings of the church, and again assume this is our right and God given privilege to walk in the same position and apostolic power they did, with the same blessings and miracles and apostolic authority. Do we not realize there are no apostles among us today? How can we possibly walk in apostolic power and authority? In the first three messages to Christendom in Revelation 2, Jesus held out to the church world the possibility of the corporate entity repenting and returning to its first position of blessing. After that He drops all thought of any return to Pentecost in the fourth church period. The professing church had become corrupt. Returning was no longer the will of God because Jesus does not see it as a possibility. Does that mean that in presumption, we should nevertheless hold it out as a possibility and teach it as our right and privilege? Are we going to continue to declare this return to Pentecostal power as the will of God and our right, and continue to encourage believers to give hours and years in prayer to make this happen?
I will be honest with you. A return to Pentecost for the professing church is not the will of God and not His plan. And further, the leap of presumption that the church will then rise up and change and save America is entirely out of the question. That is not His plan either. These thoughts and prayers only show the arrogance of Laodicea (Rev. 3:17). We show our lack of humility and show our spiritual blindness by refusing to recognize the evil and corruption of the professing church. It is the false Arminian leaven of human achievement that props up and inflates these very thoughts and blinds us to the purpose and plan of God. We essentially create our own plan out of our own wills, independent from God’s. How is this not borderline apostasy? At the very least it is the religious confidences of the flesh that are found, when spiritual eyes are opened by the Spirit, to be mere rubbish and dung (Phil. 3:1-9).
The prophet Haggai was involved in the time of the rebuilt temple. He speaks for God saying, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former…and in this place I will give peace.” But this is not a reference to Nehemiah’s rebuilt temple, but rather to the millennial temple and the glory of Jesus Christ reigning on the earth in the latter days (Haggai 2:6-9).
When ministers talk of Nehemiah they talk of revival for the church, and come up with formulas to make revival happen. I simply don’t get it. Where do we see revival with Nehemiah? There was no return to Moses’ tabernacle, no glory and presence of Jehovah, no miracles or signs, and no deliverance from servitude to the Gentiles. There was the joy of Jehovah as their strength in blessing for this little remnant of Judah that was allowed to return from captivity (Neh. 8:10). There were more miracles and activity by God found with Daniel and his friends in captivity in Babylon than anything you see after the remnant of Judah was allowed to return to the land. There was no revival of Israel under Nehemiah. There was no Israel under Nehemiah for that matter. The ten northern tribes had long ago been scattered by the Assyrian into the Gentile world. A small remnant of Judah was what was with Nehemiah. God’s plan was simple. The small remnant would rebuild Jerusalem and the temple over time, so that God could present Messiah to them according to promises and prophecy. They would reject the Messiah when He came, and God would destroy the city and the temple again in 70 AD. This time it was by the fourth beast.
God’s separation of the two principles – calling and government – took place when god set up Babylon to rule the world. The principle of government was given to the Gentiles. This principle stays with the Gentiles for all the time known as the ‘times of the Gentiles.’ The principle of calling stayed with Israel. What distinctly marks God’s separation of these two principles was the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. When the principle of government was removed from Israel, Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon were used by God to bring destruction. When the principle of calling was set aside in Israel, God used the Romans to bring destruction. At the present time, and since the last destruction of the city and temple in 70 AD, Israel does not have either of the two principles acknowledged in them by God. God doesn’t acknowledge them even as His people (Hosea 1:9).
When the principle of government was set aside from Israel and given to the Gentiles, God’s intention and plan is not to unite these two principles again until the millennium. They are to stay separated until God acknowledges Israel again as His people. This will not be until the millennium. Both calling and government of the earth will then be centered in Israel with a Jewish remnant being saved. At this present time, the principle of calling is with the church, and government with the Gentiles. But make no mistake, the church wasn’t given Israel’s calling. The church’s calling is heavenly. Israel’s calling is earthly. And besides, all callings are without repentance. And further, God had to set aside Israel and their calling in order to bring forth the church and its calling. God will not deal with two different callings at the same time. As long as the true church is still on the earth, God will not recognize Israel as His people or their calling.
God’s principle of calling rests with the church at this time, for as long as she exists upon the earth – until her rapture. What should be obvious is that the two principles are separated for the entire time of ‘the times of the Gentiles’ (Luke 21:24). God did this. God has separated them and man should not attempt to bring them back together. The professing church is guilty of committing adultery and fornications with the kings of the earth. Christendom seeking civil power has always been against the will of God. The professing church has never had the right to do this. It is all the filthiness of her fornications and her unholy uniting with the world (Rev. 17:2, 4).