THE HARLOT CHURCH
By Dan Luehrs
"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" (Revelation 17:1).
In the Book of Revelation chapters 17 and 18 we find a "great harlot" being judged. As I have already written in the chapter on Revelation 13, that the harlot is in each one of us, and it must be judged. But on a larger scale I see this harlot working in and through the church because the harlot is within each person that is in the carnal systems of man. So the whole church system of man is corrupt and it must be judged in order for it to be freed from the control of carnal man and the soulish realm of man.
There are two women found in the book of Revelation. One is the wife of the Lamb and the other is a harlot. (See Revelation. 21:9). They are both women that have intimacy with a man. The wife has intimacy with one Man, the Lord, as an expression of her love for her Husband. The harlot however, has intimacy with many lovers and does it for pay, not out of love. In the Old Testament God was jealous of Israel because she had many lovers and was a harlot and He ended up judging Israel severely. He will also judge the harlot church today for her harlotries.
We must see that the harlot sits on many waters. That is, she controls the lives of many people on the earth. "And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues" (Revelation 17:15). This is exactly what the harlot church is doing all over the earth today, controlling the masses of people to do their will instead of the will of God. This is harlotry when we do our own thing in the sight of God, rather than His will. "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" (Revelation 17:2).
The harlot is so in love with the world system and driven to be accepted by it that she is willing to do almost anything to receive the world's wealth. "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality" (Revelation 17:4). Notice how wealthy she has become, clothed in purple royalty and precious stones, just as the Laodicea church was in Revelation 3:17-18 (which many say is the last day's church.) "Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see."
As the bride of Christ, we are not to seek the treasures of the world, but the treasures of the Kingdom of God like love, faith, purity, and peace. These are the things in our life that are tried in the fires of adversity that come upon us daily. This will bring us true spiritual riches, lasting throughout eternity. Today the church of Jesus Christ seeks the things of the earth, not the things above. This will change, God will see to it.
"And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. And when I saw her, I wondered greatly" (Revelation 17:6).
When John saw the harlot he wondered greatly how she has become so rich and powerful. Much like the Catholic Church of old that used to sell penance's for a price to build large cathedrals, so the church of today has used tithing falsely to build large ministries and buildings in the name of Jesus. The harlot church is also like Israel that has killed many of its true witnesses of God by their words of assassination. Throughout church history every true prophet of God has either been killed, left to die in some prison, or excommunicated from the church as a heretic or being antichrist, warning no one to have fellowship with them.
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time" (1 John 2:18 KJV).
John wrote that there were many antichrists then, and that there would be more to come in the future. But what most people in the church system do not understand is that the harlot is a "mystery," she is called, "Mystery, Babylon the great!" A mystery is something hidden and not seen clearly by those beholding it. Just as Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:32, that the true body of Christ is a mystery. "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." So also is the false body of Christ a hidden mystery, she is "the antichrist body!" Christ means, "the anointed one," and "anti" means, "to stand against." The antichrist church system stands against the true anointed body as it did in John's day! Most of the church does this; it stands against the anointed moving of the Holy Spirit in the church! Satan has the church looking all around the earth for the mystical "man of sin, the beast," when he is right in their midst, hidden from their understanding! It's as if Satan has people looking one way at a decoy so that they are distracted from seeing him on the inside of themselves. The man of sin, the seed of the serpent (the beast) has been revealed in us, now we must see to his utter destruction in ourselves and in the church at larger through the greater revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ!
GOD WILL JUDGE THE HARLOT
"And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled" (Revelation 17:16-17).
The beast system is the world system that carries the harlot. She is in love with the things and ways of the world. But God is going to turn the beast system against her as He turned King Nebuchadnezzar against Israel because of their great sin against the Lord. At that time great desolation came upon Israel and all their property was burned or stolen. This will happen again as it did to Israel, for Israel is a natural picture of what will happen to the church for her harlotry.
Because of her sin, judgment will come on her in one day. "For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong" (Revelation 18:8).
"And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. "The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!' And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance" (Revelation 18:14-17).
Everything that she has gained and enjoyed by manipulation/witchcraft over God's people will be given back to the beast system, for that is its origin.
The Lord warns us in Revelation 18:4, "To come out of her My People!" "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues." We must come out of the religious controls of men and obey the Lord's leading in all things unless we, too, are destroyed by her plagues. What does this mean for us that are in the local church? Should we leave? If the traditions of men are holding us in bondage we must break free from them until their controls are broken. If missing Sunday morning services causes us to go through withdrawal symptoms, we are having a religious reaction to the traditions of men. Please hear me. I am not against Sunday morning services, but if we are in bondage to the system rather than God, we have a problem! Where does it say in Scripture that we are to attend weekly Sunday morning services? I know what you're thinking, Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." This is not talking about looking at the backs of people's heads for one hour! This is talking about genuine fellowship with other believers and having common-union in a tight-knit home group as the New Testament believers did. Every believer should have a home group that they can share their burdens with and receive prayer and have close fellowship where everybody knows your name.
I believe very soon now that way we do church services is going to change radically where men are no longer in control of the service. The Holy Spirit is going to invade our meetings so much so that no one will dare get up and try and control it; for if they would try, they will fall dead! Let us press on to know the Lord and His leading so that we can flow with the Holy Spirit when He wants to move through us and bless others.