(Hosea 2:22; 3:1; Revelation 18:4)
The vivid descriptions of the Church as a great harlot gave the Protestant reformers the confidence to leave the Church that claimed to hold the keys of salvation for every man. The corruption of the Church was first prophesied in the Book of Daniel. Daniel said the power of the holy people would be completely shattered after “a time, times, and half a time.”
In Revelation 18, the Spirit of Christ, the Angel of God, called out from heaven, saying, “Come out from her, My people, so that you do not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues — fallen, fallen is Babylon the great. She has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit and every hated bird.”1Rev 18:2,4
The corruption of the Church was reflected in the immorality of the clergy and the doctrines of the Church. The most obvious offense in doctrine was the sale of the forgiveness of sins, called indulgences. Many pagan practices of the Roman Empire were brought into the Church. Christmas and Easter both had their origins in Roman pagan festivals. Hosea prophesied about the pagan religion of the New Covenant Church, saying, “Go again and love a lover, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”2Hosea 3:1 The most difficult corruptions of doctrine, however, were the image of the Beast — the Trinity doctrine — and the mark of the beast — the changing of God’s commandment regarding the Sabbath day.
Hosea called God’s people Jezreel,3Hosea 2:22 meaning “God scatters,” as many denominations were formed as the saints heard Christ’s call to leave the Church. But they continued to hold onto corrupt doctrines. Mystery Babylon was “the mother of harlots and the abominations of the Earth.”4Rev 17:5
After breaking free from the pope, the saints began cleansing the Holy City. Many denominations, like the Pentecostals and Baptists, were named for their emphasis on restoring the truth.