They Will Hate the Harlot

(Revelation 17:16; 18:1-14)

After the protests of Jan Huss and Martin Luther, the whole of Europe changed. The Hussites broke free from the Papacy in 1471, and the Lutherans broke free in 1520 when Martin Luther burned the Papal Bull in front of a crowd in Wittenberg. Some European states, like Sweden and England, established their own churches.

By the end of the 16th century, the political relationship between the states of Europe and the pope had also come to an end. These relationships began after the East–West Schism of 1054 and became stronger with Hildebrand in 1073. John said the ten kings would reign with the beast as for one hour,1Rev 17:12 but in one hour, the harlot and all her wealth will be laid to waste.2Rev 18:19

John said the ten kings, the ten states of Europe, “will hate the harlot.”3Rev 17:16 They “made her desolate and naked”4Rev 17:16 — they took away her wealth and splendor and exposed all her corruption. They “ate her flesh,”5Rev 17:16 meaning they destroyed her power. They “burned her up with fire.”6Rev 17:16 This was the punishment required of a priest’s daughter who had become a prostitute.7Leviticus 21:9 Mystery Babylon was a great harlot.

John described “the smoke of her burning,”8Rev 18:9 and the angel said, “Pay her back double according to [her] deeds.”9Rev 18:6

Those who made their living by the sea, selling salvation, watched her burn from a distance: “The merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her because no one buys her cargo anymore — gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet.”10Rev 18:11-12

John Lothrop Motley, in his book The Rise of the Dutch Republic, described the Reformation scene in the Netherlands, saying: “… pictures, statues, organs, ornaments … of richest material glittering with pearls, rubies and other precious stones were scattered in heaps of ruin upon the ground.”11J. L. Motley. “Dutch Republic.” Volume1, page 567

The angel who spoke to John rebuked the harlot, saying, “The fruit that you long for has gone from you.”12Rev 18:14 The Catholic Church did not seek the fruit of the Spirit but power over men and material gain.

The denial of the harlot was described in Revelation 18:7 “I am a queen and not a widow.” The Catholic Church tried to insist that it was still the true bride of Christ.