The Bible teaches that there is a counterfeit to the church of Jesus Christ. There has existed as false religious system - an occult network that was created in Babel and has infiltrated all of the various religious groups. This chapter will document the components of this infiltration. While this chapter is primarily an analysis of how the harlot has infiltrated Evangelical Christian churches, these components are in place in organizations of any type that play harlot for Mystery Babylon.
There are three major components of a harlot church: adherence to the doctrine of Balaam, adherence to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and a Jezebel spirit. Descriptions of these three can be found in Revelation 2-3, Numbers 22-24, and 1 Kings. These three components are distinct but interrelated parts working together.
Adherence to the doctrine of Balaam.
Balaam was a prophet/soothsayer who lived during the time of Israel's wanderings in the wilderness. For a time he received genuine words from God. Numbers 22-25 describe the story of Balaam. Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel and offered them a lot of money. Balaam loved that money. At first God refused to let Balaam go to Balak, then let him go within the admonition that Balaam could not go beyond what God told him to. The Lord prohibited him from cursing Israel, so Balaam blessed Israel instead of cursing. Balaam almost lost out. Balak said this in response:
“Then Balak’s anger was aroused against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times! Now therefore, flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the LORD has kept you back from honor.” So Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying,‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD, to do good or bad of my own will. What the LORD says, that I must speak’? And now, indeed, I am going to my people. Come, I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the latter days.” Numbers 24:10-14
According to the story, Balaam left after prophesying what would happen to the Moabites in the last days. After that, Num 25 abruptly begins with the Moabites seducing the Israelites into sexual immorality and idolatry. Why the abrupt change in the story? Jesus Christ gives us the answer in Rev 2:14. The Lord Jesus says that Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block on Israel by seducing them into sexual immorality and idolatry. Balaam thought he had found a loophole. He was explicitly prohibited from cursing Israel but was not explicitly prohibited from teaching Balak how to tricking Israel into cursing themselves by violating God law and bringing judgment upon themselves. Although it was not recorded in the account in Numbers, sometime after Balaam prophesied and before he left he cut a deal with Balak: he would teach him how to trick the Israelites to curse themselves by violating God's Law.
Balak heeded this advice. In chapter 25 the Moabite women seduce Israelite men. The story of Balaam reveals much about the doctrine of Balaam. The doctrine of Balaam has three parts.
1. Preachers of Balaam are in the ministry for what they can get. Preachers of Balaam may be in the ministry for money, sex, power, or celebrity status. They are self-centered preachers at heart even if they feint selflessness.
2. Preachers of Balaam will do their ministry under the color of obedience to the particulars God's Law, when in reality their hearts and purposes are diametrically opposed to the will of God.
3. Preachers of Balaam will resort to various strategies of maliciously misinterpreting Scripture in order to twist the scripture into their mold. Just as Balaam wickedly parsed God's word and twisted them away from the intended meaning to fit into his wicked agenda, modern day preachers of Balaam will twist words out of context and try to force the scripture into their pre-conceived mold. They will cherry pick scripture that can be twisted and evade passages that cannot be conformed to their agenda.
A Jezebel spirit
When Jesus condemned the Church in Thyatira for tolerating "That Jezebel," He was referring to a local woman who operated with the same type of spirit and tactics as Jezebel, the wife of Ahab. The story of Jezebel and Ahab can be found in 1 Kings.
Jezebel was a Pheonician princess who was head of the mother goddess cult in Tyre. The King of Tyre gave her to King Ahab in marriage. As the wife of the King of Israel, she had no tolerance for the Lord God of Israel, but rather sought to convert Israel to idolatry and sexual immorality. She persecuted the prophets of God, ruthless hunting them down. Things got so bad that Obadiah hid 40 prophets in a cave and fed them in an effort to save their lives.
Jezebel was not only a domineering priestess, she was a schemer. She would resort to sinister schemes to get what she wanted. When Ahab wanted to buy Naboth's vineyard and Naboth refused to sell, she set up Naboth to be falsely accused of blasphemy. Once he was stoned as punishment, then Ahab simply took the vineyard as his own.
People possessed by the Jezebel spirit have no tolerance for anyone who opposes them. They will seek any opportunity to entrap and otherwise take vengeance on those who get in their way. Those who are possessed by a Jezebel spirit strike fear in their enemies. The Bible depicts Elijah as being very bold when confronting kings and soldiers. The only time Elijah ever fled was from a vengeful Jezebel. They are enemies of God, but will, like Satan use God's as a convenient weapon in making false and slanderous accusation. A modern day example of Jezebel in the political arena is Hillary Clinton.
Adherence to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans
Both Balaam and Jezebel have clear precedents in the Old Testament, making cross references easy. The Nicolaitans, however, don't at first seem to have a cross reference. There are several common views as to who the Nicolaitans are. One view is that they were a gnostic sect known for their prolific sexual immorality and debauchery. Another view is that Nicolaitans were followers of Nicholas-the seventh deacon in the Jerusalem church who supposedly turned away from God. The third view is that Nicolaitan is a transliteration of Nike ( conquerer) + laites (people)Nike and Laites, compounded together, means conqueror of the people. While the solution of the mystery of the Nicolaitans is not as obvious as Balaam and Jezebel, the Bible leaves two clues.
First, we should dismiss the idea that the Nicolaitans were followers of Nicolas. Those who followed Balaam and Jezebel are clearly identified by the leaders they followed and not by the name given to the followers. If they were followers of Nicholas, then the Scriptures would plainly spell this out.
The second clue is that the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans are singled out for hatred. Twice the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans are described using the definite article "which thing I hate". According to the Bible, God hates ALL sin because He is perfectly holy. Why would a God who hates all sin single out the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans. The conclusion is that, while God hates all sin, He hates the doctrines and deeds of the Nicolaitans more than other sins. The key to solving the mystery of the Nicolaitans is to cross reference with passages which show the types of sins Jesus hates most.
During Jesus earthly ministry it becomes apparent which sins Jesus hates the most. The use of religion by tyrants as a tool to oppress people is the most heinous sin. When one studies the gospels, it becomes apparent that Jesus' harshest rebukes are towards the religious leaders. Matthew 23 is a summary of His attitude about the doctrines and deeds of the religious leaders.
According to Matthew 23, Jesus rebukes the religious leaders of His day for oppressing the people
“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matt 23:4 NKJV
They loved the celebrity status. They loved being called "Rabbi", "Father", and "Teacher." Jesus responded with these words:
“But you do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for ONE is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all BRETHREN. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for ONE is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for ONE is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matt23:8-12 NKJV
Jesus Christ condemned the religious leaders setting themselves up as masters over the people. It was His intent to set people free. Free from sin and free from the slavery and tyranny of human despots. There was to be only one Master and One King. Jesus Christ is the King; we are to be equals as brothers, kings and priests. Leaders were to use their leadership in the service of the family of God, not the mastery of the family God.
In Mark 7:6-13, Jesus condemns the theological sophistry the religious leaders did to dethrone the rule of God's Word to replace it with the opinions of men
“He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
“ ’This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.’ He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother”; and, “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever profit you might have received from me Corban’—“ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:6-13 NKJV
The religious leaders of Jesus day had a peculiar device for subverting the Word, one that has since been adapted by both the roman Catholic and eastern Orthodox Churches. They contended that the written Law was not the only law God gave (in spite of the repeated admonition to write, and commit to memory the whole law). They contended that God revealed an oral law exclusively to the priests, and that this oral law or oral Torah as they call it was necessary in order to interpret the written law. This concept is found nowhere in the Old Testament and did not enter into Jewish theology until the Jews had been exposed to Greek culture under Antiochus, who got his ideas ultimately from Mystery Babylon.
Antiochus persecution of the Jews resulted in two parties among the Jews: The Hellenistic Jews and the Orthodox Jews who were called Pharisees in the gospels. The Hellenistic Jews favored comingling of Greek culture into Judaism. The Pharisees sought to keep Judaism pure from Greek influences. While the Pharisees avoided the sexual immorality and the pantheistic metaphysics of the Greeks, they acquired their ecclesiology from the Greeks and mixed that in with Judaism. The Mystery Religions that the Greeks observed held to the notion that the divine principle was a principle of nature that manifested itself in natural evolution. These divine principles determined the way that nature evolves, and therefore the way human societies evolve.
Adherents of the mystery religion believe that the divine spark was present only in certain individuals and only those initiated into those mysteries have access to the divine spark. According to the mystery religions, the aristocrats and the priesthood have a monopoly on divine things.
This mixture of any Greek version of the mystery religion and Judaism produces a number of strains of gnosticism. The Church Fathers were consistently insisting that the Nicolaitans were an early Gnostic sect that laid heavy emphasis on lascivious living. The early church rightly rejected the hedonistic lifestyle of the Nicolaitans, but Jesus condemnation was centered at a different focus. Jesus hated the Gnostic doctrine that only certain people had access to God word and that everyone else had to give absolute allegiance to these leaders. These leaders were taking honor that belongs only to God. The Nicolaitans brought this doctrine into the church, and while their hedonistic lifestyle did not stay, their ecclesiology became the dominant ecclesiology in the church. The Nicolaitans were truly “Conquerors of the People.”
How these three work together
These three systems overlap. A harlot church flourishes in an environment where ministers who are in the ministry to advance their own selfish interests or their own name are rewarded and those who are zealous for the Lord are punished. Ministers who do not care about earthly rewards or punishments cannot be controlled by any combination of carrots and sticks, whereas those who do care can be controlled. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is used to take power away from the people and give it to the few. It is easier to control a few and use them as leverage to control many than to try to directly control many. A Jezebel spirit schemes and stirs up persecution against those who cannot be bought nor deceived.