(Note: If you haven’t read them yet, these five posts teaching about chiastic structures in Bible texts is recommended.)
One of the important findings of Chronicles is that Mystery Babylon, the Harlot, is the entire world. This finding has significant ramifications.
There are three pairs of parallel chiastic texts involving Mystery Babylon. Each pair shows the Harlot being the opposite of something else. Together, the three pair of texts shows us that Mystery Babylon, the great city, is everyone who is not a servant of Christ.
Harlot’s Identity has Great Ramifications
The true identity of the Harlot, being the whole world, has great ramifications both for our understanding as to how the end times will unfold in your particular part of the world (leading up to the Tribulation as the Signposts unfold), but it also gives us a better perspective of the spiritual war going on around us, allowing us to be better prepared.
This is important for the church to understand. Just as the Signposts as explained in Daniel Revisited gave us a better understanding of the Middle East, understanding the Harlot’s identity will give us a better global understanding of the Four Signposts.
Therefore, I see this as a teaching from Chronicles that has a very high priority.
The FIRST of Three Chiastic Parallel Texts
The first of the three pairs was shown earlier in this post, with chiastics showing us the Harlot, Mystery Babylon, is somehow the opposite of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Eight marker sets echo the riding of the beast versus the riding of a white horse, and wearing scarlet clothing versus a robe dipped in blood, and both having writing on their bodies.
The SECOND of Three Chiastic Parallel Texts
Now, we will see the second parallel text pairs of opposites. Remarkably, this is the chiastic pair that shows us the great city, the Harlot, is the opposite of the Holy city. The two parallel texts are shown here in Figure 99 of chapter 37 of Chronicles.
There are fifteen marker sets echoing between the eighteen verses of Revelation 17 describing the Harlot, the great city, and the twenty-four verses of Revelation 21:9–22:5 describing the Holy city. Fifteen echoed marker words and phrases over so few verses is an example of a “dense” word trail, and therefore, one that should grab our attention and strongly hint that there is a great truth to teach us.
The Fifteen Echoed Markers
Let’s take a look at the words that are echoed.
In the first marker set of Figure 99 (where the left edge of Figure 99 has a “1” in a square both near the top and halfway down), the description of the Harlot and the description of the Bride both start with one of the seven angels carrying one of the bowls.
The second set of markers both show the hosting angel saying to John to, “Come” and that he will be shown something, in one, the Harlot, and in the other, the Bride.
The third set of markers involve a place in which the vision takes place. In prophecy, a mountain represents a kingdom or culture with great population and great influence. The opposite of a mountain, a wilderness, is a place of desolation, the opposite of a great kingdom. Note the Bride is on a high mountain, but the Harlot is in a wilderness where it is desolate. The use of a mountain and a wilderness are metaphors, therefore—they do not represent real places.
The fourth contrasting marker set is the woman versus the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
The fifth marker set is interesting. The Bride has a brilliance like a precious stone, while the Harlot, the knock-off of the Bride, wears precious stones to look brilliant. She herself is not brilliant as the Bride is, but must wear precious stones to emulate the Bride.
The sixth marker set shows names being written on both figures.
The eighth marker set shows speaking, both telling and one who is speaking.
Between them is a more obscure seventh marker set: the woman being drunk on the blood of the witnesses of Jesus, while the Bride has twelve foundation stones which represent the Apostles, the twelve first-hand witnesses of Jesus.
The ninth marker set echoes numbers—seven heads versus twelve gates.
The tenth marker set echoes kings which are the ten kings ruling with Antichrist versus the kings who will bring the glory of the nations into the Holy City. The eleventh marker set is similar, both reflecting the power, authority of one group of kings, and the glory and honor of other kings.
The twelfth set is the Lamb.
The thirteenth involves water. The waters or peoples on which the Harlot sits, echoes the water of life which could provide rich and abundant life to those same peoples.
The fourteenth is a contrast: consuming and burning versus healing.
The fifteenth and final marker set shows who rules. The great city rules over the kings of the earth, but the Lamb is on the throne of God and his bond-servants will serve Him.
The Harlot Shown to be Opposite of the Bride
Revelation 17 and 21 show us a stark contrast between the Harlot and the Bride. Every pair of chiastic parallel word trails examined in Daniel, Zechariah and Revelation tells us two parallel texts are either the same account told two different ways, or are two different accounts of different things that are somehow related to each other. In this case, it is clearly the latter. Fifteen words and phrases are employed to tell us about both the Harlot and the Bride.
One figure is the faithful spouse of the Lamb, and the other figure participates in idolatry, being unfaithful to the One who would be her spouse. The Harlot is indeed opposite of the Bride.
So how does the fact that these two figures being opposites reveal the Harlot’s identity?
All, and I do mean ALL, servants of Christ are part of the Bride. I believe no one would disagree with this one point. Would there be any faithful servant of Christ who would not be part of the Bride?
Likewise, the Harlot being the opposite of the Bride strongly suggests that the Harlot would contain all people who are NOT servants of Christ.
Just as all servants of Christ are part of the Bride, and none of them are apart from the Bride, wouldn’t that suggest all those who are NOT servants of Christ would be part of the Harlot, and there are none of them apart from the Harlot?
The Harlot is the World
What naturally follows, then, if this is true, is the Harlot is the world. If the Harlot is everyone who is not a servant of Christ, then the Harlot is indeed the entire world.
There are Only Two Sides
We saw in this post, the Harlot is the opposite of Jesus Christ. There are two camps and no others: one either allows the spirit of Christ to live in their heart, or the spirit of the Harlot. The latter figure is idolatry. Either God is your God or something else is.
Did not Jesus say you are either for Him or against Him (Matt. 12:30)? Did Jesus not say you either serve God or Mammon (Matt. 6:24)?
The Great City is the opposite of the Holy City. There are two camps and no other. You either live in the Holy City or the Great City. The servants of Christ live in the Holy City. Everyone else lives in the Great City.
In the weeks ahead we will see the third and final parallel set of texts showing us the Harlot is the whole world. We will also look at arguments as to why the great city might be a single city. Finally, we will also see the importance of the Harlot’s identity and how it shapes the end times and the Signposts.
All this is also in Chronicles.