There are those who look at Revelation as dealing with the great whore as with the Catholic Church, in a sort of Historicist approach to interpretation. Others take the book to be completely spiritual, as though it is not pinpointing any single culprit as the harlot. However, Revelation, like the rest of the Bible, dealt with specific things in the days of the early church. You have to make the error of spiritualizing everything away, including obvious time-framing statements, such as "Things which must shortly come to pass," and "Behold I come quickly", and reshape them into a sort of relative statement based upon the reader's timeframe, as though "When you begin the get hold of God, this must shortly come to pass," in order to say this was not specific to the early church.
And you also have to totally ignore the obvious stress that Jesus put upon Jerusalem's then-contemporary generation's rejection of Christ and subsequent candidacy for destruction and damnation that you read very clearly all the way from Matthew 21 (where the rejection occurred) until Matthew 25... in order to cast away the significance of the issue of the early church beneath Jerusalem's persecution.
To clear it all up, allow oneself to simply read from Matthew chapter 21 through to the end of chapter 24, even chapter 25, and keep in mind tyhe thought that Jesus is remembering that rejection. Also, you will find a mirror of Matthew 24's list of events with Revelation 6's six seals.
One has to cast aside Jesus'
obvious statements to Jerusalem, including His accusation to her of holding
guilt for all the blood shed on earth, that are repeated in Revelation upon
the Whore, to not accuse Jerusalem as being the whore. One has to cast aside
all the relevance that
Jerusalem ever held as a bride throughout the entire Bible.
It is principly correct to look at the book of Revelation spiritually, and apply it to us today. We can apply the scope of Revelation to every generation's day, including our own with our own beasts and whores. However, this cannot be said without also noting that the primary point and actual target of discussion concerned the greatest travesty of all travesties, rewarded with the greatest tribulation of them all, when Jerusalem crucified her bridegroom.
I really think that any other interpretation of Revelation detracts from that focus of all the Bible.. the days of the cross, and the history of the generation responsible for it, and the generation who accepted Christ in that monstrous changeover of all change-overs -- LAW TO GRACE.
Nothing was so monumental in all earth's history as that changeover, which involved an actual time-frame.
Should you recognize that it is biblical precedent to look at the primary targets of the letters of the epistles in dealing with then-contemporary and actual issues, and apply them to ourselves in similar situations, I think one also might get a clearer picture.
To look at it from a spiritualistic standpoint alone, and ignore the actual history of Jerusalem's destruction in light of her rejection of Jesus, or to accuse the Roman Catholic Church to be guilty as the whore, is to actually be halfway there in correctness. However, it misses the tremendous relevance of the dealings with the very generation of Jerusalem who were foretold for centuries before to reject Christ and disobey the law in the most heinous manner possible, placing all major concern around the cross and its history.
Seeing Revelation's pattern of writing and the obvious EXODUS imagery and the pattern of LEVITCUS' cursings wrought upon those who would disobey law (See Leviticus 26's reference to four sevenfold judgments upon any who disobey law... and recognize the same pattern in (1) seven seals (2) seven trumpets (3) seven thunders (4) seven vials).... and realizing that Jerusalem was beneath Old Testament Law, whereas Roman Catholics were not... makes it very plain that Jerusalem is the whore of all whores. Others can ever only be in her shadow, and considered daughters and sons.
Revelation lists curses of the Law of Moses. How can that apply to any other entity as much as to Jerusalem who was indeed beneath Law?
Read Deuteronomy 27 and the curses listed, then chapter 28 where the blessings are listed.
There, you see the trees consumed with locusts in the cursings. You see the plagues of the Revelation listed! What are they there for? They're curses to those who disobey Law.
Also, Law was heralded with thunders and lightning and voices on the third day when Moses ascended the mount to meet God. You see this same thing shown in the Revelation of Jesus in Revelation 4. The message is that the curses of the Law are upon those who reject Christ... upon those who were once beneath Law, intended by Law to come to Christ. For what worse breaking of law can one experience aside from rejecting Christ, the one to whom law would act as a schoolmaster to bring?
You see this note of thunders and lightnings every time the seventh item in the seals, trumpets and vials are noted, because it is a reminder of the law being broken, that was heralded with these significant events occurring atop Mt. Sinai, that contained the curses associated with those who break it.
It can only contextually apply to Jerusalem so perfectly and completely.
Law of Moses is not in effect to anybody today.
You will find Moses being told of all the curses and blessings. And then God takes him aside and informs him that Israel will indeed break the Law, and will experience these curses.
Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.So God told Moses to write a song of ISRAEL.
Deuteronomy 31:19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.God said this song will be a witness against Israel, for He foretold their rejection and rebellion as far back as Moses' day, right here in Deut 31.
Deuteronomy 31:21-22 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.Moses prophesies the very rejection OF ISRAEL IN JESUS' DAY...
Deuteronomy 31:26-27 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?This was MOST SIGNIFICANT and MOST relative to natural ISRAEL and JERUSALEM. Not the Catholic Church. (Even Paul makes a contrast between natural Jerusalem and New Jerusalem in Galatians 4).
They would indeed crucify the Lord.
And lo and behold....
As we read Revelation, the seven LAST PLAGUES that were noted in Leviticus 26 as the finality for not repenting and getting back to God after breaking God's Law, are ready to be poured out, and guess what song is sung?
Revelation 15:1-3 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.There is also the song of the lamb because the Church accepted Jesus. The song of Moses is sung because Israel rejected Him as Moses was told, and was cursed with the curses of the law.
A study of Deuteronomy absolutely shot me through the roof in light of Revelation's curses upon the whore! And I really think its a missing part of the puzzle in many people's personal studies of prophecy.
Yes, we can apply it spiritually to us today, in our little battles towards maturity in Christ. However, the Bible is a book totally written showing actual situations that were dealt with in the letters, and made applicable for any age.
Don't miss this same intrinsic element of Revelation.