The Harlot or the Bride

By Jan Willem van der Hoeven

The Harlot – Revelation 17:1-6

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness.

Share This Post

By Jan Willem van der Hoeven

The Harlot – Revelation 17:1-6

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: 


I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

The Bride – Revelation 21:9-14

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 
Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

It is therefore abundantly clear from the Scriptures here mentioned that towards the end of the age two bodies of the Lord’s people will arise: one is described as being a scarlet harlot. The other is described as being a whitewashed bride.

It is for each church and individual who calls him or herself a true believer to decide to which of these two he or she wants to belong. Although the Lord Himself warns us sternly not to take it upon ourselves to judge and separate the tares from the wheat, there are clear admonitions in the Scriptures for each one of us who is serious about his salvation and walk with the Lord to know what to do about it in order that we may be among “the few who will be saved.” For sadly, very sadly, most will prefer the wide and easy road, which surely leads to our destruction.

That wide road, in this case and as these Scriptures show, leads one day to the city of the seven hills where the totally corrupt church will make common cause with the equally corrupted world government that is described by John, the beloved apostle, as a beast with seven heads and ten horns. (See Revelation 13:1; 17:7-12.)

So here it is. Which way will the church go? To Rome, or to Jerusalem?

This sentence by itself may raise many an eyebrow of resistance even against so obvious a truth. And yet, the Scriptures do not proclaim that one day a new Rome is coming down from heaven, and that the kings, queens, presidents and nations will come up – each year – to this heavenly Rome to learn the ways of the Lord and worship Him.

No! It is for any honest reader of the Bible so clear that it is Jerusalem that is seen to be closely connected to the bride or church of the Lord. It is not in Rome that the 144,000 faithful followers of the Lord are seen, but on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. It is in Jerusalem that God’s holy and fiery prophets will thunder God’s words and judgments as seen in Revelation 11.

And finally, it is the heavenly Jerusalem, coming down to earth, that is identified with the bride of Christ – not Rome.

Now for those who at this moment would feel this to be all too much emphasis on the geographical aspects of these matters which should be seen primarily in a more universal spiritual dimension, transcending cities and loyalties here on earth, then in a way that is so true. It is as Jesus once remarked to the questioning Samaritan woman: It is not the locality or place where each one of us worships God, but the truthful spirit with which we seek and worship Him which will make us and our worship acceptable to the Lord.

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:19-24)

So our Lord Jesus emphasizes this very point: to be acceptable unto God will not depend upon the right locality at which we worship Him, but on the attitude of our hearts! And it is on this point that the very Scriptures already quoted from the new Covenant (or Testament), as well as others that will follow hereafter, will lead us in our understanding.

The main characteristic of the scarlet woman, or world church, will be that she has not washed herself and is filled with abominations, yet she hates with a passion the true believers or saints.

Without wanting to be unnecessary judgmental, I believe it helpful for the sake of clarity that we take an honest look at what is happening in many of today’s churches and denominations where, more and more, sin is excused or condoned without the Bible-based call for repentance.

It is to those who repent from their sins and believe that the gate to heaven is mercifully opened; not to those who have not repented, because almost nothing is allowed to be seen as sin in this worldly, politically-correct generation of ours. To regard homosexuality and other deviations as sin is increasingly seen as the evil of discrimination. So really there is nothing to repent of.

The bride – the Bible says – has washed herself white, through repentance and confession, in the blood of the Lamb. The world church, however, increasingly accepts the sinful ways of men as accepted variables of men’s behavior. Therefore she does not need to wash herself by repentance in the blood of Jesus the Lord – for nothing is really sin any more. That is the world into which we have entered.

But the Word of the Gospel is so unambiguous.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)

Can these words be clearer? It is indeed here that we part ways: one to the world church in Rome, where everyone can do as he pleases – often even the clergy too; the other to Jerusalem, the city of which we can be no part unless we repent from our sinful ways.

Thus is this truth expressed in the Revelation, and indeed what a revelation Jesus’ beloved apostle, John received when he writes:

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 
And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God …

But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:2-10; 27)

Thus as already announced by John the Baptist, and by Jesus Himself at the beginning of His ministry on earth – there is NO other way to enter into the reality of His kingdom than through REPENTANCE.

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
(Matthew 3:1-2)

Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
(Mark 1:14-15)

And when the church was born in Jerusalem! – on the day of Pentecost – as I believe it will one day be glorified and completed during the biblical Feast of Tabernacles! – Peter said unmistakably clearly to those enquiring as to what they had to do to be sure to be saved:

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
(Acts 2:38-40)

Now what does all this have to do with the Scriptural contrast between Rome and Jerusalem or the harlot and the church? Is the idea of the church not universal – and the land of Israel and Jerusalem, according to this reasoning, a needed and helpful staging ground henceforth to be discarded regarding her future as a biblically important place?

This is precisely the point. As the eminent Greek scholar Henry Alford commented on the John 4 passage concerning Jesus and the Samaritan woman earlier referred to – the 21st verse in the Greek does not totally negate a future importance of what the Bible calls God’s holy hill, or Zion. The fact that the end-time church (144,000 of them) who follow the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev 19:2) is seen standing on this Mount Zion makes this very point. (The Greek Testament by Henry Alford, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Copyright 1958; Page 730-731)

But there is even a more profound reason, worldwide in its scope, for the tie-in to the root which bears us all; that all Israel will be saved and will come back into THEIR OWN TREE into which we, as gentile believers, have been grafted! Here is how I have described this phenomenal occurrence, which, I believe, very soon is to happen, to the amazement of all true believers and to the utter fury of God’s enemy: the Evil One.

The bride is part of Israel and Israel is part of the bride!

This is so clearly seen in the majestic vision by the angel in Revelation when he says: “Come I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal.  It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.  On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. (Revelation 21:9-14; emphasis added)

This is actually entirely consistent with many other scriptural references which hold that in the end there will be only ONE FLOCK, ONE ISRAEL OF GOD, ONE BODY, ONE JERUSALEM, ONE BRIDE – Jew and Gentile forged into one Tree or Commonwealth of Israel.

Under the strong influence of the separation – which particularly Constantine, the Roman emperor, was responsible for – which cut the Gentile church off from its original Jewish tree and roots, Christianity became a separate, distinct religion. And even after the Reformation and various evangelical and charismatic awakenings, Gentile believers on the whole were taught that they belonged to a separate body called the church, or Bride of Christ. that would one day be separately treated with a heavenly rapture before the Lord in His mercy returns to Israel.

This, however, is NOT what the Bible teaches, and certainly in this wonderful passage in The Revelation we unmistakably find that Israel – all the tribes of Israel -are seen as part of the bride or the heavenly Jerusalem.

This is not being taught in most churches today – where the unbiblical emphasis brought into the world by Constantine is furthered, teaching that the Gentile-based church is the heavenly Jerusalem or bride of Christ, and that Israel is the other people of God; loved by Him and even to become His people once again, but all this only AFTER the bride has gone to be with her Messiah and Lord.

This – again – is not what the Word of God teaches; yet this unbiblical understanding has opened the way for the Evil One to seduce us into believing in the theory of the rapture of “the church” as a distinct and separate entity from Israel.

Israel herself, according to the many Bible teachers who uphold this erroneous doctrine, will then STILL have to go through the valley of the great Jacob’s Trouble or Tribulation.

Nothing is further from the truth, as we shall find out also later on from many a scripture.

But first and foremost we have to establish the biblical fact of the unity of God’s people.

It is indeed ONE tree and commonwealth of Israel, as Paul so clearly teaches in his epistle to the Romans. The Gentiles – soon coming to our intended fullness in numbers – have been given the immense privilege, because of our repentance and faith in Jesus, of being grafted into the tree or commonwealth of Israel.

We have not formed a new tree called the church into which we were grafted, but because of our faith we were given the privilege of being grafted into the tree of Israel with all the believing Jews, and with the promise that the other Jews, taken out because of their unbelief – will one day be grafted back – not onto a new tree called the church, but onto THEIR OWN TREE, into which we have already been grafted.

Is there, therefore, a lesson to be learned from the episode in which Joseph, after being cruelly rejected by his own brethren – like Jesus – in Pharaoh’s house reveals himself to his brothers in love and compassion, but not before sending out all the Egyptians who had so faithfully served him because they somehow stood in his way by this intimate embrace? Is this not the warning we ALL need to heed, when Paul says it is so clearly:

Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:22-23)

May the Lord indeed make us truly fearful and humble towards His people in deep thankfulness that through their rejection we have received God’s love and mercy. May we now, on the threshold of them returning to their own tree, be full of compassion towards them, even as Paul says:

For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. (Romans 11:30-31)

This therefore leaves us only with one tree, one flock, one stick united, one heavenly Jerusalem, ONE body (see Ephesians 2:11-24) and one commonwealth of Israel. Just as the prophet Ezekiel is told that the two sticks will become one, or as Jesus said, ‘ that the other sheep He had – the Gentile believers – would become ONE FLOCK together with the chosen people of Israel:

“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16).

When, as promised, the wind of the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the people of Israel – as prophesied by Ezekiel, Joel and Zechariah – it is only then, when all Israel will have been regenerated, that the Gentile believers worldwide, chosen and redeemed from every tribe and nation, will be able to become totally one people with the born again Israel of God. And they will.

This promised outpouring of God’s Spirit – of which Pentecost, when the wind of the Spirit filled 120 Jewish believers was a foreshadowing – will happen BEFORE the physical return of the Lord! It will therefore give Gentile believers the time to relate to this miraculous spiritual restoration of Israel years before the actual physical coming of the Lord.

Just think of it! Zechariah 12 tells us that God will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication on His Jewish people with the result that they will see Him whom they have pierced  – it will be as a result of this tremendous outpouring NOT as a result of Jesus’ physical return. This spiritual wakening is about to happen and I believe will occur during a coming Feast of Tabernacles.

But think of it: When it happens, what an effect this will have on the worldwide community of Gentile believers, when they will hear and witness that all Israel has been saved and that there will be no one Israeli who will have to tell his fellow Israel: know the Lord. For as Jeremiah prophesied: they shall all know Him:

“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
(Jeremiah 31:34; emphasis added).

Indeed, all of Israel will be saved and we gentile believers will then be able to be fully one people with them as, according to the word of God, we, when we came to Christ, were grafted in among the believing Jewish branches of the tree and commonwealth of Israel. One people. One flock. ONE heavenly Jerusalem waiting for the glorious coming and re-entry of our Lord and Messiah into this world.

This is a very important point – not preached by many – who have been taught that only at the physical second coming of the Lord will Israel be saved. This, however, is NOT what the prophets Ezekiel, Zechariah and Joel prophesy:

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.  Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.  Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.  I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.  And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.  Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.  Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”
(Ezekiel 36:24-32; emphasis added)

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”‘”  So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. … “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.'” (Ezekiel 37:9,10,14)

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29; emphasis added)

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced.
Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.
(Zechariah 12:10-14; emphasis added)

“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” (Zechariah 13:1; emphasis added)

“So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain.
Then Jerusalem shall be holy,
And no aliens shall ever pass through her again.”
And it will come to pass in that day
That the mountains shall drip with new wine,
The hills shall flow with milk,
And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water;
A fountain shall flow from the house of the LORD
And water the Valley of Acacias.  (Joel 3:17-18; emphasis added)

‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
 And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.
‘One will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand,
‘The LORD’s,’ And name himself by the name of Israel.
(Isaiah 44:1-5; emphasis added)

Thus we all may look forward – however bad the times in which we live may become all over the world – and indeed, when the thickening darkness will cover the nations of this world: Right then is when something wonderful will happen in and with Israel. God, as He promised, will pour out His Spirit on the whole nation, causing Israel to enter her most wonderful hour of fullness and fulfillment. As Paul writes about this coming miracle, already in his epistle to the Romans:

Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! … For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (Romans 11:12,15)

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?”
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

© Israel My Beloved




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.