Revelation 17 is a major chapter that the anti-Catholics refer to in their attacks on the Catholic Faith.
There are several groups out there that have developed their own systems of anti-Catholic rhetoric, but they all seem to come down to these basic scriptures in Revelation with the intent of giving a base for their own self existence.
No matter how far apart that these groups diversify in their own understanding, they still have this common agreement in attacking the Catholic Faith.
I recently took a look at the colors “purple and scarlet” because of the misrepresentation people use to attack the Catholic Faith. At this time, I want to continue with another point of scripture that is used to identify the Catholic Faith with the Whore of Babylon. Revelation 17:4 says in part, “She held in her hand a gold cup that was filled with the abominable and sordid deeds of her harlotry”. Does this verse properly describe or point to the Catholic Faith?
You can see why the anti-Catholic wants to tie the Catholic Faith to ancient Babylonian Paganism?
But who is this people that Jeremiah was speaking about? Who are the people of the “golden cup”?
Exodus 25:29 states, “Of pure gold you shall make its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for poring libations”.
Was St. John aware of Jerusalem being identified with Babylon?
Revelation 11:8 He certainly identifies Jerusalem with “Sodom” and “Egypt” which were symbolic names concerning Jerusalem’s harlotry and idolatry.
The key is discovering who this “great city” is.
Revelation 17:18, “And the woman that you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
At the time of St. John, he would have recognized the authority of God so it is clear that he would have recognized the importance of Jerusalem to the world.
Revelation 18:10, “they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come.” Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, bedecked with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! And cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, what city was like the great city?” And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! In one hour she has been laid waste. Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more”.
We see St. John identifying Jerusalem because Jesus was crucified outside the gates of the “great city” (Rev 11:8).
St. John also refers to the great city as “Babylon” that was destroyed in one hour.
The people of the “golden cup” were the Jews. With all this said, Rome was also identified with “Babylon”, Rome would be identified with the “beast” whom the Whore of Babylon drank the cup of infirmity.
The following are footnotes coming from the New American Bible from Revelation 17:
Rev 17:1-19: The punishment of Babylon is now described as a past event and metaphorically, under the image of the great harlot who leads people astray into idolatry. (Editors note: Consider Revelation 13:11 and the false prophet who leads the world to the first beast (anti-Christ). He has two horns of a lamb which identifies him with Christ, yet he speaks like a dragon, clearly apostasy).
Rev 17:1-6 Babylon, the symbolic name of Rome, is graphically described as “the great harlot”.
Rev12:2: Intercourse… harlotry: Rev 14:4 footnote says, Virgins: metaphorically, because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are considered in the Old Testament to be adultery and fornication (Rev 2:14-15, 20-22, Rev 17:1-6, Ez 16:1-58, 23:1-49). The parallel passages (Rev 7:3, 22:4) indicates that the 144,000 whose foreheads are sealed represent all Christian people. The pagan kings subjected to Rome adopted the cult of the emperor.
Rev 17:3: Blasphemous names: divine titles assumed by the Roman emperors.
Rev 14:4: Reference to the great wealth and idolatrous cults of Rome. (Editors note: This is why the anti-Catholics want you to believe that the Catholic Church worships the Pope and statues. This is why they believe the Pope makes blasphemous statements against Christ).
Rev:17:8: Allusion to the belief that the dead Nero would return to power.
THE CUP OF SALVATION is in THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The answer might surprise you, but how many of us over look the answer?
Is it that all we need do is make a decision to make amends?
Do we simply need to say a “sinner’s prayer”?
Do we simply find a “bible” church? What is the answer coming from the Bible?
“The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the LORD.”
“The cup of salvation will I take up…” This is very important. St Paul refers to this “cup of salvation” as the “cup of blessing“, which was the third cup in the Jewish Passover meal.
It has now become the “cup of salvation” in the new and everlasting Covenant.
Consider James 5:19-20, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
This Prodigal Son will receive the “cup of salvation” once again after being restored to the fullness of truth. Consider Psalms 23:5-6, “You set the table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” There is a connection between the table of the Lord and the cup of salvation.
Easter Vigil is a time of conversion, many are accepting the Lord as they come forward to receive the anointing of oil and the cup of salvation. The cup is very important during the passover meal. There were four cups used at different times during the passover. They represented the following:
1 The first cup of wine is called the cup of sanctification. It is to commemorate the promise: “I will bring you out.”
2 The second cup is called the cup of plagues – the plagues that came upon Egypt – and it relates to the second promise: “I will free you from being slaves.”
3 The third cup is called the cup of redemption, where God says: “I will redeem you.”
4 The fourth cup is called the cup of completion, where God says: “I will take you as my own people.”
Notice the third cup, “cup of redemption“, that this would be the main representation of Christ who is the redeemer of mankind, that is why St. Paul refers to this cup as the “cup of blessing“.
It is this cup that is central to the Mass and our cup of salvation.
By receiving this cup, we renew the Covenant with the Lord and truly, our cup overflows.
Also notice the 4th cup, during the Last Supper, remember that Jesus did not offer the traditional 4th cup, but he saved it until the cross.
This is why the Mass is known as the “Sacrifice of the Mass”, because the Last Supper is tied into the Passion of Jesus and our redemption..
The cup of completion is taken literally by Jesus, “After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said ‘I thirst.’ There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.” (John 19:28-30)
The cup of salvation is for those who have found their salvation. For those who have picked up their cross and follows Jesus. For those who cry out to the Lord for mercy, the Lord hears the cry of the poor.
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