Spiritual Fornication: A Form of Modern Day Idolatry

In the church today, idolatry would mean that a believer once loved God but has left Him for something or some other god in the world they find more appealing.

May 1, 2024 - 00:11
May 1, 2024 - 00:15
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Spiritual Fornication: A Form of Modern Day Idolatry

The Bible alludes to women when symbolizing the evil spirits of idolatry, harlotry, and spiritual fornication. Idolatry is the sin of worshiping any thing or god other than God and in Jeremiah chapter 3, the Lord calls Israel’s idolatry backsliding and compares it to that of a cheating wife who departs from her husband. Harlotry is the promiscuous behavior of a woman with many lovers.

The book of Proverbs, chapter 7:6-27, describes a young man who lacks discretion and falls for the seduction of “. . . a woman with the attire of an harlot” (v.10) who invites him to lay with her while her husband is away. Spiritual fornication is much like idolatry except that the worshiper has not left God for the other god but is secretly making love to the other while still committed to God. In either case, the sin represents the broken relationship between the worshiper and God.

When referring to these relationships, many times the Bible uses the union of marriage as the symbol of the relationship. For instance, God’s relationship with Israel in the Old Testament made Israel His spiritual wife and He her husband. To symbolize God’s relationship with the church in the New Testament, the Bible uses Christ as the Bridegroom and the church as His bride.

In the church today, idolatry would mean that a believer once loved God but has left Him for something or some other god in the world they find more appealing. The meaning of a harlot would be a believer who promiscuously flirts with the many distractions in the world while confessing their loyalty to God. And to commit spiritual fornication a believer secretly exploits himself or herself by practicing some of the evils of the world while serving God. We will unfold a mystery from the book of Revelation to prove that there is an evil spirit destroying the world and the church by distracting them both from acknowledging and worshiping God.

This spirit is corrupting both with the love of money. Though destroying the work of God is the devil’s only focus, he knows the churches’ weakness right now, which is their emulation of the world, so if he corrupts the world the church will follow. When the church lusts for the things the world lusts for, which is money, they fall from the grace of God and depend on the guidance of the world.

The prophesy of this fall comes in the book of Revelation chapter 17, and we will walk through every other verse to unfold the mystery, which begins in verse one and reads:

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration" (Revelation 17:1-6).

Many of the Old Testament cities and nations possessed a kind of persona to God; they were like distant children that played with His son Israel in the neighborhood of ancient bible times. Because of Israel’s bad behavior at times, the Lord would allow Israel to fall victim to Babylon and serve them as servants for years at a time. When the nation of Babylon reigned as a world power, all sorts of wickedness, sorcery, and witchcraft infected its society and sometimes while serving Babylon, Israel adopted these evil ways.

While captives in the land of Babylon, God would send prophets such as Daniel and Jeremiah to the children of Israel with warnings for them to turn from these evil ways so He could heal them and bring them out of captivity. However, many times Israel rebelled against the prophets and killed them because they hated to hear the chastising messages. Nevertheless, God continued sending “doom prophets” who cursed and bewailed them and sometimes bemoaned and cried for them, and He sent them because He loved Israel and desired them to be obedient and righteous.

Babylon worshiped other gods and never acknowledged the God of Israel as the true God. Babylon’s gods were gods of stone and lived upon high hills and high places of the wilderness, but could never match the power of Israel’s God. Because Babylon was an ancient metropolis and a central port of importing and exporting of the world’s goods, lots of activity went on and many different people ventured through. With so much foreign traffic evil was foreseeable and many of these evils influenced Israel. They did not worship God, as they should have because they did not have the religious freedom they once did. Instead, they succumbed to idolatry and sorcery, bringing the wrath of God upon the entire nation.

Today, the spirit of Babylon, the Great Harlot, is one of spiritual fornication because it causes the people of God to worship other false gods while they confess to love God. But this Harlot is powerful enough to deceive the kings of the earth and not just the people of God. The scripture above says, “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (v. 2). Not only have the leaders of the earth fallen to her witcheries and sorceries, the entire world has fallen to her evil spirit.

The scripture describes this evil as a type of fornication in a drunken state: laughter from the depths of lascivious desires while doting about from one lover to the next. God is a jealous God when someone He loves gives himself or herself to another. He loves the world and gave His son for the sins of the world, but the kings of the earth commit idolatrous acts with other gods, the people follow, and they are all drunk with the spirit of this harlot’s fornication. Because the church is the bride of Christ, and is in the world, if a believer sets anything above their love for Jesus, the Bridegroom, they have committed spiritual fornication and have ignited the jealousy of God.

The scripture above says that the harlot was drunk with the blood of the saints (those who died righteous in the Old Testament) and the martyrs of Jesus (the apostles and followers who were killed for Christ). Because the world commits fornication with other gods through the spirit of the harlot, they will persecute people who do not worship other gods along with them.

For example, during the time of the early church, the leaders of the earth felt threatened by the presence of the true God, and in a drunken state (figuratively), they killed and crucified those who believed in the preaching of Jesus. But this is not the end of the story. Years after the early church, many of those who worshiped Jesus were too, deceived and drunken with the wine of the harlot’s fornication. Instead of worshiping God as commanded, they worshiped the anti-Christ god, or son of perdition, who was the devil.

Portrayed as God, the devil used false prophets to deceive the leaders of the church by offering them the things of the earth making them believe they were receiving the things of God. Those who received those things committed spiritual fornication with the harlot and to this day, the deception continues. Drunken with the wine of fornication, many religious leaders surrender to the seduction of the Great Harlot and fall away from the soberness of Christ.

Though Babylon as a nation is not a reigning power today, the spirit still exists and it is the spirit of the lust of the riches of the earth. The harlot gains her riches from the kings of the earth because they worship her and give to her all their power and that power is the one that deceives church leaders. Therefore, arrayed in expensive garments and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls drunken with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Christ, she rides the beast.

"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition" (Revelation 17:8-11).

The above passages explain how the harlot has affected the church today. The book of Revelation unveils God’s relation to the world and His plan of salvation from the beginning of time to the end. The plan opens from a three-fold position, one for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. In other words, the reader can study Revelation in an historical sense, study it to understand the world today, or study it for understanding of the future. For instance, when it refers to the beast that “was, and is not, and yet is,” it is speaking about physical presence, as in where, and not time, and for clarification here that is how we will study it, as presence. Here, now, the harlot uses the beast to affect the church and to understand how to defeat it, we must know from where it comes, and when and how it comes.

The beast is the spirit of the lie that convinces people to follow the harlot. The beast is full of the names of blasphemy, which are evil words against God. Satan speaks against God to the world and when he enters the church, he uses the Words of God through the mouths of false preachers. To deceive believers into not believing in the words of God, but in his words, Satan will show them substance. The Word of God acts on faith and believers of God walk by faith without depending on substance; therefore, when Satan shows them substance and tells them it is from God, the believer is deceived.

He steals their faith with the illusion of substance. In other words, if the beast can make people believe that what they see is a result of their faith in God, then he has deceived them. This is how believers of Christ fall from faith and grace, they believe in the things of substance and forget the promises of Christ and they begin walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, and when substance becomes more than the promise, the believer is in perdition. To prove this further, we will unfold the revelation of the mind that has wisdom in Revelation verse nine.

The scripture says that “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev. 17:10). A person can study this scripture in the realm of time; past, present, and future; however, we will again study it in the realm of presence and the beast existence in the church today. The mystery unfolds in the seven churches within the beginning three chapters of Revelation. Five of the seven churches were not in the perfect will of God, and only two were.

Each of the seven churches are a representation of the seven kings in the above scripture in which five are fallen, and one is, and the other is yet to come. Again, we will not use this in terms of time, but presence. Some spirit affected each of the seven churches and those spirits operate now today in the churches. In the church of Ephesus, they had left their first love and got involved in different theories and heresies. In Thyatira, they indulged in false doctrines and idolatry.

But if there are only seven churches that represent the seven kings, where does the eighth king or church in the scripture come from? The scripture says the eighth was the son of perdition and is of the seven, meaning, a part of the seven kings, or churches. The son of perdition, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:4, is the one “Who opposseth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” The son of perdition crept into the presence of the seven churches talking as if he knows God and acting as if he serves God in order to deceive the believers in the church.

As a result, many followed him into perdition believing and teaching false doctrine. The churches of Ephesus, Sardis, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Laodicea, were the five churches deceived by the son of perdition and the evil spirits that caused each of the five churches to fall were arrogance, idolatry, harlotry, formalism, and lukewarmness. Only Smyrna and Philadelphia stayed in right standing with God.

The spirit of Babylon possesses each of these evils within her great powers of deception. In relation to the church today, she has deceived the leaders to fall to the worst of the evils, which is the love of money, from which evil stems. In many ways, the churches today possess all of the spirits that caused each of the five churches to fall but the spirit of the church of Laodicea reigns supreme. The son of perdition has deceived the churches to believe in the riches of the earth as opposed to the riches of God.

Blind by the deceitfulness of riches they have left off following the original purpose of Jesus Christ. They are spiritually barren yet physically wealthy; healthy on the outside but unclothed with the garment promised by God for obedience. The deception of substance has blinded their discretion and they have no vision of God. God attempts to give every captive of these spirits a chance to repent with a promise of spiritual reward as He did for the seven churches. If the believer repents, they can enjoy the grace of God.

We are in the last days and the scripture says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). This means that the powers of deception and the war against evil is prevailing; however, because evil is increasing, the powers of God in His people must also increase.

Believers must fight against the spirit of the love of money and realize that the purpose of Jesus is slowly subsiding to this evil because of false prophets and their quest for monetary gain. As a defense against the prosperity movement, the church must take on the spirit of the church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3:7-13 who possessed the humility of David and overcame the evil. They must practice the faith of Smyrna in 2:8-11 who when tried with evil, endured to the end. 

This book opened with the description of the church of Laodicea because we are living in the time of lukewarmness and in the presence of the beast that is, and who now has power over many churches. The Lord says that He would rather the church of Laodicea be hot or cold but because they are lukewarm, He will spue them out of his mouth.

Instead of church leaders preaching the word of salvation honestly and in its entirety, they are hurrying the process of salvation and creating a church full of false professors who defile the body of Christ. False doctrine is something that would never come from the mouth of a man sent from God, and when a believer falls to the deception of spiritual fornication and believe the lies that spue forth from false preachers, Jesus said He will spue that believer and preacher out of the body, and as He said, from the mouth.

MinisterCR A minister, teacher and preacher of the gospel of Christ for 32 years. Peace and love to all. Stay prayerful.