Rev. Chapter 17
Jeremiah 51:13 refers to the destruction of Babylon;
O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come…
Interesting that Jeremiah referred to Babylon as one who dwells by many waters as if to connect her destruction to Revelation 17:1. However, we shall read in Revelation 17:15 that “many waters” refers to the nations of the world. Chapters 17 & 18 target the great harlot as the focus of the bowl judgments, but not as a literal prostitute, but rather false religions, religious apostasy, and idolatry. Not just Babylon, but the whole world system!
…with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
The sphere of the harlot’s influence is huge! She has influenced world leaders on every level to fall for her seductive lies, just as the serpent turned the tide of all mankind when he deceived the world population in the Garden of Eden so many years ago!
The kings of the earth have not committed spiritual adultery as might be understood by the phrase “committed fornication” because as unbelievers, they have not known God as His bride. The rulers of the world have become obsessed with the false religions of the world, which would cause them to believe that they have become greater than they are! The idea that they might be “enlightened”, or have become greater than God is an age old lie that deceived Lucifer himself, when he fell from heaven!
14″How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
All of the inhabitants of the earth, referring to all unbelievers, will be seduced by the false religion (great harlot) of Antichrist.
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.
As described by the angel, the woman is the Great Babylonian Harlot, or false religious system of the unsaved world. The beast is the same beast described in Revelation 13;
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
The beast is Antichrist! He will not only blaspheme God by taking the names that are intended for God alone, but also by speaking many blasphemous things to and about God!
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High…
The seven heads represent seven kingdoms used of Satan. These are; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, the revised kingdom of Rome, or the final kingdom of Antichrist. We will read more in verse nine regarding the meaning of these seven heads.
The ten horns represent the ten kings who will rule ten regions of the world in the “New World Order”, or the coming one world government.
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.
Prostitutes are often portrayed as being outfitted with beautiful clothing and jewelery. Here we see the great harlot arrayed in purple and scarlet, the same scarlet color as the beast. Certainly the same, or similar colors indicate a particular partnership, or alliance. the fancy clothing, precious stones and pearls must certainly be tools of seduction, promising a time of untold pleasure! All of this, of course being a metaphor of a false world religious system which is seducing the unbelieving inhabitants of the world into committing spiritual immorality with her.
The golden cup makes me wonder if this isn’t just another attempt by Satan to employ a counterfeit picture of the communion cup of Christ, as this false religious system calls the world to share in a perverted communion of spiritual fornication with her!
And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
If we consider the sixth of seven kingdoms, Rome certainly had it’s issues with immorality! In the Roman world, prostitutes were to somehow identify themselves. Now, in the time of the revised Roman Empire, or the kingdom of Antichrist which is yet a mystery to us, we find that the great harlot must identify herself just as the followers of Antichrist must do, with a name on her forehead!
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.
As long as false religions, or cults have existed there has been bloodshed as well as martyrs! Especially Christian and Jewish martyrs! Nothing makes Satan happier then to see human beings, all created in the image of God murder each other in the name of religion. From the perspective of the Romans and the Pharisees, even Jesus was put to death in order to keep the status quo within a religious system. Of course as Christian we understand that no one took the life of Jesus, but rather He laid it down for His friends! Amen!
The Antichrist and the False Prophet will enjoy the bloodbath that will take place during the time of tribulation, and it will be the great harlot, the false religious system of the world which will be responsible for much of the mayhem of it’s followers!
John watched this great harlot as she reveled in the destruction of so many with amazement because he could not understand what he was seeing!
But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
God is always faithful to send exactly what we need at just the right moment! While Daniel was praying and fasting for three weeks, seeking information that would explain all that he did not quite understand, an angel finally gets through the gauntlet of demonic powers and arrives on the scene to answer all of his questions! I am sure the each of you have experienced times when you simply could not understand the situation facing you, and all at once, God comes through with some sort of messenger with the answers you needed to bring peace back into your hearts. I believe that is exactly what is happening in verse 7. John must be at his wits end witnessing the vision before him. Who is she? What is she? What is this monstrous beast she is riding? Why is there so much death? What does it all mean? So many questions! John must have been near fainting! And then, the angel is there to explain…Thank you God!!
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
A little confusing, don’t you think? The beast, referring to the Antichrist was, and then was not. The man who has risen to global leadership has been assassinated with a lethal strike of a sword, and then he was not. Satan appears on the scene from the bottomless pit to “resurrect” the man. However, this is only another attempt by Satan to counterfeit our Lord and Savior’s resurrection. He supernaturally resurrects Antichrist the man by possessing him, which in my estimation is simply Satan manipulating a corps for a time! The unsaved world will marvel as they witness their leader rise from the dead, and now he “yet is!”
9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
John referred to wisdom in Revelation 13:18 as it related to understanding the “number of the beast, 666. Here in 17:9, he again refers to the need for wisdom. There are a couple of schools of thought regarding the angels explanation, which I’m sure is the reason wisdom is required. Now, whether the requirement is for wisdom resulting from an understanding of the culture of John’s day, or of the time of tribulation and Antichrist is yet to be seen, or is it?
One thought is that the seven mountains on which the woman sits refers to the Seven Hills of Rome, as Rome is known as the “City of Seven Mountains”. It should be noted here that Jerusalem is is also known as a city built on seven hills (Google either Rome or Jerusalem as a city of seven hills for more information). Another thought is that the seven mountains refers to seven world kingdoms; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the revised Roman Empire, or the kingdom of Antichrist. The latter makes more sense to me as it relates to a broader world system than do either Rome or Jerusalem.
In one view, where Rome is represented by the “Seven Mountains Where the Woman Sits”, seven kings may refer to seven emperors. Indeed, five had fallen, one is (in John’s day), and one is yet to come. They are; Julius Caesar, who was assassinated, Tiberius, who was murdered by poisoning, Caligula, who was stabbed to death, Claudius, who was smothered, and Nero, who committed suicide. These five were fallen before John’s day. At the time John was writing the book of Revelation, Domitian was on the throne and the king who is yet to come will be the Antichrist, and that will make seven kings. In another view, I refer you back to seven kingdoms, five of which were represented in the great statue envisioned by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon and written about in the book of Daniel. Those were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the revised Roman Empire, or the kingdom of Antichrist. The two which preceded these five were Egypt and Assyria.
The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
More riddles! Okay, let’s walk this out…. The beast, or the Antichrist, was, and then was assassinated with a sword strike to the head, and so he was not! Now he is the eighth yet the seventh… lol… The kingdom of Antichrist is the seventh kingdom, but the Antichrist himself was alive, dead and alive again, so he is the seventh and then the eighth, follow?
That the Antichrist is going to perdition simply means that he is going to eternal destruction or damnation.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
The ten kings are future kings of the revised Roman empire, or Antichrist”s kingdom. The kingdom is global, so these kings will rule a ten-nation federation under the authority of Antichrist. That they will receive authority for one hour, signifies a short time.
These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
These kings will become the sole authority, under Antichrist of the entire world. Thus, for a short time they will serve him with all of their power and authority! There is a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely! This ten-nation federation under Antichrist will be the most corrupt form of government that the world has ever known!
These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
The ten kings of the one-world government. “one inter-nation, under Antichrist” if you will, will so totally devoted to their evil master that they will, without question make war against God Himself!
1 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
We will see this fulfilled in chapter nineteen when the Lord returns with His chosen and faithful armies of heaven! Jesus will crush His enemies with a word from His mouth! “He shall speak to them in His wrath…” (Psalm 2:5a)
Then he said to me,”The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
The imagery of the whole unbelieving world sitting under the most evil Satanic system it has ever known! The Antichrist (the beast) and his Babylonian world system (the harlot).
And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
The ten kings will follow the Antichrist as together they turn their hatred towards the one-world religious system (the harlot), which Antichrist successfully used to bring the unbelieving world under his spell and control. Now he demands that all worship him and only him as god!
For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this evil empire has turned in on itself
In the city where I live, there is a newspaper which can be read online. Behind each story are blogs written by a group of “concerned readers!” In reality, these readers turned writers can find nothing nice or constructive to say about anything or anyone reported in the paper. I know, because I have been the target of these unholy blog writers! But, what is interesting and almost fun to observe, is that in almost every attack these individuals launch, they inevitably disagree on some point and turn on themselves in a sort of feeding frenzy of “friendly fire!” This usually ends their blog for the moment, or at least until the next article peaks their interest.
I believe that God fulfills His purpose, not at the expense of some people, but in spite of them.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
The woman is not only the great city of Babylon, but the idea and spirit of Babylon. She is an evil presence in the world, the monster under every bed and in every closet! She is that extreme sense of fear when you walk into a dimly lit room after being awaken by something at midnight. She is the demon that haunts your dreams at night, and she is coming! The great news is that Jesus is also coming to once and forever more save the day! He is returning to remind us that His victory on Calvary was and continues to be absolute! His return to earth will not only bring about the destruction of the “Great Harlot”, but will usher in a kingdom of peace. Her days are numbered as are Satan’s! Praise be to God who’s Son’s appearing we long for and love! He who says, “Surly I am coming quickly.” And we respond, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!”