Introduction to Chapter 17
17 reveals details of Satan’s work from Noah’s flood until the end of this
age. The methods used by Satan are tried and true throughout the ages. In
this chapter, we see Satan’s method to subdue and seduce the kings of the
earth. We also see how God plans to destroy these satanic institutions.
Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation deal with the “New Babylon”. Chapter 17
deals with the religious system and 18 with the political system. Chapter
17 requires spiritual understanding as we let scripture interpret scripture.
The timing of the 17th chapter is parenthetical and actually
takes place at the beginning of the second half of the tribulation period.
The Antichrist at the
start of the tribulation period comes to power in the guise of peace. One
method of his peace is the establishment of a religious system. The system
will unify a world at war.
The Beast and the false
prophet will unify kingdoms of the world under a religious and economic
system. Islam and apostate Christianity, along with other religions will be
united, following the rapture. The world will look for answers, and they
will be ripe for spiritual deception.
During the Midpoint,
changes in the spiritual realms will cause changes to the “Religious
system”, the Beast and his Image will become the focus of worship. Satan who
will inhabit the body of the Antichrist will want direct worship from the
world. The False Prophet who helped unify the earth into one world religion
will now turn the world to worship the Beast and his image. With worship of
the Beast and his Image as the focus, there will no longer be a need for a
unified world religion. The Beast will now be the focus; the kings in the
Beast’s kingdom will now turn on the religious system and destroy it. By
destroying the system, they will accomplish God’s will.
The invitation to view
judgment of the great harlot
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, 2with whom the kings of the earth
committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with
the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:1-2
One of the seven angels…
One of angels
who had poured the bowl of God’s wrath now is telling John a preview of what
he will see. Chapter 17 of Revelation deals with religious Babylon and
chapter 18 deals with political Babylon. John is now about to receive
insight into religious Babylon.
Come I will show you…
John is to be taken to view what the angel is about to describe in an actual
sense, not in a metaphorical sense.
The judgment of the
…a woman who
sells her body for sexual uses1a) a prostitute, a harlot, one who yields
herself to defilement for the sake of gain)
Who is the great harlot
who sits on many waters? To understand the vision John is about to see. We
need to understand the use of women in biblical symbolism.
Throughout the Bible,
the picture of the women portrays spiritual purity or defilement. Proverbs
has two distinct female profiles the adulterous wife (Proverbs 5) and the
faithful wife (Proverbs 31). In Hosea Israel is pictured as the wife of
Jehovah. Hosea relationship with his adulterous wife Gomer models God’s
relationship with adulterous Israel who seeks after other gods.
the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover
and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children
of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the
pagans.” 2So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels
of silver, and one and one-half homers of barley. 3And I said to
her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, nor
shall you have a man—so, too, will I be toward you.”
4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or
prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim.
5Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD
their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in
the latter days.
In this picture, Israel
is the wife of the Lord, but she is an adulterous wife who must remain apart
from her husband. However, in the end God restores Israel as Hosea restored
Gomer in the “Latter days”. Hosea’s must purchase his wife, Gomer, from her
lovers for 15 shekels, she must stay apart for a extended period. Gomer, as
a women, represents Israel’s relationship with God. Israel will be without
a Temple or sacrifice, but in the end Israel will be restored and again seek
Jerusalem, the city is
also portrayed as an adulterous wife of who sought other lovers and
abandoned her husband the Lord, in favor of other gods.
degenerate is your heart!” says the Lord GOD, “seeing you do all these
things, the deeds of a brazen harlot. 31“You erected your
shrine at the head of every road, and built your high place in every street.
Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment.
Harlotry is equated with
spiritual adultery or idol worship in the scriptures. The church, pictured
as the bride of Christ. (Eph 5:25-28, 2 Cor. 11:2, Revelation 19:7) The
church must remain pure and free from friendship with the world (James 4:4).
James equates this with adultery or idol worship.
This picture of the
harlot is associated in with spiritual unfaithfulness. The statement that
the harlot sits on many waters portrays the large territory she occupies.
With whom the kings of
The work of this great harlot is world wide, to the point where the rulers
of the earth have had intimate relations with her.
Inhabitants of the
great harlot intimacy with the “Kings of the earth” results in the
inhabitants of the earth becoming intoxicated with the wine, from this
adulterous relationship between the (Mega Pornee) great harlot and the kings
This is John’s
angelic preview of what he is about to see in this vision.
The Woman on the Beast
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. 4The 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. Revelation 17:3-4
He carried me away…John
was before the throne witnessing the wrath being poured out of bowls onto
the earth. Now one of the angels with one of the bowls came over to John and
spoke with him, the angel is about to take John away from the throne.
In the Spirit into the
ereômos ….desert, desolate, solitary, wilderness.)
John is carried in his spirit man, this experience is similar to Ezekiel’s
when he was taken “In the spirit” into a valley of dry bones (Ezk 37:1).
Paul was also taken up into the third heaven and was given a thorn in his
side to keep him humble (2 Corn. 12:1-6). Being in the spirit John sees a
vision in the spiritual wilderness.
A woman sitting on a
identity of the woman sitting on the beast is the great harlot mentioned in
verse 1. The beast she is sitting on links her identity. Who is the beast?
This is the same beast seen in Daniel and Revelation. The beast has
distinct characteristics having 10 horns, seven heads and blasphemous names.
The meaning of the 10 horns and 7 heads is revealed in Daniel and
another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having
seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4His
tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And
the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her
Child as soon as it was born. Rev 12:3-4
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. 2Now
the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of
a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his
power, his throne, and great authority. 3And I saw one of
his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was
healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4So
they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they
worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to
make war with him?” Rev 13:1-4
this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and
terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring,
breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was
different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten
horns. 8I was considering the horns, and there was another
horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first
horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were
eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
From our previous
reading we know the identity of this beast as being the living embodiment of
Satan who was cast out of heaven and to the Earth. Who at the midpoint
inhabits the body of antichrist. In the Revelation chapter 12, we see the
dragon as active in the Earth before his fall as he stood before the women
to devour her child as soon as it was born. His activity did not begin at
this point but was continual through out history. As Satan was active from
history, we will see the harlot has and is an active force throughout
Woman was arrayed…The
women is riding on the Beast which reveals she is distinct but acting in
concert with the Beast. Her appearance is appealing in the eyes of the
world; her clothing is made of purple and scarlet.
The color purple
represents priesthood, royalty and wealth (Judges 8:26, Dan. 5:7, Esther
8:15, Luke 16:19). The color scarlet is also associated with the priesthood,
sacrifice and wealth. (Exodus 38:18, Lev. 14:4, Josh 2:8, 2 Sam: 1:24, Prov
31:21, Isaiah 1:18, Matt 27:28). Another defining characteristic of the
women is her gold, precious stones, and pearls. Gold and precious stones are
also associated with priesthood and royalty. The woman received or was
adorned with these items to the point where she seemed golden as the Greek
In her hand a golden
further pictured as having golden cup. Gold cups were used by royalty and
priests. Her cup on the outside is appealing, but inside its filled with the
detestable. Abominations and fornication are both words associated with
idol worship in the scripture. The word for abomination, (Gr...bdelugma
) is only used
two other times outside of the book of Revelation. One reference is to the
“Abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) and the other is to the
Pharisees who loved money.
He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God
knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination
in the sight of God. Luke 16:14
uses a combination of outward beauty and majesty with a religion to subdue
and seduce the kings and inhabitants of the earth. Contrast the harlot to
the “Two witnesses” who are God’s representatives who come to the Earth
dressed in sackcloth.
The name of the Woman
on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE
GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
On her forehead…The
identity of this woman is further manifested in her name. One way a
prostitute would advertise her services was by having her name emblazoned on
her forehead. This was popular in the time of Jeremiah as well as in the
time of John.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
has been no latter rain.
had a harlot’s forehead;
refuse to be ashamed. Jeremiah 3:3
…From a derivative of
(to shut the mouth); a secret or “mystery”
(through the idea of
silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):—mystery.
The mystery religions with secret rites and orders started with the wife of
Nimrod, the first king of the Earth after the flood. (Gen 10:8-10)
The city built by Nimrod
from which mankind was scattered throughout the Earth. (Gen 11:1-9).
According to scripture Babylon as a capital city will be rebuilt. The
rebuilt city will be the “Religious” and “Economic” capital of the world in
the last days. This very day several significant events are taking place.
One is the world working in unison to rebuild and reconstruct the nation of
Iraq. Baghdad is located 60 miles to the north of the ancient city of
Babylon. And could become the New Babylon as the countries of the Earth
begin reconstruction of the land where man first assembled after the flood.
the first nation city-state, from which the kingdom of the Earth was
headquartered. And Babylon will be the last city-state from which the
kingdom of the Earth will be headquartered.
In Isaiah 14:4, 12
Lucifer is called the King of Babylon. In Zechariah 5:5-11, the woman,
called “Wickedness” is flown to the valley of Shinar (Babylon) where a base
will be built for her. When it is built, she will be set there.
Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, "Lift your eyes
now, and see what this is that goes forth." 6 So I asked, "What is it?" And
he said, "It is a basket that is going forth." He also said, "This is their
resemblance throughout the earth: 7 "Here is a lead disc lifted up, and
this is a woman sitting inside the basket"; 8 then he said, "This is
Wickedness!" And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead
cover over its mouth. 9 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were
two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the
wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.
10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, "Where are they carrying the
basket?" 11 And he said to me, "To build a house for it in the
land of Shinar;
when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base." Zechariah
Babylon was never
destroyed but gradually faded from history as a major city after the fall of
Babylon in 539 BC after the conquest of Cyrus the Great. (Daniel 5). In the
book of Jeremiah and Isaiah we view the eternal destruction of the city.
The defeat of Babylon in 539 was a foreshadowing of the future eternal
destruction of Babylon.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
The beauty of the
Will be as when God
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
It will never be inhabited,
Nor will it be settled
from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arabian
pitch tents there,
Nor will the shepherds
make their sheepfolds there. Isaiah 13:19-20
religious system was set in motion in Babylon and has continued to this very
day in one form or another throughout the world. After tower of Babel, when
man tried to build a tower out of rebellion, and the Lord scattered humanity
by families, through the earth. These tribes took with them, the religious
system established in Babylon. The various religions of the earth have
similarities because they have a similar origin, Babylon.
The woman drunk with the
blood of martyrs
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.
I saw the woman…The
religious system first established in Babylon has continued throughout
history and one of the reasons God judge Judah. The propagation of this
“Babylonian” religion is not limited to Israel, but has made its way to
nations throughout the world.
we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense
to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we
have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of
Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of
food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18But since we stopped
burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink
offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the
sword and by famine.”
women also said,
“And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out
drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour
out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?”
He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of
Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say,
‘The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.’”13And
He said to me, “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations
that they are doing.” 14So He brought me to the door of the north
gate of the LORD’S house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there
weeping for Tammuz. Ezekiel 8:12-14
Some Jews who escaped
Babylonian captivity fled to Egypt. In Egypt they refused to give up their
worship of the “Queen of Heaven” and her son, “Tammuz”. Jeremiah was taken
captive by this group to the land of Egypt. This same Babylonian religion
has elements that have been transferred to today’s cultural Christianity.
For example, the word Easter is of pagan origin, along with eggs, white
dresses and bunny rabbits these practices have been traced back to Babylon
fertility rites. The assault is not just on cultural Christianity, but on
the faith directly. Catholism today is incorporating many of the errors
Israel made during the time of Jeremiah. The following is from the official
Catholic Catechism ratified by the Second Vatican Council, section 996.
"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original
sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and
soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all
things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the
Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the
Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an
anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:
In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave
the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You
conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from
Today there is a move
within the Catholic church to give Mary the title Co-Redemptrix, meaning
that she plays a part in redemption. This is contrary to scripture which
clearly teaches there is one-Mediator.
there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man
Christ Jesus, I Tim 2:5
Leo XIII: “The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office
she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of
Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and,
therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven. Now,
this merciful office of hers, perhaps, appears in no other form of prayer so
manifestly as it does in the Rosary. For in the Rosary all the part that
Mary took as our co-Redemptress comes to us
work of Satan, through this religious system has been active since the
building of Babylon. (Gr.
sacred (physically pure,
morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated):—(most)
holy (one, thing), saint.
The two categories are
saints, those killed before Jesus (Dan 8:13). And the martyrs of Jesus,
those killed for their witness of Messiah. Both groups are killed by this
satanic religion that operates in opposition to God’s word.
There is a well
documented history of those who have been killed in Europe and throughout
the world for the sake of the gospel.
wondered in amazement because he did not understand the extent of the work
of the woman who was riding the Beast. How active she has been in the prior
centuries and how active she will be till the end of days.
Origin of the Woman
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. 8The 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. Revelation 17:7-8
angel is slightly rebukes John marveling at the Woman riding the Beast.
I will tell…Now
the angel will explain the meaning, so there is no misunderstanding about
the Woman or the Beast.
the context of the other verses is the future kingdom the will be unified
under Satan’s power in the final kingdom on the Earth. The seven heads and
ten horns are referred to three times outside of the
Babylon as a
world kingdom unified under one man did exist.
2. And is not
Babylon is not
now a world kingdom.
3. And will
ascend out of the bottomless pit
antichrist dies, Satan will inhabit his body at the Midpoint.
4. go to
Satan, and the
Antichrist will go into Eternal destruction
Ten horns and
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.
I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising
up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten
another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon
having seven heads and ten horns
different from all the beasts that were before it, and it
had ten horns.
I saw a woman
sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy,
having seven heads and ten horns
, and on his
heads a blasphemous name.
that horn which
had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, He shall speak
pompous words against the Most High,
Those who dwell….The
inhabitants of the Earth will be in awe of the Kingdom of the Beast, and the
source of its power and the power behind the Beast, Satan.
Whose names are not
Those who are not going to be part of the Lamb’s eternal kingdom will fall
for the Beast and his religious system. The “Book of Life is mentioned seven
times in the book of Revelation( Revelation 3:5,13:8, 17:8, 20:12,15, 21:27,
Seven heads of the beast
is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which
the woman sits. 10There 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. 11The beast that was, and is not, is himself also
the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. Revelation
Here is the mind…
Spiritual wisdom, to understand what the description of the Beast means.
In 3 of the 4
descriptions of the Beast we are shown a beast with seven heads. In 4 of the
4 descriptions there are 10 horns. Here the angel is about to describe the
meaning of the 7 heads. The seven heads mean two things.
the seven heads represent 7 mountains. A mountain is symbolic with a seat of
power. In Daniel 2:35 the rock became a mountain which filled the earth.
This referres to the kingdom of Messiah. We are told the woman sits on
these 7 mountains, meaning she dominates 7 kingdoms. What kingdoms does she
Also seven kings…Second,
the seven heads represent seven kings. We know from the context of Daniel
7:17 that there are 4 kingdoms from Daniel’s time till then end of days.
came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this.
So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
17‘Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings
which arise out of the earth.
Those 4 kingdoms are
Babylon (625-539 BC), Persia (539-333 BC), Greece (333 BC- 55BC), Rome(55
BC-132 AD). 2 Kingdoms that dominated Israel were Egypt and Assyria both
before Daniel’s time. These would make up the 6 till John’s day, where we
are told, “One is”, which would be Rome. The other has not yet come would
be the 7th of the coming Antichrist. Who will make an agreement
with Israel in the first half of the 7 year tribulation. The Beast, Satan
who will incarnate is the Antichrist is the “Eighth” who will be of the 7
yet distinct because he will be indwelling the 7th.
against the Women (Israel) Revelation 12
Tried to assimilate
Exiled 10 tribes of
Israel, tried to
Attempted to destroy Jews during time of Ester
Antiochus Epiphanies, Abomination of Desolation 164 B.C.
1.5 million Jews died, rest expelled. During John’s day.
during the Time of the Antichrist.
Ten kingdoms unite under Satanic power
All these kingdom’s had
a direct connection with Israel, not that there were not other kingdoms more
powerful then these but its through Israel, God is going to operate.
Ten horns of the beast
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. 13These
are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
14These 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 horns…The
ten horns represent 10 future kings who at the Midpoint of the tribulation
will turn over their power of their kingdom to the Antichrist.
The ten horns are ten kings
arise from this kingdom.
And another shall
rise after them;
He shall be
different from the first ones,
And shall subdue
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to
change times and law.
Then the saints
shall be given into his hand
For a time and
times and half a time. Daniel 7:24-25
These verses in Daniel
confirm the information in the 17th chapter and give us
additional details about this final kingdom. One, we find inner conflict
which in which 3 of the 10 kings are actually subdued before they relinquish
power. Secondly, the period will last 3.5 years which corresponds to the
second half of the tribulation. (time and times and half a time=3.5years).
These are of one mind…The
will be unified in purpose to make war with the lamb and will overcome the
saints during this 3.5 year period. This verified in Daniel 7:25 and
These will make war…This
is confirmed in the Daniel 7:25
Revelation 17:9-11, The
waters the Woman sits on
he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are
peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
will dominate the Earth. The one world religion in the first half will
include the whole earth as all religions are unified into one.
Destruction of the Woman
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.
17For 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. 18And the woman whom you saw is that great
city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:16-18
Will hate the harlot….The
ten horns or kings will make the transition at the 3.5 year mark as they
turn over their power to the Beast. As a result the religion of the Earth
will focus on worship of the Beast and his Image. The woman who rides the
Beast will have served her purpose. The Beast will then turn on the woman.
The woman will now be in the way, her wealth will be taken, her flesh eaten
and burned with fire as those who choose to resist change will be
destroyed. The irony is that God will be using the Beast to accomplish his
judgment on the Harlot who from the time of Babylon through the use of
religion and state was able to subdue and seduce nations.
The woman whom you saw….From
the city New Babylon kings of the Earth be forced to submit to the kingdom
of Antichrist. They will hate the Woman.