The Book of Revelation
Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT
The 17th chapter of Revelation is as follows:
1. The Great Whore and the Beast Explained – Revelation 17:1
2. Her Sins and Lovers – Revelation 17:2
3. Her Dominions – Revelation 17:3
4. Her Attire and Sins – Revelation 17:4
5. Her Name – Revelation 17:5
6. Her Drunkenness – Revelation 17:6
7. Promise of an Explanation of the Whore and the Beast – Revelation 17:7
8. The Beast: The Satanic Prince of Grecia Out of the Abyss – Revelation 17:8
9. The Seven Heads or Seven Kingdoms That Precede the Eighth Kingdom – Revelation 17:9-10
10. The Beast – The Eighth Kingdom Ruled by the Antichrist – Revelation 17:11
11. The Ten Horns of the Ten Kingdoms Inside the Old Roman Empire Territory Which Make the Seventh Kingdom
– Revelation 17:12
12. The Ten Kings Will Agree to Give Their Kingdom to the Antichrist But Will Continue as Kings Under Him and Will Fight Against Christ at Armageddon – Revelation 17:13-14
13. The Waters or the Many People that Make the Eighth Kingdom – Revelation 17:15
14. The Ten Kings and the Antichrist Turn on the Whore in the Middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, So the Beast Can be Worshiped the Last 3 ½ Years – Revelation 17:16-17
15. The Great Whore is a City That Has a Kingdom Reigning Over the Ten Kings – Revelation 17:18
The Great Whore and the Beast Explained – Revelation 17:1
The 17th chapter of Revelation is, no doubt, the most difficult one to understand and perhaps the most difficult in the Bible. First, John says that one of the seven angels in charge of the seven vials came and talked with him. He told John he would show him the great whore’s judgment. We will learn from verse 15 that the word "waters” refers to people, nations, and tongues, so it does not refer to a body of water as we think of water.
The 17th chapter is a parenthetical passage, meaning an interruption in the order of events so something may be explained. The events spoken of in this chapter started about the midpoint of the Great Tribulation Period. However, the things said go back to the dawn of time. If we interpret them correctly, we can see the powerful efforts of satan to proclaim a counterfeit way of salvation. This has been satan’s desire from the very beginning. If in fact, he can succeed in turning men away from God’s True Salvation, which is in Jesus Christ alone, then, he will succeed in damning multitudes to eternal darkness. Unfortunately, he has succeeded to a great degree.
As this chapter opens, we see the root of so many world problems. We see the subtlety of satan and his efforts to draw man into a false salvation. We will see his infiltration of Christianity. Religion has been given many names, but God calls all of it “…the great whore…” The Lord has consistently used such terms concerning spiritual decadence. He has likened it to spiritual adultery or spiritual fornication. I want to emphasize that when we read the book of Revelation, we view things as God does. Many times, the world will perceive a thing as beautiful, when in reality, God sees “the great whore.” At times the church applauds its own efforts of the flesh while God calls it “spiritual fornication.” In effect, the Lord is saying, “This thing has been allowed to sit upon many waters (many people) from the beginning, but now it is going to be judged.”
Her Sins and Lovers – Revelation 17:2
Here, we see the close association of kings and nations with false religions. It has always been so. The first organized false religion was the ancient Babylonian cult started by Nimrod and his queen, Semiramis, which spread among all nations. The objects of worship were the supreme father, incarnate female, or queen of heaven and her son. The cult claimed the highest wisdom in the most divine secrets. Besides confession to priests, there were man mysterious rites. In fact, Julius Caesar became head of the Roman branch of Babylonian cult in 63 BC. Other emperors held the office until AD 376 when the emperor Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. He saw that Babylonism was idolatrous. Damasus, bishop of the Christian church of Rome, was elected to the headship in AD 378, and from that time, Babylonism and organized Christianity, for the most part, became one. The rites of Babylon were soon introduced into the Christian church. Temples were restored, beautified, and their rituals encouraged. Worship and veneration of images, saints, relics, private confessions, penances, scourgings, pilgrimages, the sign of the cross, Christmas, lady day, easter, lent, and other pagan rites and festivals, little by little, became part of what is referred to as “Christian worship.”
Through the centuries, most governments have had what is normally called, “the state religion.” Every time, this effort has been of satan. Several centuries ago, England broke away from Roman catholicism. However, the state church of England was little different from the Roman catholicism it replaced. However, the Anglican church did not quite go to the lengths of persecution characterized by its Roman counterpart but almost. Our pilgrim forefathers came to America primarily to escape the clutches of the state church. They braved hardships and untold persecution to worship God as they saw fit. The Constitution of the United States tended toward freedom of religion and worship. Among other things, this has made America great.
In the 1600s, on some of the Caribbean islands, white men killed Indians, including women and children, for sport because of the color of their skin. They were considered little more than soulless animals. These murderers would hurry home in time for Sunday service. It was against the law not to attend church (protestant). Ironically, half way around the world in Toledo, Spain, the Roman catholic church carried out the horrible inquisitions brutally murdering tens of thousands whom they called heretics simply because they would not embrace the catholic faith. All of this, whether it is called “protestant" or "catholic” could be better labeled, “the great whore.” These false religions have caused millions to be drunk with the wine of her fornication and thereby eternally lost.
The situation has changed little today with the institutionalized church (protestant) being shot through with apostate Christianity. This should be clear, any way of salvation that adds to or takes away from the atoning, vicarious offering of Jesus Christ can be labeled as “the great whore.”
At this hour, almost a billion of the world’s population is under the bondage of islam; catholicism maintains that the church is the savior, and much of what we refer to as the protestant world falls into the same category. Scripture declares “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Anything that adds to or takes away from this is “…another Jesus,…” “…another spirit,…” “…another gospel,…” (2 Corinthians 11:4) which is no Gospel at all and could also be labeled as “the great whore.”
Her Dominion – Revelation 17:3
John’s vision was in the Spirit as he was taken into the wilderness. He did not literally go there. He saw it in a vision. He saw a woman (the great whore) sit upon a scarlet-colored beast. The woman was not part of the scarlet-colored beast. She was sitting on it. It was full of names of blasphemy, and it had seven heads and ten horns.
Now let’s look at John’s vision. The woman is organized religion. By that, we mean any religion or form of religion claiming to have a way of salvation that is either different from, adding to, or taking away from the Biblical way. She symbolizes every false way of salvation from the very beginning.
The scarlet color indicates blood and pertains to great persecution. It is estimated that 200 million people have been martyred because they would not conform to organized religion. The martyrdom of saints will be revived in the Old Roman Empire territory between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ (the Great Tribulation period).
In the first 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week, the woman, (the great whore) will murder the saints of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the middle of the Great Tribulation period, when the antichrist comes to power over the ten kingdoms, the great whore will be destroyed. Martyrdom of Christians will be carried on by the beast and the ten kings until the Second Coming of Christ. We must also understand that the beast described here is not the antichrist but represents the great nations of the world empires that have persecuted Israel from the beginning. They were called by various names, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Rome, etc. However, God calls them “beasts.” Every one was full of the names of blasphemy. In other words, they all blasphemed God.
Now, let’s look at the meaning of the seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads represent the seven great empires of the past used of satan to persecute and hinder Israel, God’s chosen people. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. We have only named six. The seventh head and ten horns are one and the same. The ten horns are listed separately because they have not yet risen. As Rome was the last of the mighty empires even in John’s day, it is still the last of the empires that persecuted Israel, fulfilling only six. It was then stopped because Israel, as a nation, was destroyed in AD 70. That particular time, starting the day of Pentecost until the present, has constituted the Church Age. So, the ten-horned kingdom has not yet risen but will shortly. And it will be the seventh head (there is an eighth which we will study later).
The events which transpired concerning the Soviet’s release of eastern Europe began the fulfillment of prophesy that will pave the way for the rise of the ten kings. We know from Daniel’s prophecies (Daniel 7:7) that the ten-horned kingdom will be located within the geographical area of the old Roman Empire. As the other empires persecuted Israel, the ten horns constituting the seventh head will persecute Israel as well. The persecution came about as a result of false gods and false worship. This is the woman John saw. In the days of the Roman empire, at the time of the early church, thousands of Christians went to their death because they would not say “Caesar is Lord.” Thousands were torn by wild beasts in Roman arenas. They went to their deaths saying, “Jesus is Lord.” These words roll off our lips, but do we realize the tremendous price others have paid, not only in the Roman empire but even in modern days as well? The woman (the great whore) has always persecuted true followers of The Lord. That persecution has not stopped. It continues today. It will really roll into high gear during the Great Tribulation period.
Her Attire and Sins – Revelation 17:4
John said this woman was dressed in purple and scarlet. Many have taken this to pertain to the Roman catholic church. However, the woman (the great whore) has ridden this beast from the very beginning, long before the roman catholic church ever came into being. Once again, it must be understood that the woman is symbolic of all the false religions. The purple stands for royalty. That is easy to understand when we remember that John said the kings of the earth have also committed fornication with her (Revelation 17:2).
The scarlet color pertains to persecution exactly as the scarlet color pertains to persecution concerning the beast. In the horrible catholic inquisition of the 16th century, the roman catholic church itself little participated in the terrible persecutions. The state (Spain) carried it out. However, we must remember that the church controlled the state.
In the 4th verse, she is also pictured as being rich (gold, precious stones, and pearls). If one pulls aside the woman’s covering, we can see two things. First, we see power (she rides the beast) and then we would see riches (the gold, precious stones, and pearls). She is pictured as having a golden cup in her hand (remember, the cup is said to be golden). As the masses of people look at this cup, it is proclaimed as having great salvation. Consequently, because it is gold, it looks beautiful to the adoring public. However, God says on the inside of it is full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.
Her Name – Revelation 17:5
On her forehead this blasphemous name is written, stating to us by The Holy Spirit that there is no reason that any individual should be deceived. The deception, the evil, and the wickedness of the apostate religious system has always been obvious to the honest, seeking heart. There is no excuse for anyone being deceived but hundreds of millions are. If you will notice, she is called “…MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,…”
As far as we know, organized religion, in opposition to God, was started by Nimrod. The Bible says, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel,…” (Genesis 10:8-10) The beginning of his kingdom was Babel. This is the same area that has produced Saddam Hussein and now occupies the attention of the world. The attention will not subside. It will ebb and flow in the near future, but its predominance will continue to the very end. It was in this area that Bible scholars believe that the Garden of Eden was situated. This same area also produced Abraham (Abram). He was born in Ur of the Chaldees which was about 150 miles south of present-day Bagdad. So, out of this same area, we have the archenemy of God with his false religion to oppose God, and we also have Abraham, who gave us Isaac and Ishmael (Isaac the Jews, Ishmael the Arabs). The battle still rages.
Mystery Babylon is the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. Every problem in the world today can be traced to apostate religions. India starves while millions of cattle roam free simply because they are considered gods. Under communism, with the state as god, the people cannot feed themselves. It is a never-ending travesty and the cause of the abominations of the earth.
Her Drunkenness – Revelation 17:6
The woman (the great whore) has persecuted the followers of The Lord from the very beginning, and it must be understood that the persecution here spoken of was more than just mild opposition. It was persecution to death. Then, we are specifically told that it is “…with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:..” From the inception of the church on the day of Pentecost, millions have died because of their testimony of Christ. The “woman” killed them. John said that when he saw her, he wondered with great admiration, not the admiration that constitutes quality. When John realized all of the persecution from the very beginning, he was amazed.
Promise of an Explanation of the Whore and the Beast – Revelation 17:7
When the angel, the redeemed man, said to John, “…Wherefore didst thou marvel?...” he then promised to tell the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carried her. Notice, the angel used the word “mystery” in connection with the woman. The Bible says that the beast carries the woman, so she must be separate from the beast itself. The beast is political; the woman is religious. It is the religious part of her, the great whore, that constitutes the mystery. All religions contain an element of mystery. To understand the beast, we must realize that the beast has the seven heads and ten horns. He is not contained in any one of the heads or horns. The beast symbolizes one thing, and the heads and horns symbolize something else. To have a true understanding of the beast, one must think of him as being different from both the heads and horns. Now, the angel explains the difference between the beast and the heads and the horns.
The Beast: The Satanic Prince of Grecia Out of the Abyss – Revelation 17:8
For clarification, the reader must remember that he beast spoken of here is not the antichrist. The antichrist is also called the beast; however, they are so closely entwined that it is difficult to distinguish between the two. The following explanation should make it much more clear. The angel uses some strange language concerning the beast. He said, “…(he) was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit,...” The beast spoken of here is referring to a satanic prince, a fallen angel.
The word “was” implies he was very active in the past but is not active now. To find the true explanation, we go back to Revelation 13:2, and this is what the Scripture says, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion:…” (Revelation 13:2). What John was talking about in Revelation 13:2 and in Revelation 17:8 is the satanic prince (fallen angel) that helped Alexander the Great in the rise of the great Grecian empire. “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl;…” (Daniel 7:6). Daniel saw this beast which looked like a leopard representing the Grecian empire. The first one Daniel saw was like a lion, and it represented the Babylonian empire with the second one symbolized by a bear, representing the great Medo-Persian empire. And then the third that was like a leopard, representing the Grecian empire.
This is what the angel is explaining: when Alexander the Great was able to conquer much of the known world of his day, though he was unaware of it, he was aided by a satanic prince (fallen angel). No doubt, many evil individuals in the past and present have been aided and abetted by demon spirits or fallen angels. Rarely, if ever, is the part in question aware of the help given unto him, but it is there, nevertheless.
Whenever the angel says, “…(he) was, and is not;…” he meant that when Alexander the Great died, this satanic prince was confined by God to the bottomless pit. When the angel used the term, “…is not;…” he meant that, during John’s day, this satanic prince was locked away. He also said he would be released out of this bottomless pit in the future. John had no way of knowing when this would happen, and neither do we today. However, the possibility is great that this fallen angel has already been released from the bottomless pit and is going about to bring together the great events that will characterize the antichrist.
It seems that this beast not only helped Alexander the Great but also was instrumental in helping the other empires that persecuted Israel. If you remember in Revelation 13:2, it said the beast which John saw, which was like a leopard, also had feet like a bear, symbolic of the Medo-Persian empire. It also had the mouth of a lion, which was symbolic of the Great Babylonian empire. In the same verse, it said that the dragon (satan) gave him his power and his seat and great authority. So, this satanic prince receives his instructions directly from satan himself.
The satanic prince has been in the bottomless pit since the death of Alexander the Great, which has now been about 2,300 years. He will come out and do his work as prophesied, but his conclusion will be perdition.
Then, the angel predicts that everyone on earth will wonder (be startled and amazed) at the great power of the antichrist, not realizing the secret of that power. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will understand the reason of his power. This fallen, angelic prince was active until Alexander the Great and then was confined to the bottomless pit after the demise of Alexander the Great “…is not;…” He will be released shortly (if not already) out of the bottomless pit and will aid and abet the antichrist “…yet is.”
The Seven Heads or Seven Kingdoms That Preceded the Eighth Kingdom – Revelation 17:9-10
Now, the angel will tell us the wisdom of these statements. As previously related, the beast is separate from the heads and horns. Now, the angel tells us what the heads are. He says the seven heads are seven mountains (empires) on which the woman sits. These seven mountains or seven kings or kingdoms were coexistent with Israel from her beginning to the eighth kingdom. All of these will have persecuted Israel in the time of the Gentiles.
If you will notice, the woman “sitteth” on these mountains. It means the great whore, with her false religion, is astride these mountains (empires) which is really the cause of Israel’s persecution.
When he mentions seven kings, he was speaking of the leaders of the seven empires, then he gives more information. When he said that five are fallen, he was speaking of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Before John’s day, these five had run their course. When he used the term “…one is,…” he spoke of the Roman empire existing in John’s day. And then when he said, “…the other is not yet come;…” he was speaking of the seventh or ten-horned kingdom.
Remember, we stated that the ten-horned kingdom, with the seventh head in Revelation 17:3, then he said, “…when he cometh (the ten-horned kingdom), he must continue a short space.” meaning this: the ten-horned kingdom was not in power in John’s day, and it is not in power now. It will come shortly, and we know this because of the breaking away of Eastern Europe from Soviet domination. Some parts of Eastern Europe will be a part of the ten-horned kingdom over which the Soviet Union will have no control whatsoever. When this ten-horned kingdom arises in the near future, it will only continue a short space.
The Beast: The Eighth Kingdom Ruled by the Antichrist – Revelation 17:11
The beast spoken of here is the same one that John spoke of in Revelation 13:2 as well as in Revelation 17:8 “…(he) was,…” He was active up through Alexander the Great. “…is not,…” (was locked in the bottomless pit during John’s day) “…even he is the eighth,…” And what does he mean by that? We have the seven mountains that are spoken of which we have already named, and now the angel tells us of an eighth one. He means this fallen angel will help the antichrist, constituting the eighth great kingdom that will persecute Israel. This will be during the days of the Great Tribulation Period.
The antichrist will declare war on three of the ten horns. He will defeat them, and the others will give their power to him, and as Scripture has said, will continue with him for a short time according to Revelation 17:10. Then, the ten-horned kingdom also persecuting Israel will be taken by the antichrist. This will constitute the eighth.
What is meant by “…and is of the seven,…”? The same spirit (fallen angel) that helped the other seven kingdoms, will also help the antichrist but will ultimately be put back in the bottomless pit “…goeth into perdition”
The Ten Horns or Ten Kingdoms Inside the Old Roman Empire Territory Which Make the Seventh Kingdom – Revelation 17:12
The angel plainly says that these ten horns or ten kings will shortly come to power. The ten horns will reign before and after the antichrist comes to power, however, their reign before the antichrist is different. Before the antichrist comes, they are independent, but after he comes to power, they are subject to him. They will join in power with the antichrist, realizing they cannot oppose him. They feel that it will be better to have some semblance of power under him than to be totally destroyed by him. However, their one-hour reign with the beast will last about 3 ½ years.
The Ten Kings Will Agree to Give Their Kingdom to the Antichrist but Continue as Kings Under Him and Will Fight Against Christ at Armageddon – Revelation 17:13-14
These ten kingdoms will realize they have no power over the antichrist. He can destroy them at will, so they will agree together (one mind) to give their power and strength unto the beast, and this they shall do. They will plan to remove the name of Christ from the earth. And the Bible said, “These shall make war with the Lamb,…” The Greek word for “Lamb” is “little baby pet lambkin”. The meaning is obvious. The antichrist, along with the kings of the ten kingdoms, will think they have the power to obliterate the very name of Jesus from the earth, especially when He is so defenseless, hence, His being called a little baby lamb. However, The Holy Spirit says in His beautiful simple way, “…and the Lamb shall overcome them:…” In other words, this little baby pet Lamb will overcome the ten kings, the antichrist, and all the powers of hell. Of course, He shall. For even though they think this is a defenseless, weak, powerless lamb, He is “…Lord of lords, and King of kings:…”
The term, “…they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” means that His followers (the Church and even those who follow Him in the Great Tribulation) may look defenseless, but in reality, they will have the same power as the Lord of lords and King of kings.
The Waters of Many People That Make the Eighth Kingdom – Revelation 17:15
There is much symbolism in the book of Revelation, and in Revelation 17:1, when the statement is made, “…the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:…” it is not speaking of bodies of water, such as the Mediterranean Sea, but as the Scripture says, the word “waters” is symbolic of peoples, nations, and tongues. Untold millions have died and gone to hell as a result of following false religions, the great whore.
The Ten Kings and the Antichrist Turn on the Whore in the Middle of Daniel’s 70th Week, So the Beast Can be Worshiped the Last 3½ Years – Revelation 17:16-17
Now, we have a strange thing. The ten horns, which will be ten kingdoms, will arise out of the Old Roman empire territory just before the antichrist takes power (Daniel 7:7). They shall hate the whore. The false religions that have characterized satan’s efforts from the very beginning will be replaced with beast-worship. This is similar to the conflict in Daniel 10:20. The prince of Persia was a satanic prince who helped the Medo-Persian empire gain ascendency. However, this prince of Persia had to be subdued by Michael and Gabriel in order that the prince of Grecia (the fallen angel discussed in Revelation 17) could come to power. Beast worship will be the only religion allowed in the kingdom of the antichrist. Any other religions will be banned and its followers killed and its symbolism destroyed, “…shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” The ten kingdoms will pursue this direction with an unholy zeal because God will put it in their hearts to do so.
The Great Whore is a City That Has a Kingdom Reigning over the Ten Kings – Revelation 17:18
The great city is rebuilt Babylon discussed in Revelation 18. To refresh our memory, I believe that when the present war with Iraq is concluded, the leaders of the Iraq that emerges will no longer have their heart set on military expansion but will use their resources in commercial enterprise. Babylon will be rebuilt and will become one of the greatest cities in the world.
Remember, the great whore started in Babylon under nimrod. It will end in rebuilt Babylon under the ten kings. However, before the woman is finally destroyed by the ten horns (ten kingdoms), she will exert tremendous power in rebuilt Babylon extending that power to many other nations as well. So, rebuilt Babylon will not only be a powerful commercial center (commercial Babylon), but it will also be the headquarters for a powerful religious coalition (Mystery Babylon).
The stage, ironically, is already being set for this. Pope John Paul II has openly stated that inasmuch as Islam recognized the virgin Mary, they are very close to being accepted by the catholic church. Apostate protestant Christianity and humanism walk hand in hand. The stage is being set for the rise of Mystery Babylon. It will seem new to the world; however, it is as old as satan himself. It will, in fact, in one form or the other, have persecuted Israel and the people of God from the very beginning with the rise of the false prophet in furthering this religion.
The Great Whore and the Beast Explained
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me,
-probably is the seventh angel, however, we actually have no way of truly knowing
saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
-The “great whore” refers to all the religions of the world that have ever been, which are devised by men as a substitute for Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. God’s way is Christ and Him Crucified alone. As well, the “many waters” are symbol for multitudes of people according to verse 15.
Her Sins and Lovers
2 With whom (the great whore i.e., all types of religions) the kings of the earth
-From the very beginning, most nations have been ruled by some type of religion.
have committed fornication,
-All religions devised by men, and even the parts of Christianity that have been corrupted, are labeled by the Lord as “spiritual fornication” according to Romans 7:1-4
and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
-proclaims the addiction of religion. The doing of religion is the most powerful narcotic there is.
3 So he (the angel) carried me (John) away in the spirit (a vision) into the wilderness:
-Every religious effort that attempts to take the place of The Cross is a spiritual wilderness.
and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast,
-The woman is organized religion. By that, we mean any religion or form of religion claiming to have a way of salvation or victory other than The Cross. The “scarlet color” indicates blood and pertains to great persecution.
full of names of blasphemy,
-refers to this woman opposing the plan of God in every capacity
having seven heads and ten horns.
-This pertains to the scarlet colored beast, not the woman. The “seven heads” represent seven empires that persecuted Israel in the past with the last one yet future. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The “ten horns” represent ten nations that will arise out of the Old Roman Empire territory and will persecute Israel and is yet future. These ten nations make up the seventh head. The Roman empire, which made up the sixth head, was the last of the empires that persecuted Israel before her destruction as a nation in AD 70. When the ten-horned kingdom arises, which it will shortly, it will persecute Israel as well.
Her Attire and Sins
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour,
-All of this pertains to Israel but with a carryover into the Church Age. The “purple” represents the dominion of these religions over nations with the “scarlet color” representing the persecution of Israel.
and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls,
-These religions have always been very rich. A case in point is islam which controls some 60% of the oil reserves of the world.
having a golden cup in her hand
-All of these religions have an allurement, symbolized by the cup being golden.
full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
-proclaims what this cup holds, despite its outward attractions
5 And upon her forehead was a name written,
-The “forehead” symbolizes the fact that all these religions are devised by man and not by God.
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
-The word “mystery” separates spiritual Babylon from literal Babylon. It is “great in the eyes of the world but not in the eyes of God.”
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
-This proclaims the actual content of this “golden cup.” Even though it looks wonderful on the outside, if it’s not “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified”, then it is labeled by the Lord as “harlots and abominations.” Regrettably, that includes much of modern Christianity as well.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,
-refers to these empires and their false religions which persecuted Israel during Old Testament times up to the time of Christ
and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:
-points to the millions in the Church Age who gave their lives for the cause of Christ. The Roman Empire began these persecutions of Christians and was followed by the catholic church.
and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
-John is amazed at seeing all of this.
Promise of an Explanation of the Whore and the Beast
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?
-The angel knew that John would marvel at this scene that unfolded before his eyes and would need explanation.
I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
The Beast: The Satanic Prince of Grecia out of the Abyss
8 The beast that thou sawest was,
-represents a fallen angel who helped the leaders of these empires of the past in their efforts to destroy Israel
and is not;
-was not active during the time of John
and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit,
-This powerful fallen angel was confined to the bottomless pit about 2,300 years ago and remains there still but will be released soon to help the antichrist.
and go into perdition:
-means that after the escapade of helping the antichrist on earth, he will be confined to the lake of fire according to Revelation 20:10
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,
-presents the fact that all the unsaved people on earth during the time of the Great Tribulation will be startled and amazed as they observe the antichrist, who will do things no other man has ever done. This will be because this fallen angel is helping him, but of which he is not aware.
when they behold the beast that was, and is not,
-was not functioning during John’s day
and yet is.
-will be released out of the bottomless pit to help the antichrist
The Seven Heads or Seven Kingdoms That Precede the Eighth
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom.
-is the mind that knows and believes the Word of God
The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
-represents these seven empires which were controlled by false religions, i.e., demon spirits
10 And there are seven kings:
-actually refers to the seven heads, speaking of the leaders of these empires, whomever they may have been
five are fallen,
-Five of the empires were fallen during John’s day. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.
and one is,
-refers to the Roman Empire, which was in existence in John’s day and could, therefore, be spoken of in the present tense
and the other is not yet come;
-refers to the ten-nation confederation symbolized by the ten horns, which, in John’s day, had not yet come, and in fact, has not come even yet
and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
-The “ten horns” will be the seventh head and refers to ten nations that will arise shortly and persecute Israel which will probably take place in the first half of the Great Tribulation, the time span of about 3 ½ years.
11 And the beast (fallen angel) that was, and is not, even he is the eighth,
-This fallen angel will help the antichrist and will head up the eighth empire to persecute Israel.
and is of the seven,
-refers to the fact that he helped all the empires of the past, with the exception of Rome, in their efforts to persecute Israel, but this fallen angel gave the greatest help to Alexander the Great, who headed up the Grecian empire. We know this because John, in his vision, said, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,…”, with that animal being one of the symbols of ancient Greece according to Revelation 13:2 and Daniel 7:6.
and goeth into perdition.
-refers to the fact that, irrespective of his power and plans, eternal hell will be the due of this satanic prince. The same goes for satan, the antichrist, the false prophet, every fallen angel, every demon spirit, and in fact, all unredeemed who have ever lived.
The Ten Horns of the Ten Kingdoms Inside the Old Roman Empire Territory Which Make the Seventh Kingdom
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, (Daniel 7:7) which have received no kingdom as yet;
-refers to John’s day
but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
-These ten nations will come to power before the antichrist, making up the seventh head. Then, they will be taken over by the antichrist, who is referred to by Daniel as the “little horn” (Daniel 7:8). The “one hour” refers to the “short space.” This confederation of the ten kings and the antichrist will hold together. It will last for approximately 3 ½ years and will be destroyed by the Second Coming of Christ (Daniel 2:34-35).
The Ten Kings Will Agree to Give Their Kingdom to the Antichrist But Will Continue as Kings Under Him and Will Fight Against Christ at Armageddon
13 These have one mind,
-This ten-nation confederation, making up the seventh head, will all be in agreement respecting their joining with the antichrist because they don’t have the power to successfully oppose him.
and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
-refers to the antichrist now coming to full power and making up the eighth kingdom as described in verse 11
14 These shall make war with the Lamb,
-has to do with the antichrist attacking Israel as it regards the battle of Armageddon. Satan hates Israel for many, varied reasons, but above all, because of Jesus Christ. So, to attack Israel is to attack the Lamb of God.
and the Lamb shall overcome them:
-speaks of the Second Coming but also speaks to the fact that Jesus Christ is worthy to administer judgment and justice because of what He did at The Cross
for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings:
-proclaims the fact that this “Lamb” is “King of all” and “Lord of all” and all because of The Cross
and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
-Every saint of God who has ever lived, both Jews and Gentiles, will come back with Christ at the Second Coming.
The Waters or the Many People that Make the Eighth Kingdom
15 And he (the angel) saith unto me (John), The waters which thou sawest,
-refers back to verse 1 and presents the words “waters” being used as a symbolism
where the whore sitteth,
-If it’s not Jesus Christ and Him Crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23 and 1 Corinthians 2:2), then God refers to it as “the great whore”
are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
-This covers the entirety of the world and tells us that billions have died and gone to hell as a result of following false religions.
The Ten Kings and the Antichrist Turn On the Whore in the Middle of Daniel’s Seventieth Week So the Beast Can be Worshiped the Last 3 ½ Years
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast,
-pertains to the ten-nation confederation which will make up the seventh head
these shall hate the whore,
-At least some, if not all, of the ten-nation confederation will come out of the Middle East. Islam rules this part of the world, and it is a rule which has all but destroyed these countries. The implication is the religion of islam will be put down by this confederacy.
and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
-This proclaims the fact that the ten nations under the antichrist will institute and carry out a campaign of elimination as it regards the nation of islam, and in fact, any other religion in his domain. All of these religions will be replaced by “beast worship.”
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will,
-While the ten nations have their own agenda, God will use it to bring about His divine and perfect will.
and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast,
-The ten leaders of these nations will give their authority to the beast, i.e., the antichrist.
until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
-This will last “until” the Great Tribulation has ended, which will be at the battle of Armageddon in which these nations will be totally destroyed according to Daniel 2:34-35.
The Great Whore is a City That Has a Kingdom Reigning Over the Ten Kings
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city,
-refers to rebuilt Babylon portrayed in Revelation Chapter 18
which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
-Rebuilt Babylon will not only be one of the commercial centers of the world, but as well, the religious center. The antichrist will have replaced islam and other religions with himself as the one being worshiped. It all began at Babylon, and it will all end at Babylon according to Genesis 11:1-9 and Revelation 18:10.