Revelation Chapter 17

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Revelation Chapter 17

17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

17:2 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.

17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

17:4 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:

17:5 And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,

 

 

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and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

17:8 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.

17:9 And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

17:10 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.

17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

 

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G od is making it very plain who is who in the last day events of this earth’s history; John is given an enlarged picture of God’s judgment on the Papacy. Revelation 17 enlarges on what happens in the 6th plague (that culminates in the Battle of Armageddon). The plainness and repetition of these revelations tell us how dense the darkness and how terrible the events are going to be in the last days!

Verses 1–2 describe the Papacy as the great whore that sitteth upon many waters. The kings of the earth are united in unholy relationship with the Papacy. The whole world has been made drunk with the wine of her fornication—her false doctrines that put truth and error together—paganism and Christianity together in one intoxicating mixture!

Verses 3–6 describe this woman. A woman in Bible prophecy represents a church. A pure woman a pure church. A whore, represents an impure church. This representation has many identifying features. This church sits on a scarlet colored beast, that is full of names of blasphemy. This church is associated with the kingly pomp of purple and scarlet and rides the beast denoting the church controlling the state governments. These governments are characterized by blasphemy. There are seven heads and ten horns. Both heads and horns represent governments in Bible prophecy. Both seven and ten denote completeness and unity. This church controls all governments on earth that are united with the Papacy. In addition, these governments are full of blasphemy. This is reference to religious laws and the sanctions and ultimately the death decree to enforce the religious laws that God calls blasphemy. Sunday is to be legislated as the day of worship for all the world. This is shown in the image to the beast in Revelation 13:14,15. "Full of blasphemy" represents, in symbol, a one- world government making a Sunday law for the whole world. This church is wealthy as evidenced by the purple and scarlet color of the whore’s clothing and all the gold, precious stones, and pearls that she is decked out with. She has a wine-cup in her hand representing her doctrines that are intoxicating to the natural man. God reveals the character of this whore by the names He gives it:

 

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Mystery (no rational explanation of her doctrines);

Babylon the great (great confusion);

Mother of harlots (Mother to other Sunday-keeping, fallen Protestant churches);

Abominations of the earth—false doctrines—immortality of the soul; forgiveness of sins by priests; sale of indulgences; paying for dead relatives to get out of purgatory; and persecution and killing of "heretics".

This church has killed millions of people as evidenced by its being drunk with the blood of saints and with the blood of martyrs of Jesus. The last martyr this church killed was not during the Dark Ages. God pictures her here after the plagues have fallen as still drunk with the blood of martyrs. In Revelation 6:11 we are told that there are going to be more martyrs during the fifth seal of the sealing time that we are now in. The last martyr will be killed just before the close of probation.

In verses 7–18 the symbols are explained. According to verse 18, the woman is the great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth (one world government with established headquarters in Rome). The Papacy ruled the world during the Dark Ages. This is predicted in prophecy to happen again in the future. This woman represents the Papacy reigning over the kings of the earth. The complete fulfillment of this prophecy is being fulfilled now and will continue to be fulfilled more and more in the future.

The beast is going to be wondered at by the whole world (except those whose names are written in the book of life Rev. 13:8; 17:8). The Papacy (the beast) is associated with the Devil (Rev. 13: 1-10). It is the beast—Satan’s front organization—that is going to come out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. (In Revelation 20:2,3 we see the Devil cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and at the end of the thousand years be loosed for a little season.) Verses 8–11 talk of the beast "that was, and is not, even he is..." The beasts having three phases—was, is not, and is—can

 

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be understood to apply both to the Papacy and to the Devil. This beast (the Papacy) was (during the Dark Ages), is not (visible as a world controller since the deadly wound in 1798), yet is (rising again into power and now gaining power to control the nations again behind the scenes). Rev. 17:8 The Devil, who has been in control of the world to a large extent (through both the Papacy and also the Atheistic forces and nations as much as God allows), will have no control over the world during the future 1,000 years of desolation because the wicked are all dead, having been destroyed by the brightness of the second coming of Jesus. Christ, with His redeemed, return to earth at the end of the thousand years. This is when the second resurrection (of the wicked) takes place. Then the beast will come out of the bottomless pit to control the masses of the world in a final, futile attempt to take the New Jerusalem after the thousand years are ended.

The seven heads of the beast are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (verse 9) This has dual meaning. Rome is the city of seven mountains where the Papacy has her established headquarters. Seven mountains also represent the kings of the whole world that the Papacy will yet "sit on" or control.

Verses 10–11 tell us that there are seven kings. Five kings are fallen, one is and the other is not yet come. When the 6th comes he will reign for a short time and then the beast which was, and is not, is one of the seven and will reign as the 8th and go into perdition! The Popes are religious leaders of a vast church and also temporal kings of the Vatican State. Since the Vatican State was restored to the Papacy in 1929, there have been five Pope/Kings. There is one who now is. The present Pope/King (6th ) is elderly and frail. It would be compatible with this explanation in these verses if the next Pope/King (7th ) would turn over the Papacy to the Devil (8th ) who will come to earth impersonating Jesus in the future. If that is the way it happens, this could be what these verses are telling us. Verse 11 shows how closely the Papacy and the Devil are connected. Both the Papacy and the Devil have the three phases and are both part of the beast on which the whore rides and are headed for destruction (perdition). In this prophetic picture, a

 

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woman (the church part of the Papacy) and the beast (the earthly government or state part of the Papacy) she is sitting on are seen as united, showing the combination of church and state. One certain part of the explanation that can be understood before it happens is given to us in Daniel 11:45: "yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

Verses 12–14 tell us that the ten horns are ten kings that are future but will rule for one hour with the beast (Papacy). These future kings have the mind of the beast and give their power and strength to the beast. These are the kings of the whole world that will be controlled and ruled by the Pope/King for one "hour". This "hour" is a short time of worldly glory, working with the Papacy in the Battle of Armageddon, making war with the Lamb, which is the genuine Jesus of Calvary, the Son of God. The outcome of the final battle is that Jesus will overcome all the kings of the world and the Papacy led by the Devil assembled against the last generation of true believers in Jesus.

Verse 13 describes the kings of the earth as having "one mind" with the beast (Papacy). The divine comment shows us how this "one mind" is being developed.

"The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium." {GC 588.3}

Verse 1 tells us that the whore (Papacy) sits upon many waters and sits on the scarlet beast (Verse 3). Verse 15 tells us that the many waters are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues. The Papacy controls the masses as well as the governments of the world.