Revelation Chapter 17
“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 sits upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her
fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:1-5, emphasis added).
This “great whore” is “Babylon the Great!” She has given birth to the “Harlots and Abominations of the earth.” We have seen in the prophecies how a pure, chaste woman represents the church of God (Revelation 12:1) while this woman called “Babylon the Great” is Satan’s church by which he has corrupted all the earth. “The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:2). The “wine of her fornication” and the abominations are those beliefs, customs, practices and teachings which originated way back in the days of ancient Babylon in the days of Nimrod. People who are drunk do not think or act reasonably. In the past (44+ years ago-2017), I embarrassed myself and others especially my mother, when I was intoxicated; I did things I would not have done had I been sober. So it is with all who have been intoxicated with the “wine of Babylon.” They do not act or think rationally. Did I suffer any ill consequences as the result of that behavior? You bet. So it will be in the “judgment of the great whore.” Those who furnish the alcohol, at least in the case of minors, are also held guilty. I believe that those guilty of promoting and furnishing the wine of Babylon to the inhabitants of this earth will be held to a higher account by Elohim than those to whom they furnished the intoxicating brew.
We are told that “Babylon the great” is “the mother of Harlots and Abominations of the earth.” A correct understanding of who Babylon is, will give us a correct understanding of who these Harlots are and what these abominations are.
Many in the Christian world believe that Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church and that her harlots or her daughters are the Protestant Churches; so many of their views of prophecy revolve around the Roman Catholic Church, including their understanding of what is revealed in Revelation 17. Many of the chapters of Daniel and Revelation we have examined are viewed through this bias by many. When one has this prejudice, it prevents one from understanding what is being shown. I have attempted to lay aside all my preconceived ideas in writing this book and to discover from the Bible and the Bible alone what is being shown us. I hope by now you will agree that this is what has been done in our study? When I began studying Daniel and Revelation twenty-four years ago, I had none of the views I present in this book. I had not previously studied these subjects on my own, depending only upon the Spirit of God to show me the truth (John 16:13).
Let us attempt to let this chapter speak for itself and see what is being revealed to us. “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman [Babylon], and of the beast that carries her, which hath seven heads and ten horns. The beast [‘a scarlet colored beast’ (Revelation 17:3)] 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” (Revelation 17:7-8, emphasis added). The inhabitants of the earth will see this “beast” that carries [empowers] Babylon.
Drawing from all that we have looked at in previous chapters, we can come to a proper understanding of who Babylon is and who is “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” “and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” and is connected to the “seven heads and ten horns?” In Revelation 17:7, 12:3, and 13:1, we have seen these “seven heads and ten horns.” With whom have these “seven heads and ten horns” been previously associated with? In Revelation 12:3, we read, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven, and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,” and in Revelation 12:9, we read, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan” (emphasis added). Is the “great red dragon” the same as the “scarlet colored beast?”
In Revelation 13:4, we read, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast" (emphasis added). Revelation 13:2 reads, “and the dragon gave him [the ‘seven head and ten horn’ beast] his power, and his seat, and great authority.” In Revelation 12:3 and Revelation 13:2, the “seven heads and ten horns” are associated with Satan.
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition” (Revelation 17:8, emphasis added). In Revelation 11:7, we read, “And when they shall have finished their [the 144,000] testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them” (emphasis added). We saw in our study of Revelation 10, 11, and 15 that this beast is Satan. In Revelation 9:1-2, and 11, we read, “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit, and he opened the bottomless pit.” “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit” (emphasis added). This king who is described as “the star” that fell from heaven was identified as Satan. Luke 8:31 also connects Satan with the bottomless pit. The Greek word translated as the “bottomless pit,” is in Luke 8 translated “abyss.” The final reference is Revelation 20:1-3 where the “bottomless pit” is connected to Satan. So if every other instance where the “bottomless pit” is used is clearly associated to Satan, can we safely deduce that in Revelation 17:7-8 it is also referring to Satan?
In Revelation 17:11, we read, “And the beast that was, and is not.” This is the same language as used in verse 8 which means that “even he is the eighth.” He is not the eighth pope since AD 1929, but it is Satan who is behind the other seven heads which are also mentioned to be “seven kings.”
It is also said that he will “go into perdition” (Revelation 17:8, 11), which according to Webster’s Dictionary means “eternal death or eternal destruction.” Appendix B deals exclusively with death and associated topics.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, we read, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [‘the day of Christ’ (2 Thessalonians 2:2) His second coming] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition: who opposes, and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (emphasis added). He is not sitting in the Vatican; he is sitting in “the temple of God” in Jerusalem as we saw in previous chapters.
Again this is referring to Satan. In Ezekiel 28:2, in speaking of Satan, it is written: “Thus saith the LORD God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, in the midst of the seas” (emphasis added). We saw how Satan will “plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain” (Daniel 11:45, emphasis added). When this occurs, the Bible refers to this act as “the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 12:11).
The Devil has always wanted mankind’s worship, and he thinks that if he can place his tabernacle in Jerusalem, he will be worshipped as God. “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14).
“Because thine [Satan’s] heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas” (Ezekiel 28:2). Satan has been setting up the inhabitants of the earth, by twisting the Scriptures and having people believe that when Jesus returns, He will sit on David’s throne and the thousand-year millennium of peace will be ushered in. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). This is his greatest deception mankind has fallen for and may be his most coveted desire. This is what he has aspired to do since he began fomenting dissent among the heavenly angels over 6,000 years ago. Satan has had some very lofty desires and during the last days he will attain, in his mind, those desires, “yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:45). When his rebellion will have reached full maturity, he will then go into perdition, eternal destruction, when he is cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10) to be turned to ashes (Ezekiel 28:18), but not until he has had 1,000 years to think about his past. “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:18, emphasis added).
So who are the seven heads? “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits” (Revelation 17:9, emphasis added). Most prophetic interpreters say these “seven mountains, on which the woman sits” are the seven hills of Rome where the Vatican is located. Again, they are looking through biased eyes by believing that Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is one of those seven heads.
As I am writing this chapter, there is a great amount of speculation about the new pope; the eighth pope since the Vatican was given back to the papacy in AD 1929. The election of a ninth pope would wash out that interpretation, and what would it do to the faith of those who hold to this false understanding of this portion of Scripture? When Jesus was crucified, as He foretold, the Apostles faith took an enormous shock. The only ones who remembered that Jesus had foretold His Own death, were the Sanhedrin, which secured a Roman guard from Pilate to watch over the tomb for fear that He would escape from them even though He was dead. None of Jesus' followers remembered His words foretelling His death and His resurrection three days later!
In the Old Testament, mountains were always connected to worship. As an example, Isaiah 3:6 reads, “The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? She is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot” (emphasis added).
Even the worship instituted by God for the Hebrew people was on Mt. Zion. It seems like every time the Hebrews left the worship of the one, true God, they would worship the pagan gods on “the high places” or on the mountains. Israel was told in Deuteronomy, “Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree” (Deuteronomy 12:2, emphasis added). Remember that the Bible interprets the Bible, so there is no private interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20).
Why are there seven mountains which are also pictured as the seven heads (Revelation 17:9)? We discussed in our study of Revelation 13 the beast with “seven heads and ten horns;” it was pointed out in that study that the false religions of the world are heathenism, Judaism (in its apostate form), Islam (Muslim), eastern mysticism, atheism, Protestantism (in its apostate form), together with Catholicism made up the seven heads.
In Revelation 17:10, we read, “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.” I do not recall any explanation made of this verse in the understanding of those who are looking at the Roman Catholic Church as being the great whore and the present pope being the eighth?
In Revelation 13:1, these seven heads also had the “name of blasphemy” upon them and in Revelation 17:3 we are told that this woman (Babylon) sitting upon a “scarlet coloured best, full of names of blasphemy.” John wrote the book of Revelation in approximately AD 95; these seven false religions were not all on the scene at that point in time, for it says “five are fallen.” At that time, heathenism, Judaism (in its degraded form), Islam or Muslim (whose roots go back to Abraham’s son, Ishmael), Eastern mysticism, and atheism were all proven to be false religions. Judaism, even though much of it had been ordained by God, had “been made drunk with the wine of her [Babylon’s] fornication” and had become corrupted with the “abominations of Babylon” and had never followed the ways of God. All one has to do is read the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament and that becomes obvious.
So who is the one that “is”? When you read John’s, Paul’s and Jude’s epistles, you see that there were influences at work in their day seeking to corrupt the faith for which they were contending. Jude wrote to the believers: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only LORD God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3-4, emphasis added).
Before the time when John wrote his visions of the Revelation, Paul tells us that already the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 2:7) was fast at work in opposition to the work of God, and which many believe evolved into the papacy! The papacy was the head that is being described as the “one is.” It was in its infancy during the Apostles’ day, but it would grow into what it is today. John wrote in his first epistle about the antichrist and what would be the teachings of an antichrist. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone into the world. Hereby ye know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3, emphasis added). The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in which the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was created sinless (Mary was conceived without a fallen human nature.) and therefore she did not pass on the inherited, fallen, human nature inherited from Adam (Genesis 5:3) and is of this spirit (anti-Christ). “Even now already is it in the world” at the time of the apostles and was the beginning of what would eventually become the Roman Catholic Church.
Who is the “head” or “king” that is described as “the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space?” Only one religious system at that time was not on the stage of this earth when John received this vision - Protestantism. Just like Judaism, Protestantism was a movement ordained of God and was God’s attempt to bring back to mankind the pure faith that had become corrupted “by the abominations of the earth” originating in ancient Babylon. Slowly through the centuries, and beginning in earnest during the early sixteenth century, the Reformation began to restore the truths of God’s Word which had been lost or changed when paganism and Christianity united forming the Roman Catholic Church, but it was thwarted by the Roman Catholic Church’s counter-reformation; led by the sect in the Roman Catholic Church known as the Jesuits.
Time and again, God raised up His instruments of reform to bring the light of the truth to His people. The people, who would accept the truths proclaimed by those instruments of God, would then build a wall around those beliefs by declaring a Creed; a formal declaration of those beliefs, and never advance further than the instrument chosen by God who brought that light to their understanding. Those churches or denominations eventually fell back into previously held errors; “the abominations of the earth,” which had been corrected.
It is said of Protestantism, “When he cometh, he must continue a short space.” In relation to the other six heads or religions, Protestantism has had a relatively short period of existence of about five hundred years dating back to the time of Martin Luther. So Babylon’s daughters, or harlots, are all those false religions of this earth which have their roots, or beginnings in ancient Babylon. The pagan beliefs, teachings, customs, and practices which originated in ancient Babylon first mentioned in Genesis 11:6 are those “abominations of the earth” by which “the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
Even though God confused the languages of the people who built the tower of Babel, and the people were dispersed from Babylon, the inhabitants of Shinar carried their pagan beliefs, customs, teachings, and practices with them. Among the many diverse religions of the world, there are beliefs and practices and customs still held in common by them all, which have been retained from the pagan religion first begun in ancient Babylon by Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz.
In Revelation 14:4, we are told, “These [144,000] are they which are not defiled with women [the false religions or the ‘abominations’]; for they are virgins [They follow the pure, unadulterated truths found in God’s Word and are not spiritual harlots.]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes.” They follow none of the beliefs, customs, teachings or practices originated by man; they follow only the teachings, beliefs, and practices derived from the Bible. The Bible is their supreme and only authority.
What is the time frame of Revelation 17? “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 sits on many waters” (Revelation 17:1, emphasis added). One of the angels having one of the seven last plagues shows John the “judgment of the great whore” indicating that what is pictured in this chapter takes place during the time of the seven last plagues. Specifically, what you see in Revelation 17 and 18 is taking place during the sixth plague when the River Euphrates is dried up.
When one thinks of a whore, what comes to mind is someone who is used for one’s pleasure and then discarded? So it is with this “great whore” whom the Devil uses and discards when she has served his purpose, and sets up his kingdom (Daniel 11:45).
The focus of Revelation 17 is “the judgment of the great whore.” When Satan takes away his support from Babylon (New World Order), the Euphrates River, the life-sustaining source of ancient Babylon, is “dried up” (Revelation 16:12) and modern-day Babylon falls. God is trying to warn Babylon and the earth’s inhabitants of this when the second angel pictured in Revelation 14:8 cries out, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen that great city.” Babylon is used by Satan to reach his desire for world domination and then is discarded.
The “ten kings,” mentioned in Revelation 17:12, have not received a kingdom yet and when they do, it will be for a very short period of time; “one hour with the beast” (Revelation 17:12). The ten kings pictured as part of the “seven heads and ten horns” have had power for “forty-two months” (Revelations 13:5, 11:2). “These [‘the ten kings’] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast [who has been identified as Satan]” (Revelation 17:13). These ten kings make war not with the saints of God as mentioned in Daniel 12:7 and 8:24, but “these [‘the ten kings’] shall make war [with Babylon or the New World Order and then] with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).
“And the ten kings which thou saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore [who is Babylon or more commonly known as the New World Order], and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:16).
In Revelation 19:16, Jesus is described as “He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Jesus leads the armies of heaven back to earth escorted by the 144,000 who “are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). They have been called by God, they have been chosen by God, and they have proven themselves faithful. The 144,000 are the “kings of the east” mentioned in Revelation 16:12. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Master cometh with ten thousands [14.4 x 10,000 = 144,000] of His saints” (Jude 14). Describing the same scene, Moses wrote: “And he said, the LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran and He came with ten thousands [14.4 x 10,000 = 144,000] of saints” (Deuteronomy 33:2).
“And the ten horns which thou saw upon the beast” (Revelation 17:16) are not a part of the whore like the seven heads and the ten horns, but “hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (emphasis added). These additional ten kings mentioned here at the end of Revelation 17 are a part of Satan’s confederate angels.
We read in Revelation 13:5, that the beast shown in Revelation 13:1-3 “has power given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Their power is to come to an end at this point and this coincides with “the twelve hundred and ninety days” mentioned in Daniel 12:11, and the “forty and two months” spoken of in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5.
The “Two Witnesses” in Revelation 11 will prophesy for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” which will begin at the first global earthquake mentioned in Revelation 8:5. They will be put to death by “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit” twelve hundred and sixty days after that first global earthquake.
The New World Order (Babylon) will take control thirty days after the first global earthquake and is in power for “forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5), thus coming to an end twelve hundred and ninety days after the first global earthquake, which indicated we were at the beginning of “the time of trouble.” This will also be thirty days after the 144,000 have been put to death.
This is also the time that Satan sets up his “tabernacle” in Jerusalem described by Daniel as “the abomination of desolation.” The Devil has no need for the “great whore” (Babylon) any longer, and his angels bring great havoc upon her and those who are a part of her (Revelation 17:16).
And why does all this occur? “For God hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:17-18).
In the end, she will be betrayed by the beast, Satan, and the seven heads and ten horns, which had once been in allegiance with the Devil, will be scorned, just like a whore who has been used!
I believe God wants us to be sympathetic even to those of Babylon (New World Order), for they do not understand their end. Jesus had no condemnation for those who put Him to death despite their cruel and inhumane treatment. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, emphasis added). The Devil has been deceiving the entire world (Revelation 12:9), and those who compose Babylon have been greatly deceived into doing the Devil’s bidding and in the end will be betrayed and scorned. The Devil is our common enemy. The Devil is mankind’s enemy. Even those belonging to the New World Order are able to obtain salvation through God’s mercy if they will respond to His call before it is too late.
- 1.Who is Babylon?
- 2. Who are the ten horns mentioned in Revelation 17:12?
- 3. How long will the ten horns be in power?
- 4. Who brings havoc on the New World Order?
- 5. Who is the beast that shall ascend out of the bottomless pit?