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 [the seven false religions of the world] and Abominations [false teachings, customs, beliefs, and practices that originated in paganism] of the earth." These "Harlots and Abominations" did not originate (were not birthed) by the Catholic Church. They originated in ancient Babylon during the days of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. We have seen in the prophecies how a pure, chaste woman represents the church of Elohim (Revelation 12:1) while this woman called "Babylon the Great" is Satan's church by which he has corrupted all the earth for millennia and not just for centuries. "The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication [her false teachings, customs, beliefs, and practices]" (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. Drunk people do not think or act reasonably. In the past (46 years ago-August 1973), I was an embarrassment to 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 a result of that behavior? You bet. So it will be in the "judgment of the great whore." Those who furnish alcohol, at least in the case of minors, are also held guilty. I believe that those guilty of promoting and supplying the wine of Babylon to the inhabitants of this earth will be held to a higher accounting by Elohim than those to whom they furnished the "golden cup" of her 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 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 correctly understanding what is being shown. The book of Revelation was written for all the inhabitants of the earth and not just for the "Christian World." There are specific portions of Daniel and Revelation dealing with the Catholic Church, but many have expanded what it says in specific cases to the entire scenario. I have attempted to lay aside all of my preconceived ideas in writing this book and to discover from the Bible and the Bible alone what is being shown us. When I began studying Daniel and Revelation twenty-six 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 Elohim to show me the truth (John 16:13). I had depended on others to teach me what they believed, which I had assumed was correct but discovered later was not.
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 eventually see this "beast" that carries [empowers] Babylon. This "beast" is how Elohim has chosen to refer to Satan when he comes up from the bottomless pit.
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" (Revelation 17:8, emphasis added) and is connected to the "seven heads and ten horns.” In Revelation 17:3, 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? 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). The "great red dragon" and the "great dragon" are 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, 4, 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 ascends 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, 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" (emphasis added). When he had opened the bottomless pit, he came out of "the bottomless pit," together with the 200,000,000 angels that fell from heaven with him. "And they [the 200,000,000 fallen angels] 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 "abussos" translated as the "bottomless pit," is translated in Luke 8 as "the deep." The final reference is Revelation 20:1-3, where the "bottomless pit" is connected to Satan. So if in every other instance where the "bottomless pit" is used is associated with 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 adds to our understanding of this beast and that "even he is the eighth and is of the seven" (emphasis added). He is not the eighth pope since AD 1929, but it is Satan who is behind, or "of the seven," which are also mentioned to be "seven kings." "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition" (Revelation 17:11).
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." Information is continued to be added to the scenario for us to understand who this beast is, what he will be doing, and what will eventually happen to him.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, we read, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [‘the day of Messiah' (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 Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim" (emphasis added). He will not be sitting in the Vatican; he will be sitting in "the temple of Elohim" in Jerusalem as we saw Satan doing in previous chapters.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 is referring to Satan. In Ezekiel 28:2, in speaking of Satan, it is written: "Thus saith Yahuwah Elohim; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of Elohim, 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 humanity's worship, and he thinks that if he can place his tabernacle in Jerusalem, he will be worshipped as Elohim. "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:14).
Satan has been setting up the inhabitants of the earth, by twisting the Scriptures and having people believe that when Yahushua 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 humanity will fall for and maybe 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 has reached full maturity, then the Universe, along with humanity, will see Satan for what he truly is. 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 Catholic Church is one of those "seven heads."
As I am writing this chapter, there is a significant 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 false interpretation, and what will it do to the faith of those who hold to this wrong understanding of this portion of Scripture? When Yahushua was crucified, as He foretold, the apostles' faith took an enormous shock. The only ones who remembered that Yahushua had foretold His death were the Sanhedrin, who 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 Yahushua's 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, "Yahuwah 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 Elohim for the Hebrew people was on Mt. Zion. It seems like every time the Hebrews left the worship of the one, true Elohim, they would worship the pagan gods on some mountain. Ancient Israel was told in Deuteronomy, "You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you 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; 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) and "seven kings" (Revelation 17:10)? 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, Islam (Muslim), eastern mysticism, atheism (humanism), Protestantism, together with Catholicism make up the seven heads and all the people of the earth can be found in one of those seven systems.
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 Catholic Church as being the great whore, and the present pope being the eighth? I believe the "seven heads" transition to the "seven mountains" (Revelation 17:9) which transition to the "seven kings."
In Revelation 13:1, the seven heads described there had the "name of blasphemy" upon them and in Revelation 17:3 we are told that this woman (Babylon) sitting upon a "scarlet colored beast, 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 then, for it says "five are fallen." At the time of the writing of Revelation, heathenism, Judaism, Islam or Muslim (whose roots go back to Abraham's son, Ishmael), Eastern mysticism, and atheism (humanism) were all proven to be false religions. Judaism, even though much of it had been ordained by Elohim, by that time 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 Elohim. 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 already 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 you 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 Elohim into lasciviousness, and denying the only Yahuwah Elohim, and our Master Yahushua Messiah" (Jude 3-4, emphasis added).
Before the time when John received and 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 Elohim, and which many believe evolved into the papacy! The papacy is the head that is being described as the "one is." It was in its infancy during the apostles' days, 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 Elohim: because many false prophets are gone into the world. Hereby you know the Spirit of Elohim: Every spirit that confesses not that Yahushua Messiah is come in the flesh is not of Elohim: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you 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 Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the mother of Yahushua, was created sinless (Mary was conceived without an inherited, fallen, human nature.) and therefore she did not pass on the fallen, human nature inherited from Adam (Genesis 5:3) to Yahushua is of this spirit (anti-Christ). Many Protestant denominations retain this doctrine in their teachings. "Even now already is it in the world" at the time of the apostles and was the beginning of what would eventually evolve into becoming the Roman Catholic Church.
Who then is the "head," "mountain," 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 Elohim and was His attempt to bring back to humanity the pure faith that had become corrupted "by the abominations of the earth" originating in ancient Babylon. Few know or even care to understand how early Christianity and paganism amalgamated to form the Roman Catholic Church with Pontifex Maximus as its head. In ancient Rome, Pontifex Maximus was the head of the principal college of the priests of paganism, and that title was transferred to the title of the pope when paganism and early Christianity were united to become the world's largest "cult" dating back to ancient Babylon of Nimrod's days.
Slowly through the centuries, and beginning in earnest during the early sixteenth century, the Reformation began to restore the truths of Elohim's Word which had been lost or changed when paganism and Christianity were united forming the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation was thwarted by the Roman Catholic Church's counter-reformation led by the sect in the Roman Catholic Church known as the Jesuits of which the present Pope is a member.
Time and again, Elohim raised His instruments of reform to bring the light of the truth to His people from the Word of Elohim, the Bible, which the papacy nearly had destroyed with very few copies remaining at one time. The people, who had accepted the truths proclaimed by those instruments of reformation, 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 Elohim who brought that light to their understanding. Those churches or denominations would eventually fall back into previously held errors; "the abominations of the earth," which had been corrected.
It is said of the seventh king, which is Protestantism, "When he cometh, he must continue a short space." In relation to the other six kings 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 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 Elohim confused the languages of the people who built the tower of Babel, and the people were dispersed from Babylon, the former inhabitants of Shinar carried their pagan beliefs, customs, teachings, and practices with them. Among the many diverse cultures and religions of the world, there are beliefs and teachings 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. They may have different names, but their identity can be seen by those who are searching for the truth.
In Revelation 14:4, we are told, "These [144,000] are they which are not defiled with women [the false religions]; for they are virgins [They follow the pure, unadulterated, unvarnished truths found in Elohim's Word and are not spiritual harlots.]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes." They follow none of the teachings, customs, beliefs, and practices originated by men who have been and are under the guidance of the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). 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 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 plagues. Specifically, what you see in Revelation 17 and much of Revelation 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 then dumps her after she has served his purpose when he sets up his kingdom (Revelation 17:12).
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. Elohim is trying to warn Babylon (NWO) 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 (NWO) is used by Satan to reach his desire for world domination and is then discarded.
The "ten kings," mentioned in Revelation 17:12, have not received a kingdom yet and when they do, it will be for a short 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' (Revelation 17:12)] 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 Elohim 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).
In Revelation 19:16, Yahushua is described as "He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Yahushua leads the armies of heaven back to this earth escorted by the 144,000 who are “with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:14). They have been "called" by Elohim, they have been "chosen" by Him, 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, Yahuwah 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, Yahuwah 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" are not a part of the whore like the seven heads and the ten horns, but "shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (Revelation 17:16), emphasis added). These 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 which is shown in Revelation 13:1-3 "has power given unto him to continue forty and two months." Their (NWO) 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" (Satan) at the conclusion of those twelve hundred and sixty days (Revelation 11: 7).
The New World Order (Babylon) will take control of planet earth thirty days after the first global earthquake and is in power for "forty and two months" (Revelation 13:5). It comes to an end twelve hundred and ninety days after the first global earthquake, which indicated we were at the start of "the time of trouble." This will also be thirty days after the 144,000 have been put to death. After the first global earthquake, the earth will be in disarray and will be the opportune time for the New World Order to take control of planet earth.
The 1,290th day is also the time that Satan sets up his "tabernacles" in Jerusalem described by Daniel as "the abomination of desolation." The Devil does not need the "great whore" (Babylon – NWO) 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 Elohim hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of Elohim 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, the New World Order will be betrayed by the beast, who is 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 Elohim wants us to be sympathetic even to those of Babylon (New World Order), for they do not understand their end. Yahushua had no condemnation for those who were putting 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 humanity's enemy. Even those belonging to the New World Order can obtain salvation through Elohim's mercy if they respond to His call before it is too late. Ten days after the New World Order is overthrown will come the end of probation for humanity when the sanctuary is cleansed, and the words "It is done" (Revelation 16:17) meet their fulfillment.
- 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?”