Revelation Study Chapter 17 – Part 3
The Woman Rides The Beast.
When Daniel walked into Babylon, he was met with more than the lion’s den. The king’s court included magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, interpreting dreams, calling on spirit guides, and chanting the signs in the stars. Also, remember that Christians were not persecuted because they believed in Jesus Christ. They were persecuted because they would not embrace any other gods.
Many people today are calling for a one world religion. They use the excuse that all will be fine if everyone will accept everyone else’s viewpoint. However, it will one day be against the law to say that certain things are sin, such as homosexuality and same sex marriage. So, people who accept this type of lifestyle as sin according to the Bible, then their beliefs and practices in religion would be wrong. There are those today who are espousing this very thing. Among Protestant leaders, Robert Schuler of the Crystal Cathedral is probably the leading proponent of this one world religion. He stated that Protestantism needs to “come home to Rome”. He even went to Rome with the plans for the Crystal Cathedral and ask the Pope to bless them.
Look once again at the first six verses of chapter 17 and let's recap where we are at this point. Verses one and two says, “sits up on many waters”. This refers to the masses of people and nations that this religion of the end times will control. It will be, pretty much, in control of the world. Look again at verse 3.The woman and the beast agree to combine their powers and their position. The position of the woman indicates that she is in control. 7 heads and 10 horns describe the political organization of the beast. We will see this later in this chapter. “wilderness” is indicative of the chaotic conditions of the world in the end.
Verses 4 and 5. Look how the woman is dressed. She is wearing purple and scarlet. Purple was predominant in the days of Roman imperialism, and scarlet is the color that is predominant in many religions, including Catholicism. Notice she is adorned on the outside but vile on the inside.
I want to stop here and make a comment for our Catholic friends who might be reading this article. We are not condemning Christian Catholics for there are many wonderful Catholic friends who believe in Jesus Christ and his Lordship. What we are bringing to the forefront is the corruption through the years of the hierarchy in the Roman Catholic governing body just as there are corruption in many Protestant churches so there is corruption within the Catholic Church as well. When we follow the organized religion of the Catholic denomination down through the centuries, we find the corruption at the highest levels. Many faith believing, Christ believing, true Christians within the Catholic Church are not made privy to this information. Therefore, please do not think we are pointing fingers at the organized Catholic Church, any more so than any other religion with corruption at its highest points. But history will tell us, as does revelation, that this information points directly to the organized religion of John’s Day. As John is writing this account of his experiences, Rome was the leader in organized religion. The Bible plainly tells us that life in the world will revolve back to the way it was during this time. That having been said, let's continue.
Matthew 23:25 says this “woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you make clean the outside….but within they are full of dead men’s bones. What, symbolically, do you drink when you take the cup during communion? The blood of Jesus. Here the cup is full of abominations. Notice the woman does not wear a crown, rather she bears the mark of her profession. Notice also the title she wears says, mother of harlots (plural). There are enough theories and practices to suit everyone. Her philosophy is do your own thing. That kind of sums up what the one world religion might look like doesn't it?
John could probably understand why Pagan Rome would torture and killed believers. He had seen it. He was astonished that religious Rome could be so cruel. We find it hard to believe also. Look at how much good they did. But study history. It is not so difficult to understand. In history, the inquisition gave us a far different view of Rome and brutality. I have been to Rome and have stood inside the Roman Colosseum where many, many Christians were thrown to the lions during this time. In fact, more than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the 30 years between 1540 in 1570. And they were put to death in the name of Christ. During the tribulation we will find history repeating itself. Uncompromising Christians will be put to death for standing in the way of unity and peace.
Revelation 17:7 then the Angel said to me “why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and the 10 horns. 8. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see that the beast, who once was, now is not, and yet we'll come.
Female domination is indicated in these verses. This future movement will be a feminist movement. Now we are told a little more about the beast. Emphasis, here, is on the political aspect of the beast, rather than on the personal aspect. When we first met this beast in chapter 13, we were told that he came up out of the earth. Now we are told that he comes up out of the abyss. Is this the same person? When he first appeared, he was a mere man. Remember, he will be killed and brought back to life by satanic power. From then on, the beast is more than human, he is supernatural, indwelled by Satan.
9. This calls for a mind with wisdom; the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10. There will also be 7 kings, five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come. But when he does come, he must remain for a little while. This man is a real monster. Notice he has seven heads which has two meanings. There are seven mountains and seven kings; the mountains refers to the seven hills of Rome, for which Rome was famous. The other seven refers to the seven kings of Rome. Of those seven kings, five have fallen, that's ancient history. Five Roman kings or emperors had fallen when John was writing this revelation they were: 1. Julius Caesar- assassinated, 2. Tiberius- poisoned or smothered 3. Caligula-assassinated 4. Claudius-poisoned 5 Nero- committed suicide.
The king that is in John’s Day, was Domitian- also assassinated. He is the one who sent John to Patmos. There was yet one future king. This will be in the revived Roman Empire headed by the Antichrist Roman ruler. 10 horns are the 10 nation’s which form a confederacy in the last days. I believe this confederacy to be the European Economic Community. It is in existence today and operating as we speak. The number of participating nations has changed since its inception so I am not sure how many nations are members today, however the number of participants could change again and again before the final count.
11. The beast who was once and now is not, is an eighth king, he belongs to the seven, and is going to his destruction.
12. The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a Kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
13. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
14. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of Lords and King of kings and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers 15. Then the Angel said to me, “the waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.”
It won't be long before the alliance will be between the world rulers and the Antichrist. We all know that there can be no political peace without religious peace. So many wars have been fought over that very thing. Just look at the middle east today. Look at Israel. Even in our own country you see people carrying protest signs saying, “He’s not my god”. Just this past weekend, a religious terrorist held a Jewish congregation captive within their synagogue during their worship, threatening to kill all of them. This happened in my own hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. When, finally, the religious leaders and political leaders unite to accomplish the same goals the Kingdom of Antichrist will have arrived. But, this unity won't last long. It is a marriage of convenience for Antichrist. When the honeymoon is over, Antichrist will turn on and destroy the false religious system, ushering in God's will in the process.
Look at verses 16 through 18.
16. the beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute they will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17. for God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule until God's words are fulfilled. 18. the woman you saw is a great city that rules over the kings of the earth.
The woman is identified as the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. At the time when John wrote this there could have been only one possible interpretation of that statement. That would be Rome. the woman sits upon the seven hills of Rome and is dressed in purple and scarlet. The woman is in partnership with the political system of the beast. The religious system she represents dominates the Antichrist.... Until... One member of the team wants to buy out, or push out, the others. Then... Look out. There is hatred between the two. Antichrist destroys the harlot religious system. Now he can be worshipped. Now the woman, is further identified as a city. Could it be Rome? The Vatican? Remember the Vatican is a separate city, autonomous from Rome, or is it a rebuilt Babylon, New York City, or some other large metropolis
I will let you chew on this for a week or two then we will begin our next lesson in chapter 18. We may find some answers there; if not answers it will still be interesting. Until then, Sweet Friends, listen for the Trumpet, watch, and wait, we’re living in exciting times.
GOD BLESS. MAGGIE