Chapter 17

In this chapter of Revelation we will revisit the seventh and last plague of Revelation 16, for here we have the continuation of the destruction of that great city which is none other than Babylon. In this chapter we will see the judgment of the great whore.

We will see the judgment of this great whore that sits on many waters and we will see that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her and that they have been totally consumed with her.

John is carried away again in the Spirit and is shown that this woman was very evil and that she has a name. We will see that she sits on a great beast and we will see some hidden truth or mystery revealed. We will attempt to put this chapter into perspective as to the seven heads, the ten horns, the seven kings and the ten kings, so go slow as we sort this out together.

Revelation 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 shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

Revelation 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.

This is the announcement of judgment! I believe that the first thing we should explore is the identity of the woman called the great whore. One of the seven angels that had one of the last plagues now comes to John and tells John to draw near to him, come hither because the angel is going to show or explain the judgment of the great whore.

In Revelation 16:17 we saw the words it is done and in Revelation 16:19 we see And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The seventh and last plague seems to be the judgment of the harlot woman called Babylon the great. This would therefore agree with the following verse.

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

The word for filled up is the same as completed, done or finished. There will not be more plagues because they are finished, so what we have here in Revelation 17 is the explanation of the great whore and the announcement of her judgment.

In the past I saw a political system and a religious system both called Babylon, but I have come to believe that they are one in the same. There is only one Babylon and in Revelation 18:4 the people are instructed to come out of her. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

So we see that from Revelation 14:8 through Revelation 19:2 it is all the same Babylon. Otherwise we have a great difficulty attempting to separate the two and it becomes an impossible situation.

Now look at the authority of this woman called Babylon. Everyone has been affected by this false religious system. Revelation 17: 1 says the great whore sitteth upon many waters and Revelation 17:15 says The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Look at verse 2 again.

Revelation 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.

Babylon has infected every aspect of society during this time and I believe its influence is here in our culture today. Everyone has been influenced by the false religious system and political system, which is Babylon. This reminds me of the book of Judges where everyone did what was ‘right in their own eyes’, not what was right or what was good or proper.

The world’s religious system of today reminds me of the phrase ‘Do your own thing’. Do you want to worship the sun? Okay that’s fine, or how about the moon, no problem, possibly the worship of the female form or the male form would be just perfect with some. Our nation has degenerated to all manner of perversions, little girls and boys are being kidnapped and assaulted, sexual immorality is rampant along with homosexuality and all manner of perversions.

God says come out of her, my people!

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

I believe that this is a warning for the Church of today. So many are playing at Christianity, but have both feet in the world’s system of pleasure and power along with building their fortune and looking for fame. God says, Come out of her! Be separate from the system of the world and align yourself totally with God. We come out of the world when we rely on God to illuminate our path, to show us the way we should travel. We come out of the world when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives and reject the world’s ways.

The teachings of the Bible tell us to be in the world but not of the world. We must live this physical life here on the planet Earth, but we do not need to participate in a system whether political or religious that denies God.

Moving on, let’s look at the appearance of this woman.

Revelation 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.

Revelation 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:

The description of the woman is here in verse 3. A woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast and the beast is full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. We talked about this before and if you remember I said that I would deal with the symbols when we got to Revelation 17 and here we are, but first the description of the woman.

Verse 4 reveals the following.

First she is arrayed in purple and scarlet. Next, she is decked with gold and precious stones and pearls and lastly, she has in her hand the golden cup filled with abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

First the apparel of purple and scarlet was worn by two classes of people. First was the aristocracy and the second were prostitutes. The prostitutes were in fact quite wealthy along with the aristocracy.

The adornment of the woman is associated with enormous wealth as she is adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls and having a golden cup in her hand. It has always been the sign of royalty and wealth and prostitution. This is in stark contrast to the apparel of Godly women found in the Bible.

1Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array

1Timothy 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

1Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Now lest you think that I am harping on women wearing jewelry I am not. This has always been the sign of enormous wealth throughout history and this is how she is portrayed in this verse.

The golden cup is full of the fornication of the nations and it is no great task to look around us today and see the problems that face the world today.

There are no civil rights in China, not many in Russia, fewer in most of the third world nations. Most of the nations of the world are back to the period of Ruth and the Judges. What ever feels good, do it. If you refer to the study of Ruth you can see it quite clearly. We see this today in some Churches with the whatever feels good do it mentality.

Remember in verse 2 of our text it said 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. The leaders of the entire earth have fallen victim to the sexual immorality and absolute debauchery that this woman portrays. She has convinced the world that all of this immoral behavior is acceptable. Do you think it is time for God to judge the earth? I certainly believe that it is long past the time for judgment.

In Jeremiah chapter 51 we find similar prophesy about Babylon. Jeremiah gave this prophesy about 586 B.C., and although it was fulfilled in 520 B.C. when Media Persia toppled the great Babylonian empire, the time is at hand here in Revelation for a second fulfilling of the prophesy of Jeremiah 51. The city was destroyed and has not been rebuilt even though several have tried to do so. Chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation will be the recording of the judgment on Babylon, the political and religious system.

Jeremiah 51:1 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;

Jeremiah 51:2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.

Jeremiah 51:3 Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.

Jeremiah 51:4 Thus the slain shall fall in the land of the Chaldeans, and they that are thrust through in her streets.

Jeremiah 51:5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

Jeremiah 51:6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.

Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Jeremiah 51:8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.

Jeremiah 51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.

Now you may not be ready for what I am about to relate to you, but I would ask that before you get upset and tune out that you would read the whole statement.

There is a well respected pastor, a Doctor of Divinity that most of you would recognize if I were to give his name, who related the following account of a visit with a tour group to Italy.

He stated that they had gone to Vatican City and were on a tour of the Vatican itself. He said that the enormous wealth of the Vatican was very evident and that they had a chance to go through the treasury. They saw the gold, silver and precious stones that they could see along with the great painting and art works. All of the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church was very apparent.

Now here is the reason for my relating this event to you. In the midst of one of the hallways nestled among other great art works were a number of pictures of the woman with the golden cup in her hand, sitting on the beast. The pastor asked their guide who was a priest about the picture. He asked the priest about the picture of the woman sitting on the beast with the golden cup and said “Isn’t it obvious that this is the harlot woman pictured in Revelation 17”? The priest answered and said “That’s the symbol of the mother church.”!

A little further down a hallway the pastor saw another picture of the harlot woman and stopped the priest again with a like question. The pastor said “That picture is the harlot of Revelation chapter 17 which God condemns, how can you tell me it’s the mother church?” The answer was this, “There is a true church and there is a false church. The Roman Church does not ignore the fact that she has been corrupted with paganism. There is a true church and a false church but she has become the symbol of the Roman Church.” The problem is that the Roman Catholic Church is symbolizing their church by the counterfeit sign.

Now, I think we can see the link between the two, the woman and Babylon.

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

More than slightly interesting is that the name is on her forehead, copying the location of the name and seal from the Lord Jesus Christ in the forehead of the 144,000 sealed Jews. She is called mysterious or a mystery. This is not as something that can not be known, but a mystery in the sense that it had not been revealed before, but is now coming to light.

She is also called THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. This was Babylon’s way, to corrupt everyone they came into contact with. So this woman is depicted as the originator of the corruption, the mother. Whatever Babylon was in the past she has continued her influence throughout history and will be here during the tribulation.

As a side note, have you ever witnessed a son or daughter that was brought up in Church, suddenly turn to the world and all of the pleasures of the flesh. We have watched as children of Christian family’s have turned their back on God and raced headlong into a life of debauchery.

This is what the woman is all about. Satan does not want faithful Christians in the world, he wants Christians to act like they do not know God. He wants carnal or ineffective Christians because they will not have any influence for good, their light will have gone out and their testimony will be destroyed.

Now if this sounds a little harsh just wait until you hear the rest of the story.

To do this justice we need to travel back in the scripture to the Old Testament book of Genesis chapter 10 and look at the start of the system called Babylon.

Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Genesis 10:7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Genesis 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Genesis 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Genesis 10:11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Genesis 10:12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

Genesis 10:13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

Genesis 10:14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

Genesis 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

Genesis 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

Genesis 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,

Genesis 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.

Genesis 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

Genesis 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

The son of Noah was Ham which begat Cush which begat Nimrod. This is as far as we need go in the genealogy as it will suffice to prove the point. We can see all of the generations of Ham and all of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan that Israel was to eliminate when they went in to possess the land that God had given to them. What did Nimrod do, he was the leader in attempting to build the city of Babel.

Bell was the head of the ancient pantheon of gods. Babel has its origin in two words. The first word bab was of the ancient Semitic language, Acadian, and, has the idea of the gate of El, the gate of God. But when put together in a word God seems to have made a play on the word because bab-bell has the idea confusion or mixing. This is what we saw at the tower of Babel because suddenly the meaning is changed from the gate of God to confusion.

Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

Genesis 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Genesis 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Genesis 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Genesis 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Genesis 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

This all happened because the people would not disperse as they were instructed to do and fill the entire earth. God confounds their language so that they cannot understand one another and they leave the place.

As a further side note you may want to pick up a copy of the book “The Two Babylon’s” by Hyssop.

Okay, if you are still with me, let’s look at Nimrod and how the ‘mother child’ cult came about. Nimrod was married to a woman named Semiramis who was the founder of the Babylonian religion. She was the first high priestess. This was a mystery type of religion and Semiramis claimed to have a son called Tammuz who was conceived by a miraculous means. We also see that God’s people got involved with this when they were carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.

According to Semiramis, Tammuz became the promised messiah or deliverer, and she developed what is referred to as the mother child cult. She is the queen of heaven and the babe pictured in her arms is Tammuz or messiah.

She developed an elaborate system that was nothing more than a counterfeit to the Bible. It was reported by her that Tammuz was killed by a wild beast and then resurrected to life again thereby substantiating her claim that he was the messiah.

Dr. Harry Ironside once preached a sermon to his flock at the Moody Bible Institute and the complete sermon was on this topic. Ezekiel, one of the prophets of the Old Testament spoke of this.

Ezekiel 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

Ezekiel 8:15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

The cult of the mother child is the most popular form of the system. The worship is celebrated with the most disgusting of practices. The sea farers spread the cult all over the world. We also see that it was Asthroth and Tammuz in Phoenicia. In Egypt it became Isis and Horeb, Aphrodite and Aeros in Greece and Venus and Cupid in Rome and before long it was the religion of the entire world.

Listed here are some of the rites from the Babylonian religion that now seem to have found their way into Christianity.

First we have purgatorial purification after death, salvation by countless sacraments such as priestly absolution and sprinkling of holy water. We also see offering of round cakes to the queen of heaven which is condemned in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 7:17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

Jeremiah 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

Jeremiah 7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

They had dedication of virgins to the gods who became temple prostitutes, celibacy and monks were well known in the Babylonian religion. There was weeping for Tammuz as we saw in Ezekiel 8:14, this was for a period of 40 days just before the great festival of Ishtar. Now we can see the result by looking at the city of Pergamos of Revelation chapter 2.

Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Do you remember what the doctrine of Balaam was? I believe it is still prevalent today.

It was the council to send the beautiful women to the men of Israel and get them to fornicate with the women. This would lead to the introduction of the women’s false gods which led to the worship of these false gods by the Israelites, incurring the wrath of the Almighty God.

This type of sin is still prevalent today and is in our Churches today. How many pastors have fallen because of a sexual sin, how many Church leaders, how many of the congregation whether by intent or by trickery fall into the same sin? Sexual immorality can stop a man or woman from being used by God. It can destroy and split churches and wreak havoc with the Church members.

This is also very similar to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans because they mixed the Church doctrines with pagan rites and promoted sexual immorality and a host of other things that would lead a Christian down the wrong path.

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Revelation 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.

We see here that the woman is drunk, not with alcohol but with blood, and not just any blood but the blood of those belonging to God called the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Dr. Barnes put it this way “A reeling, intoxicated harlot, for that is the image which is kept up all along. In regard to the phrase ‘drunken with blood’, compare Jer_46:10. The phraseology is derived from the barbarous custom (still extant among many pagan nations) of drinking the blood of the enemies slain in the way of revenge. The effect of drinking blood is said to be to exasperate, and to intoxicate with passion and a desire of revenge.”

Now John says that when he saw her that he marveled with great amazement (New King James Version). The King James Version says wondered with great admiration which I believe is not a correct translation of the word thou’-mah, as it should be translated wonder or amazement.

The angel now tells John that he will tell him of the mystery of the woman and the beast. So lets move on to the explanation.

I make the following observations starting in verse 8.

Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and go into perdition. And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, those 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. (MKJV)

Back in chapter 13 and verse 3 we saw And all the earth marveled after the beast.

Revelation 13:4 And they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with it? (MKJV)

And then,

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth will worship him, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. (MKJV)

The question is who are those that will follow the world’s system?

God’s answer is all unbelievers will follow the world’s system. Keep in mind that only unbelievers will take the mark or worship the beast.

Now, a question that is asked by a multitude of Christians, was our name written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world, and the answer is yes absolutely because that is what the Bible says, there is no doubt. To argue against this is to argue with the scripture itself.

The following scripture will prove the point that God elected you before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:4 according as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (MKJV)

Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (MKJV)

Now it is never good to build a doctrine on just one verse so I submit the following verses also.

John 17:24 Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me, that they may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me, for You have loved Me before the foundation of the world. (MKJV)

John 17:25 O righteous Father, indeed the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent me. (MKJV)

John 17:26 And I made known to them Your name, and will make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (MKJV)

And lastly look at Matthew chapter 25 and verse 34, and this should incase the doctrine in concrete.

Matthew 25:34 Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (MKJV)

So a follow up question would be does this mean that all unbelievers were not written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world and the answer would be, yes that is correct. When we receive Christ into our lives we get quite enamored with our decision to receive Christ and are apt to be quite proud of our spiritual insight in seeing our need.

May I say to you that your salvation had nothing to do with your decision and everything to do with Jesus Christ choosing you even before there was a world to live on. It’s all about election and God’s grace, His choice and not ours, we chose Him because He chose us first.

Now if God left our salvation up to us we would never get saved, and I see this in the book of Romans chapter 3.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one:

Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

This is pretty plain. We would not have sought after God unless He had called us to salvation. This should leave us falling on our faces and thanking God that He would even think of us in His master plan and call us to be saved. God Himself causes you to want to receive Christ, it is His call that drives us to Him, and the longer that we know Him the more we understand that it is His work, not ours. Therefore we have nothing to brag or boast about.

Now I submit the following scripture as verification to show that the opposite is also true, to-wit, that all that go to perdition have not been elected and will not believe and will have the lake of fire as their final abode.

Revelation 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.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Salvation is entirely by the grace of God and God can choose anyone He wants or not choose if that is His will. Remember the account of Jacob and Esau, God preferred Jacob over his brother Esau, which means Jacob had nothing to brag about because it was by the grace of God that he was chosen.

Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Now, verses 8-14 of Revelation chapter 17 must all be taken together so that we may see the meaning in the proper context.

Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss and go into perdition. And those dwelling on the earth will marvel, those 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. (MKJV)

Revelation 17:9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. (MKJV)

Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings; five have fallen, and one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. (MKJV)

Revelation 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.(MKJV)

Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom yet, but will receive authority as kings one hour with the beast. (MKJV)

Revelation 17:13 These have one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (MKJV)

Revelation 17:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them. For He is Lord of lords and King of kings. And those with Him are the called and elect and faithful ones. (MKJV)

Starting with verse 9 we see seven heads are seven mountains and everyone immediately thinks of Rome which is a city built on seven hills. The conclusion is therefore Rome must be the beast, but I don’t believe that this assumption would be correct, Rome is not the beast.

Whatever the beast is, it has existed through out all of history because the scripture says that of the seven, five have already fallen. We are talking that five have already fallen in John’s day, therefore the five kings must be the kingdoms of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece.

Using our intellect if the seven mountains are seven heads there can be no other application than that the seven heads are seven kingdoms, five are fallen, one is, which is Rome in John’s day, and one is yet to come.

Now it has been said that if it wasn’t for the signs in Rome that a person would not know that they were on one of the hills. They are hills not mountains which here represent kings and kingdoms.

The way I draw all of this together is to look at verse 12 which reads: And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom yet, but will receive authority as kings one hour with the beast. This is talking about kings and kingdoms or empires. So I see that the kings represent an empire that they will have.

This is why I see seven kingdoms in verse 9, five have fallen, one is and one has not yet come, kingdoms fits here perfectly.

So what is the beast with the seven heads if it is not Rome?

It can only be world government. There have only been six world empires as of today, with Rome being the sixth. Well what about the United States of America? It is not a world empire, there have only been six and the seventh is yet to come.

We do not have a world government today and have not had for about 1900 years. There is one more coming but I do not think that the Church will be here to see it.

Remember when we studied chapter 13 of Revelation? I suggested to you that the head that appeared to have the fatal wound was the Roman Empire and that it would come back to life as the seventh head. This empire will be comprised of ten kings according to verse 10 and will be the seventh world government. Now this is not unique to Revelation because it originates in the book of Daniel which was written about 500 years before the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another. (MKJV)

Daniel 7:4 The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on its feet like a man. And a man’s heart was given to it. (MKJV)

Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like a bear. And it raised itself up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said this to it: Arise, eat up much flesh. (MKJV)

Daniel 7:6 After this I saw, and lo, another, like a leopard, which had four wings of a bird on its back. The beast also had four heads; and rulership was given to it. (MKJV)

Daniel 7:7 After this I looked in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, frightening and terrifying, and very strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns. (MKJV)

Look at the fourth beast. The text says that it was different from all of the beasts before it. Why, because it had ten horns. Look at verse 8;

Daniel 7:8 I was thinking about the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom three of the first horns were uprooted. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (MKJV)

I believe we are talking about the horns representing political power in verse 8, so now look at verse 23 which reads as follows.

Daniel 7:23 And he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth, and shall trample it and crush it. (MKJV)

Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. And another shall arise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall humble three kings. (MKJV)

The ten horns are ten kings that shall arise from this kingdom, and this is the essence of Revelation chapter 17 some 500 years before Christ. These kings will arise out of the Mediterranean area.

In Daniel we see the little horn which I take to mean a somewhat insignificant king that rises to power. He somehow subdues three other kings and gets the balance of power. He ultimately becomes the ruler of the eighth empire of the world and becomes the eighth dictator of the entire world. This is none other than the antichrist. I do not see any other scenario that will fit. So we go back to Revelation 17.

We now have a ten nation confederacy that is the eighth world empire.

So to answer the question, is this the European common market, the ten nation confederacy and the answer is I do not know, it could be. Look at what has happened in the last thirty years or so. We now have the Euro currency and more and more nations are signing on to be part of this system. So it could be, but I see that there should only be ten. Revelation 13 tells us that economics is what this is all about, it’s all about who controls the world’s wealth.

According to verse 11 he is the leader of the eighth world empire and I have no trouble with this at all because it all fits. He will be the most powerful dictator that the world has ever seen outside of Jesus our Lord.

The Lord now gives us an explanation of the words that are a little obscure in the previous verses. We see that the waters represent a multitude of people from all nations and tongues. This is how far the influence of the harlot woman has spread and that is throughout the whole earth. It is interesting that she is pictured as sitting on the waters. It seems she has really settled down and does not intend to move.

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

In verse 16 we see that the ten horns, or kings, eventually detest the whore and her rule over them. They turn with a fierce rage to destroy her.

Revelation 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.

Look carefully at verse 17. We have seen in verse 16 that the kings agree to destroy the whore, and to give their rule and kingdom to the beast. In verse 17 we see the sovereignty and absolute control of Almighty God over all things, peoples and created beings. God’s word will not fail, His plan will not fail, and His purposes will not fail.

Revelation 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.

Finally God tells us who this woman is. We can see that she is the great city and that she reigns over the kings of the earth, for a while.

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

May you be blessed by studying His word.