As John is pondering what he has seen of the Bowl angels, one of them came and talked with him – “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” – Rev. 17:1, 2
“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.” – Rev. 17:3-6
The angel describes the beast to John first.
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 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 who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
This beast will have eight revelations to the word in different kingdoms which have ruled. They are shown here as heads – “Five have fallen” represents the kingdoms of Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Many think they exist no more but Scripture tells us they are yet here. Revelation reveals that they will be active at the end of age as John sees them ascending out of the sea–
“Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” – Rev. 13:2
These kingdoms were all driven by an evil spirit that will once again ascend out of the bottomless pit,
Something that represents their kingdoms remains and will be incorporated into the final beast kingdom that will grow out of Rome. For example: Greece was known for its philosophy and culture of humanism which is virtually the foundation of all education systems. Rome was known for its governmental system and laws, elements of which exist in most governments today. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the iron legs represented Rome which divided into western and eastern (2 legs) branches and finally into 10 kingdoms of iron mixed with clay. I believe this predicted the rise of socialism (the clay) which was different than the republicanism of the original Roman ruling class.
The last kingdom, Rome, is still with us. It has morphed into many forms from Constantine and the Roman Church to the Merovingian kingdoms of Europe to the modern day European Union ( see the post From Ancient Rome until WWI). While there are different opinions about this, I believe what we see today as the EU will soon morph into the ten horned beast that God showed to Daniel and John saw rising out of the sea. The personal Antichrist will come up among them uniting three of them, or displacing them, in the process. My interest was greatly stirred when three of the EU nations joined recently to form Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). The Treaty revising the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union, was signed on 17 June 2008. This group exercises authority over the EU in matters of economic and security concerns and is located in Brussels. I believe the Antichrist will be connected with this group in some way. It is interesting to me that while the American news media, which prides itself in being the watchman on the world and American interests, is largely silent about these things.
The angel then proceeds to describe the woman that sits on the Beast. He says – “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.” The angel first gives the woman’s location. Now I suppose there are many locations that involve seven mountains but, the most famous one is the City of Rome. The woman is a harlot, meaning she is a false wife. She is pretending to be something she is not and she is adorned in scarlet, purple and precious gems. She represents false religion. Many have thought the Pope represents this harlot but, I believe the harlot is representing all false religion down through the ages. However, the current Pope may indeed be
represented here according to his recent actions. As this Pope pushes for a One-World government as well as One-World religion, even high ranking Catholics are opposing him.
There are also many Protestant Christians who fall into this category of Harlot as well as many Catholics who are true believers. But, as we are nearing the end a voice from heaven will be calling, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
Though this Harlot reigns over many people of the world, that will not protect her in the end. Revelation declares that the very Beast the harlot is riding will turn on her and devour her in the end.
“Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” – Rev. 17:15-18
Revelation chapter eighteen describes her utter destruction in one day by the Lord.
“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” – Rev. 18:1-3
False religion has been he tool of Satan ever since the beginning. It began with Cain shedding the blood of Abel, trying to offer to God that which was cursed in the fall, continuing to the Pharisees and Sadducees killing Jesus. And it continues right down to today as true Christians are martyred by Muslims. But, chapters 17 and 18 of Revelation record God’s final judgment on all such false religion.
“And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” – Rev. 18:24