Revelation Chapter Seventeen
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:
one of the seven angels/had the seven vials possibly the same angle from (Revelation 21:9) and (Revelation 19:10) who is a "fellow-servant, and of they brethren the prophets, and them which keep the sayings of this book" (Revelation 22:8-9).
judgment of the great whore is revealed to be a city (Revelation 17:18) referred to as Babylon, the fallen church, when Satan rules in the congregations. Also
referred to as Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8). This is not a new thing for the Lord to turn His external representation on earth over to the enemy for judgment due to
(Isaiah 1:21-24). The arguments that some believe this is just referring to the secular world and not the church is erroneous, as the world has always been apostate since the fall, and not "is become"
(Revelation 18:2). See also (Lamentations 4:12) (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
(2 Corinthians 6:11-18).
sitteth upon many waters sits upon (rules over) many peoples see (Revelation 17:15)
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.
kings of the earth use of the term "king" or "kings" can be used referring to the following:
A. Jesus who is king of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16)
B. Satan illustrated by the crowns (Revelation 12:3) (Revelation 13:1) (Revelation 17:2)
C. Secular or Political Ruler (Revelation 6:5)
D. True Believers (Revelation 5:10) (Revelation 1:5)Careful observation how the term "king" or "kings" is used in context to the studied verse is important for proper interpretation.
have committed fornication "have committed" indicates past tense. These kings appear to refer to True Believers who no longer commit fornication as they have come out of the apostate churches (Revelation 18:4). True Believers commit fornication when they participate in doctrines that are not in agreement with the Bible. However, from God's vantage point, true believers remain the pure bride of Christ because all of their sins have been covered by the blood of Christ.
Inhabitants of the earth/middle drunk See (Isaiah 28:7-13)
(Proverbs 23:29-35) also (Revelation 14:8) (Revelation 18:5-7).
Note: This verse has everything to do relating to the church. Secular or Political unbelievers are all spiritual fornicators.
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.
woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast from the description of the beast, we can conclude that it represents Satan. The woman representing the apostate church sitting on the beast, which shows an illusion that the church is ruling over Satan, when in fact the church is actually serving him. The Pharisees fell prey to this same deception (John 8:33-59).
wilderness see (Revelation 12:14-17)
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:
was arrayed in the original, the verb tense is past perfect it should read "has been arrayed."
purple and scarlet the colours have to do with salvation. Scarlet
(Hebrews 9:19), and purple which is a royal colour (Matthew 27:28-29)
(John 19:1-5). Note also (Exodus Chapter 28) (Daniel 5:29)
The apostate churches still insist that they are identified with a royal reign, "I sit a queen" (Revelation 18:7)
decked again, the verb tense is past perfect so it should be read as "has been decked"
gold, precious stones, pearls identifies with true believers (1 Peter 2:1-7)
(2 Timothy 2:20-21) (1 Corinthians 3:9-17). The idea here is that the church was once arrayed with true believers, but now that Satan rules
over the churches, the true believers have come out of her
(Revelation 18:4). See also (Revelation 18:16)
golden cup the cup should be filled with the pure water of the Gospel (John 4:14), but instead is full of abomination and filthiness of her
fornication (Revelation 18:6)
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
Mystery the word mystery in the Bible refers to Godly truths that are hidden to the natural man, but are revealed to the
true believers, who have spiritual eyes and ears that have been opened by the Holy Spirit.
See (1 Corinthians 2:7-10) (Ephesians 3:4-6)
This shows the strong delusion of those who believe they are truly saved and remain in the apostate churches, but are actually slaves to Satan
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12) (Matthew 7:21-23)
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.
woman drunken with the blood of the saints/martyrs of Jesus the counterfeit spiritual leaders in the House of God have always
been the number one enemy to the true believers (Luke 13:31-34) (Matthew 23:35). Note: "killing" true believers can refer both
literally, and spiritually by them leaving or being driven out of the congregations (John 16:2)
Drunkenness represents being filled with the world, rather than the spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
In summary, (Revelation 17:1-6) shows us the visible church totally in deception, true believers are being driven out, and the others remain
as they believe they faithfully are obeying God, but are slaves to the
deception of Satan as he masquerades himself as if he is God, and his
false prophets as if they are true prophets.
The following verses through this chapter will focus upon the
"judgement of the great whore" (Revelation 17:1), sent of God through Satan's universal reign during the great tribulation, which emphasis upon the Political powers. Revelation chapter 18 will deal specifically in great detail to the result of the Judgment, leaving the visible churches completely apostate and spiritually dead. Satan ruling and reigning in the congregations is the abomination that causes it to become desolate. (Matthew 24:15) (Mark 13:14) (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
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.
tell thee the Mystery the angel explains the mystery of the woman in John's perspective of time, which was near the end of the first century
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 name 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.
was before the cross
is not Satan bound during the church age (Revelation 20:1-3)
See also (Revelation 13:3 A)
shall ascend Satan loosed during the tribulation (Revelation 20:7-8)
See also (Revelation 13:3 B)
bottomless pit hell, see study notes (Revelation chapter 9)
go into perdition (Revelation 20:10) see (Revelation 17:11)
book of life see study notes (Revelation 13:8) Those who are in Christ are children of light, and shall not be in darkness, nor wonder when they behold the beast (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5). True believers will recognize the universal reign of Satan during the great tribulation, while those who are without will wonder, even after God has made those signs so obvious.
The spiritual leaders, and all Israel for the most part, was totally in darkness discerning the signs of the times, as so it will be with the apostate church (Matthew 16:1-5) (Luke 12:54-57)
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
seven heads we are told are seven mountains
mountains represent Kingdoms (Jeremiah 51:24-25) (Isaiah 11:9) also "seven Kings" see (Revelation 17:10)
This represents Satan's rule throughout the History of the world, as emphasis by the crowns located upon the heads of the great red dragon (Revelation 12:3)
10 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.
seven kings seven kingdoms
five are fallen represents all the kingdoms before Rome
on is the current Roman kingdom when John was given the Revelation. See study notes (Revelation 17:7)
other is not yet come Satan's universal kingdom during the great tribulation (Revelation 17:12)
continue a short space the short space corresponds with the "little season" (Revelation 6:11) (Revelation 20:3), which is the tribulation period, also referred to as an hour (Revelation 17:12). See study notes for hour (Revelation 3:10)
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
even he is eighth, and is of the seven just as the first day of the week is sometimes referred to as the eighth day, they are one and the same. Compare (John 20:19) with (John 20:26). Just as Satan who had reigned over all the previous kingdoms, he is one and the same who reigns over the universal kingdoms during the tribulation period.
perdition Satan is the "son of perdition", or also referred to as the "man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3), who has had several kingdoms of evil, outwardly led by many different unsaved men during many different times in history, but they are all under his authority and direction. Compare (John 13:26-27) with (John 17:12).
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
ten horns we learn represent ten kings, which is Satan's complete reign over all the nations during the tribulation.
received no kingdom as yet John received the Revelation during the church age, so these kings did not physically exist yet. See notes (Revelation 17:7). As noted previously, the crowns are upon the heads in (Revelation 12:3) representing Satan's reign throughout the history of time, and they move upon the horns in (Revelation 13:1) to put emphasis upon Satan's reign during the tribulation period.
receive power as kings one hour with the beast the universal reign of Satan throughout the world during the great tribulation, which is the spirit of antichrist (1 John 2:18) (1 John 4:1-6).
one hour represents the duration of the tribulation. See study notes Revelation 3:10
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
one mind the whole world is full of division, but the one thing that brings them all together is the hatred of Jesus. The Pharisees detested the Herodians, yet they joined together when they realized that Jesus was their common foe (Mark 12:13). All the spiritual leaders put their differences aside when they took counsel together to put Jesus to death (Matthew 26:59). The political powers had no interest in the truth of the kingdom of Jesus, and just assume get rid of Him, than to have their conscience gnaw at them (John 18:28) (John 19:15). If the world love us, we must ponder to what kingdom we belong (John 15:18-27) see also (Psalm chapter 2) (James 4:2-4) (1 John 2:15-16).
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
This verse sums up the whole message of the Revelation. It shows the Lord Jesus as the ultimate and final victor over all that have ever opposed Him
and His people. This is a picture of the final battle Armageddon.
See also (Revelation 19:11-21) (Revelation 20:7-10)
they that are with Him believers are see here participating with Christ in His final defeat of the enemy. (1 Corinthians 6:2) (Jude 14-15)
(Psalm 149:6-9) (Revelation 19:14)
15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
waters key to unlock the vision. We learn the waters (Revelation 17:1) represents peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. See also
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.
hate the whore, make her desolate, naked, eat her flesh, burn her with fire this verse describes the judgment God sends upon the Apostate Churches
(the whore), via the powers of Satan. All are under the authority of God, as God has referred to ungodly rulers in the past as His servants
(Jeremiah 25:9) (Jeremiah 27:6) (Jeremiah 43:10) (Isaiah 44:28)
(Isaiah 55:1), and has even raised them up to accomplish His will (Romans 9:17) (Acts 2:23) (Acts 4:24-28). Several examples can be given how God can use His enemies to accomplish His purposes. In short, we will examine a few examples from Jeremiah, how God used Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to bring judgement upon His people Israel who had given themselves up to spiritual whoredom. Note the similarities in the wording of this judgement. (Jeremiah 12:7-11) (Jeremiah 19:7-9) (Jeremiah 25:29) (Jeremiah 26:6) (Jeremiah 26:8-9) (Jeremiah 32:34) (Jeremiah 34:1-2) (Jeremiah 38:2-3) (Jeremiah 44:2). When God has finished using His enemies to accomplish His purpose, He will turn around and destroy them as well (Jeremiah 51:24-25)
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.
God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will God works in the hearts of believers (Philippines 2:13) (John 3:21) (Hebrews 13:20-21) as well as the believers (Exodus 4:21) (Romans 9:17-18)
until the words of GOd shall be fulfilled (Isaiah 55:8-13)
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
woman is "that great city" Note: See Hebrew 13:14
We had a picture of a woman in heaven (Revelation 12:1) which represented the true believers, the invisible church. They are citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2), which is referred to as
"that great city" (Revelation 21:10). The reference to the use of the word city, simply represents the people or citizens that make up or belong to that city. It is named by what it represents, and since the city becomes the habitation of devils (Revelation 18:2), God now refers to it as Babylon (Revelation 17:5). We have already saw how God referred to Jerusalem as Sodom and Egypt in (Revelation 11:8). God also uses this language referring to Jerusalem in the Old Testament (Isaiah 1:10). This will help us to properly interpret Revelation Chapter 18, as it will focus upon the judgment of Babylon, which we now know is the Apostate Church, or "that great city". See (Revelation 18:10) (Revelation 18:16)
(Revelation 18:18) (Revelation 18:19) (Revelation 18:21).
During the church age, the visible church was the external representation of God upon the earth. They were the caretakers of the Gospel, and were used by God to bring in the citizens of the eternal Heavenly Jerusalem. (Note: Jerusalem means "possession of peace"). God uses several references to the visible and invisible churches. He uses the terms interchangeably and must be discerned in the context of scripture to which is in view. We have already covered a few, for example we have learned that the body of believers during the New Testament era are often referred to as Israel (Galatians 6:16) (Hebrews 8:10). The church here is referred to as a woman, which believers spiritually are, as they are the bride of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:7-9) (John 3:29). The woman was referred to as a whore several times in this chapter as the church has committed spiritual fornication (Revelation 17:1) (Revelation 17:15) (Revelation 17:16). God refers to the Old Testament nation of Israel
as a whore as well, as it also had committed spiritual fornication
(Ezekiel 16:28). The book of Hosea gives us an allegory of God's experience with Israel as His unfaithful wife.
reigneth over the kings of the earth during the church age, the church was the Holy Place where most of the true believers (the kings) were found.
The Bible says that they shall reign on earth (Revelation 5:10). They are
a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). After the churchage, the churches still insist that they are identified with a royal reign as seen in
(Revelation 18:7), wherein the fallen church declares "I sit as a queen."
To examine the conclusion to this interpretation, see (Zechariah 14:2).
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
The city is taken, that is, destroyed, yet half the city goes forth into captivity while the residue is not cut off from the city. Those who go into
captivity are like those who went into Babylon when Jerusalem was destroyed in the historic Old Testament account. They represent the true believers who are
saved from the judgement of God as He brings judgement upon the churches during the time of the great tribulation, but these same believers cannot be cut off
from Jerusalem. The Jerusalem from which they cannot be cut off is the Jerusalem that is above whose citizens are all the true believers. Therefore we can
understand that those who go into captivity are the same individuals as those who are not cut off from the city.
Isaiah presents the same truth
Isaiah Chapter 4 verses 1-4
1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name,
to take away our reproach.
seven women identify with the seven churches of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 which represent all the churches throughout the New Testament era.
take hold of one man the son of man, Jesus Christ
eat our own bread they do not want Jesus to be their spiritual bread
own apparel they do not want to be clothed with Jesus' robe of
righteousness (Revelation 7:14) (Revelation 19:8)
only let us be called by thy name they want the name of Christ,
they want to identify with Christ, but they want their own salvation program. They want to be the final authority as to truth and are not concerned about the truth of the Bible. This verse seems to prophesy
of the state of the church during the tribulation.
2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful
and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
escaped Israel here Israel is used in a negative way, as those who have escaped Israel (the apostate corporate church) are being saved by
the branch of the Lord (Jesus).
3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion,
and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy,
even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
left in Zion, remaineth in Jerusalem here these terms are used positively,
referring to the invisible eternal church above, as they are "called holy"
written among the living in Jerusalem written in the Lambs book of life.
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the
daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood
of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of
judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
spirit of judgement, spirit of burning note that these judgments are of spiritual implications and not physical.
In summary, the Israel from which they are escaped is the corporate external Israel, which identifies with the churches and congregations during the time of the corporate churches, but have not left Zion. They have not left the eternal spiritual Jerusalem, and are eternally secure in the Jerusalem that is above (Galatians 4:26) (Hebrews 12:22)
Now we can properly understand the words of Jesus describing
the end time tribulation period in Luke Chapter 21, referred to as the
Luke Chapter 21 verses 20-21, 24
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Jerusalem represents the external corporate churches
compasses with armies when Satan is loosed to sit in the congregations (Revelation 9:13-19) (Revelation 20:7-9)
desolation The abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15)
21 Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it
depart out; and let not them that are in the countries
Judea represents the true believers who obey God and come out of the fallen churches when they see the Abomination of Desolation
(Revelation 18:4) (Matthew 24:15-20) (Mark 13:14-18).
flee to the mountains just as the angels of the Lord commanded Lot to come out of Sodom and escape to the mountain (Genesis 19:17), so here God commands the true believers to come out of the spiritual Sodom, which is the apostate fallen churches (Revelation 11:8)
in the midst of it depart/not let enter we are not to expect a revival of the corporate churches, as we know immediately after the
tribulation is the Lords return (Matthew 24:29-31), nor are we even to pray for it (Jeremiah 7:8-20).
Note: For the account of Shiloh in the Jeremiah reference, see
(1 Samuel 4:3-11), which gives us two very important observations.
(1 Samuel 4:3) shows that putting one's faith into external representation of God, rather than faith in His Gospel plan of salvation by the complete atoning work of Jesus Christ at Calvary will result in death. Also in
(1 Samuel 4:11) we see God allows the enemy to take the Ark which seems to correspond with the New Testament removal of the
candlesticks from the churches (Revelation 2:5).
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall
be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times
of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles the church shall be trodden down of the unbelievers. This corresponds with
(Revelation 11:2) and (Daniel 8:13) which is the Abomination of Desolation, the beginning of the Great Tribulation, and the end of the Churchage. This is God's doing (Isaiah 42:24-25).