Revelation 17

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by: Brad Simon

05/18/2022

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Journey Through The Bible
  Old Testament Reading:
Jeremiah 1-3
 New Testament Reading: Revelation 17

On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Detestable Things of the Earth. Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished (Revelation 17:5&6).

The scene that unfolds in chapter 17 begins with an invitation. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who is seated on many waters” (v1). Following the invitation, John was carried away to a wilderness where he saw The Prostitute and wrote the description of what he saw. Genesis 2 speaks of a pure bride in a lovely garden; but by the Bible’s end, civilization has degenerated to an impure prostitute in a wilderness! That is what sin does to the world.

The angel explains to John the meaning of the symbolism in verses 7-12. The seven heads on the beast she sits on are seven mountains, and also seven kings. The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. Throughout the history of Christianity, people have tried to identify these mountains, kings, and kingdoms. Since God did not identify them for us in this chapter, it appears foolish for us to even try. The numbers seven and ten are often used in Scripture to denote completeness and fullness. It seems sufficient to allow these symbols to stand for all the kings and kingdoms of man throughout history.

The prostitute’s name is Babylon the Great. The Bible contains nearly 300 references to Babylon and is often used as the source of false religion. The city of Babylon was founded by Nimrod (Gen 10:8-11). They desired to make a name for themselves and populate one place, with one language, and build one tall tower to heaven, the tower of Babel. (Gen 11:1-9) Their will and that tower stood in distrustful opposition to God’s command to fill the earth. Trust in humanity in place of God was the root of their rebellion.

Babylon would become a great empire before falling to Persia. But since the beginning of Nimrod’s city, an anti-God humanistic “Babylon influence” has been felt throughout history. This prostitute has seduced men and women into opposing God and persecuting His servants. It has, in one way or another, given birth to all false religions. In Revelation chapter 17, this cult of humanism reaches its climax.

It is important to note that the prostitute (humanistic religion) is carried upon the scarlet beast (Satan). The two must always go together. It is the work of Satan that minimizes doctrinal truth, rejects the authority of Scripture, and tries to unite people on some other basis than faith in Jesus Christ.

Satan’s counterfeit religion is subtle, requiring spiritual discernment to recognize. It was the Apostle Paul’s great concern that the local churches he established would not be seduced away from their sincere devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:1-4). There is constant pressure to conform to popular religion and to abandon the fundamentals of the faith. We all need to pay attention to Paul’s warnings in 1Timothy 4 and 2 Timothy 3 and remain true to our Lord and His teachings.

 

Journey Through The Bible
  Old Testament Reading:
Jeremiah 1-3
 New Testament Reading: Revelation 17

On her forehead was written a name, a mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Detestable Things of the Earth. Then I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished (Revelation 17:5&6).

The scene that unfolds in chapter 17 begins with an invitation. One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who is seated on many waters” (v1). Following the invitation, John was carried away to a wilderness where he saw The Prostitute and wrote the description of what he saw. Genesis 2 speaks of a pure bride in a lovely garden; but by the Bible’s end, civilization has degenerated to an impure prostitute in a wilderness! That is what sin does to the world.

The angel explains to John the meaning of the symbolism in verses 7-12. The seven heads on the beast she sits on are seven mountains, and also seven kings. The ten horns are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. Throughout the history of Christianity, people have tried to identify these mountains, kings, and kingdoms. Since God did not identify them for us in this chapter, it appears foolish for us to even try. The numbers seven and ten are often used in Scripture to denote completeness and fullness. It seems sufficient to allow these symbols to stand for all the kings and kingdoms of man throughout history.

The prostitute’s name is Babylon the Great. The Bible contains nearly 300 references to Babylon and is often used as the source of false religion. The city of Babylon was founded by Nimrod (Gen 10:8-11). They desired to make a name for themselves and populate one place, with one language, and build one tall tower to heaven, the tower of Babel. (Gen 11:1-9) Their will and that tower stood in distrustful opposition to God’s command to fill the earth. Trust in humanity in place of God was the root of their rebellion.

Babylon would become a great empire before falling to Persia. But since the beginning of Nimrod’s city, an anti-God humanistic “Babylon influence” has been felt throughout history. This prostitute has seduced men and women into opposing God and persecuting His servants. It has, in one way or another, given birth to all false religions. In Revelation chapter 17, this cult of humanism reaches its climax.

It is important to note that the prostitute (humanistic religion) is carried upon the scarlet beast (Satan). The two must always go together. It is the work of Satan that minimizes doctrinal truth, rejects the authority of Scripture, and tries to unite people on some other basis than faith in Jesus Christ.

Satan’s counterfeit religion is subtle, requiring spiritual discernment to recognize. It was the Apostle Paul’s great concern that the local churches he established would not be seduced away from their sincere devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:1-4). There is constant pressure to conform to popular religion and to abandon the fundamentals of the faith. We all need to pay attention to Paul’s warnings in 1Timothy 4 and 2 Timothy 3 and remain true to our Lord and His teachings.

 

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