WHO OR WHAT IS
THE HARLOT? BABYLON
II. HISTORY OF
A. Isaiah’s Prophecies of Babylon
B. Jeremiah’s Prophecies of Babylon
IV. INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 17
V. THE VISION OF
A. The Impending Judgement of the Great Harlot – 17:1-2
B. The Vision– 17:3-6
VI. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION – 17:7-18
A. The Scarlet Beast is the Antichrist – 17:8, 11
B. The Seven Heads are Seven Successive Kingdoms – 17:9-10
C. The Ten Horns are Ten Contemporaneous Kings – -12
Woman is the
V. THE JUDGMENT OF
VI. DESCRIPTION OF THE JUDGMENT OF
B. The Ultimate Reason for Judgment – 18:6-7
C. The Length and Character of the Judgment – 18:8
and Merchants Weep Over
E. Heavenly Hosts and Saints Rejoice Over Babylon’s Destruction –
VII. TOTAL ANNIHILATION OF BABYLON – 18:21-24
The identity of
AND HISTORY OF
Genesis 10 the city was founded by Nimrod. Nimrod was a descendant of Ham, the
“darkened or sunburnt one“, and he begat
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen. 9:1)
This is the post-diluvian re-institution of divine institution #1 (cf. Gen. 1:28). Just as Adam was originally commanded, so Noah and his sons were commanded. The content of the command was three things, to 1) labor fruitfully, 2) multiply/procreate, and 3) replenish or scatter upon the earth to fill it. While Noah and his sons fulfilled the first two commands there was a failure on the part of man to fulfill the third, that of scattering upon the earth. God had commanded nationalism, but man disobeyed, trying to maintain internationalism. The rebellion of man against this third aspect is found in Gen. 11:4
And they said, Come, 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.
Nimrod and his
followers chose to build a city with a high tower or ziggurat. A ziggurat was a
sacred temple tower dedicated to heathen deities often in connection with
astrology, the zodiac, and mother-child worship. Verse 9 tells us that this
lore now comes to our assistance, and tells us that the wife of
Building on the primeval promise of the woman’s Seed who was to come, Semiramis bore a son whom she declared was miraculously conceived! And when she presented him to the people, he was hailed as the promised deliverer. This was Tammuz, whose worship Ezekiel protested against in the days of the captivity. Thus was introduced the mystery of the mother and the child, a form of idolatry that is older than any other known to man. The rites of this worship were secret. On the initiated were permitted to know its mysteries. It was Satan’s effort to delude mankind with an imitation so like the truth of God that they would not know the true Seed of the woman when He came in the fullness of time….
Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding nations….Everywhere
the symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and the child
became the popular system; their worship was celebrated with the most
disgusting and immoral practices. The image of the queen of heaven with the
babe in her arms was seen everywhere, though the names might differ as
languages differed. It became the mystery-religion of
Linked with this central mystery were countless lesser mysteries….Among these were the doctrines of purgatorial purification after death, salvation by countless sacraments such as priestly absolution, sprinkling with holy water, the offering of round cakes to the queen of heaven as mentioned in the book of Jeremiah, dedication of virgins to the gods, which was literally sanctified prostitution, weeping for Tammuz for a period of 40 days, prior to the great festival of Istar, who was said to have received her son back from the dead; for it was taught that Tammuz was slain by a wild board and afterwards brought back to life. To him the egg was sacred, as depicting the mystery of his resurrection, even as the evergreen was his chosen symbol and was set up in honor of his birth at the winter solstice, when a boar’s head was eaten in memory of his conflict and a yule-log burned with many mysterious observances. The sign of the cross was sacred to Tammuz, as symbolizing the life-giving principle and as the first letter of his name. It is represented upon vast numbers of the most ancient altars and temples, and did not, as many have supposed, originate with Christianity.
From this mystery-religion, the patriarch Abraham was separated by divine call; and with this same evil cult the nation that sprang from him was in constant conflict, until under Jezebel, a Phoenician princess, it was grafted into what was left of the religion of Israel in the northern kingdom in the day of Ahab, and was the cause of their captivity at last. Judah was polluted b it, for Baal-worship was but the Canaanitish form of the Babylonian mysteries, and only by being sent into captivity to Babylon itself did Judah become cured of her fondness for idolatry. Baal was the Sun-God, the Life-giving One, identical with Tammuz.
the early centuries of the church’s history, the mystery of iniquity had
wrought with such astounding effect, and Babylonian practices and teachings had
been so largely absorbed by that which bore the name of the church of Christ,
that the truth of the Holy Scriptures on many points had been wholly obscured,
while idolatrous practices had been foisted upon the people as Christian sacraments,
and heathen philosophies took place of gospel instruction. Thus was developed
that amazing system which for a thousand years dominated
The key mark of
the history of
BE REBUILT? BABYLON
For many years
expositors have believed that the references to
Isaiah’s Prophecies of
Babylon in Isaiah inform us that 1) Babylon’s destruction takes place in
connection with “the day of the Lord” (Isaiah 13:6, 9), which is the most
common term for the Great Tribulation, 2) Babylon’s destruction will be
characterized by a black out (Isaiah 13:10), 3) Babylon will never again be
inhabited (Isaiah 13:20), 4) all Israel will be saved after the complete and utter destruction of Babylon (Isaiah
14:1-8), and 5) Antichrist’s death accompanies the destruction of Babylon and
Israel’s restoration (Isaiah 14:9-11). The prophet Isaiah clearly uses the Law
of Double Reference in Isaiah 13 . Some verses are prophetic of
Jeremiah’s Prophecies of
Jeremiah is even
more clear than Isaiah regarding eschatological
speaking, both Isaiah and Jeremiah declare that when
IV. INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION 17
interpretation of Revelation 17 and 18 is difficult because expositors have not
agreed as to the details of their interpretations. In general, however, it is
helpful to consider chapter 17 as dealing with
The second view
times in these two chapters (17-18) the word great is used to describe
Is there a
strong enough distinction between Rev. 17 & 18 to conclude that this is a
judgement on the ancient religious and political systems of
there is a religious aspect to
there is a political aspect to
there is an economic aspect to
there is a physical aspect to
observations show that both Rev. 17 and 18 are an integrated unit that cannot
be divided into two judgements on the ancient religious and political systems
As to timing, Revelation 17 takes place during the first half of the Tribulation and Revelation 18 occurs at the end of the second half of the Tribulation. This is concluded on the basis of four observations: 1) it is the beast (Antichrist) and his 10 king alliance that burns the Harlot (religious aspect of Babylon) in Chapter 17 while it is the saints of God who burn and destroy the rest of the city in Chapter 18, 2) the final destruction of the city in Chapter 18 is parallel with the events of the 7th Bowl Judgement of Rev. 16:17-21, 3) there is no weeping over the destruction of the Harlot in Chapter 17, but there is weeping over the destruction of the rest of the city in Chapter 18, and 4) the Antichrist is co-ruling with 10 kings during Chapter 17, but he is the sole ruler during the events of Chapter 18 (though he will not be in the city when it is totally destroyed).
For centuries the kings and the harlot have appeared as lovers, but there has been no real love between them. They each simply used the other to further their own ends. But now the religious system will have served its purpose, so the ten kings banish and completely destroy the harlot (the religious system). Her wealth, buildings, property will be confiscated, her leaders killed, and everything else destroyed.
Revelation 17 & 18 reveal a rebuilt eschatological Babylon which will be located in its ancient location on the Euphrates River. The events of Revelation 17 occur during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation while the Antichrist rides the religious system into a position of power. When the climax of the power struggle between the Antichrist and the religious system comes he will ally himself with 10 kings to destroy the religious system. They will be successful in destroying the central headquarters and killing the leaders of the religious system of Babylon. This is his lawless deed. Three of the 10 kings who ally with him will detest him for his lawless deed. This will cause the Antichrist to kill them. The Antichrist will then break his covenant with Israel by committing the abomination of desolation, thus causing Israel to flee to the wilderness and the whole world will worship him for the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. During this time he will direct all his energy toward destroying Israel. At the time of the 7th Bowl judgement, which occurs at the end of the Tribulation, God and His saints will utterly destroy Babylon such that it will never be inhabited again.
V. THE VISION OF BABYLON THE HARLOT – REV. 17:1-6
A. The Impending Judgement - Rev. 17:1-2
1And there came one of the seven angels that had the seven bowls, and spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters; 2with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and they that dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her fornication.
v. 1: The opening verse begin with an angelic proclamation of the impending judgement of the great harlot. This angel is one of the seven who poured out the seven bowl judgements in Revelation 16. The “great harlot” is none other than the religious system headquartered in the city of Babylon. In terms of magnitude she is considered “great”. In terms of character she is a “harlot or prostitute”.
To prostitute something is to take that which has a proper use and to turn it into an improper use. A prostitute takes sex, which has a proper use, and perverts it with an improper use; turning it into something illicit, causing fornication. In this case the harlot represents “religion,” which has a proper use (James 1:26-27) but here has been prostituted for improper use. Rather than serving, it rules. The false use of religion causes spiritual fornication.
Thus, the phrase megalhs ths pornhs refers to a religious system that is “exceedingly greatly practicing spiritual idolatry”. The dominant position of the great harlot is seen in Rev. 17:1b.
…the great harlot sits on many waters,
The waters upon which the harlot sits are interpreted in Rev. 17:15.
The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.
So, the picture is of an exceedingly greatly spiritually idolatrous religious system that is dominating the peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues of the earth. The picture of the great system sitting on the nations of the world indicates two things. First, she is supported by the nations, and second, she rules over the nations. The people support the religious system because they are trapped in its idolatrous religious practice. The very nature of man is religious, being made in God’s image he cannot escape who he is. Either he will worship the Creator or the creature but he cannot exist in a state of neutrality. On the other side of the coin, the religious system rules over the people.
v. 2: The acts of the kings of the earth with the great religious system are seen in Rev. 17:2.
With whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.
Her fornication with the kings of the earth pictures a unity between the religious and political spheres (church and state), thus resulting in a religio-political system that dominates mankind.
This is a picture of the alliance of church and state which is unfaithful for both. This causes both to prostitute (compromise) their responsibility before God. Both state and church were established by God, but must remain separate if they are to carry out their purpose. They are to support one another, but the moment they merge, both liberty and spiritual freedom are lost (at least eventually).
The political system will most probably be a “democracy” while the religious system will be the embodiment of ancient idolatrous Babylon in a one-world religion. Politically, the communist block will fall before “the day of the Lord” (Ezek 38-39) which will result in what mankind perceives as a “democracy”. With postmodern trends in modern thinking such a political system is foreseeable.
According to postmodernism, freedom is an illusion. Western democracies are not free at all. Indeed, they are the easiest to control. This is because those in power make their citizens control themselves. This is far more efficient than a police state, since each individual, imagining that he is free but in reality internalizing the values of those in power, becomes his own policeman. And they are so easy to manipulate.
While the Political system will be perceived as democratic, religiously it will be a one-world religion that embodies the ancient religious system of idolatrous Babylon. The modern ecumenical movement will bring about this one world religious system. Merryman notes:
The spirit of ecumenism is the spirit of our age. It is the dominant thrust of the last half of this century. For example, during this period, nearly every church history text on the collegiate level is ecumenical in its approach. What once were considered cults are now placed under an umbrella called “Christianity” in these textbooks. It is in these years that the charismatic-tongues phenomena spread across denominational barriers linking such diverse groups as Assemblies of God, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Roman Catholics. The charismatic movement very willingly casts aside doctrinal truth for what is perceived as spiritual unity; meaning, the capacity to babble in what passes for biblical tongues. Perhaps it is not strange then that the push for ecumenical unity found a focus in this last decade among some influential “Evangelicals” and Roman Catholics. I am referring of course to the ECT phenomena: Evangelicals and Catholics Together. The efforts of Charles Colson and Richard Neuhaus (“evangelical” and Roman Catholic priest respectively) in this ecumenical scenario have been widely published and criticized. As T. A. McMahon well stated, “Brothers and sisters in Christ are being encouraged to dance with what the entire evangelical church for 1,500 years called the ‘whore of Babylon.’” Colson and Neuhaus are set on correcting this image as are other “evangelicals” such as Pat Robertson, Bill Bright, J. I. Packer, Os Guinness, Richard Mouw, Mark Knoll, etc…
Of these and the other proclaimed “evangelicals”, who alongside Roman Catholic priests signed identical statements on the doctrine of justification, there was not one pastor. All the leaders were leaders of parachurch ministries which are by nature ecumenical. Thus, the false religious system of the tribulation will deceive the world because outwardly she will carry the name of God, but inwardly she will worship and serve other gods. Thus, the world will be in a state of spiritual drunkenness, a stupor which will lead to their ultimate denial of the true God of Scripture.
That the earth-dwellers will be “drunk on the wine of her immorality” refers to their being controlled by “demonic doctrines, ideologies and concepts produced by this religious/political alliance”. The demonic doctrines include 1) the deity of man, 2) moral relativism, 3) unity through social reform, and 4) spiritual enlightenment through mystical spiritual experiences (contemplative spirituality). All these are current doctrines of New Age mysticism.
B. The Vision– Rev. 17:3-6
3And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations, even the unclean things of her fornication, 5and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6And 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 a great wonder.
v. 3: In order for John to see this spectacular vision, the angel carries him away in the Spirit into a wilderness. Being carried away into a wilderness, desert, or other remote location often accompanied dramatic revelation to the prophets. This verse introduces us to the woman. The woman is not Israel as she was in Revelation 12, but is interpreted for us in verse 18 as the “great city”. Babylon is called the “great city” six times in six different verses. Eight times in these same six verses Babylon is referred to as a city. Thus, the woman is the great city of Babylon as contrasted to Jerusalem which is pictured as a bride in Revelation 21. Next, the scarlet beast is introduced. The scarlet beast is described as having seven heads and ten horns just like the beast of Revelation 13. Thus, the scarlet beast and the beast of Revelation 13 are one and the same, namely the Antichrist.
v. 4: The external adornment of the religious aspect of Babylon in contrast to the internal religious rot is described in Rev. 17:4:
And the woman [Babylon, cf. 17:18] was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
Purple and scarlet have been associated with royalty for centuries. The gold, precious stones and pearls refer to the immense wealth of the city of Babylon. The “gold cup” is what she tempts the world to drink her stupefying wine from. The abominations, unclean things, and immorality are references to the false doctrines, idolatry, sorceries, sensual trappings, and material adornment of the religious aspect of Babylon.
v. 5: The name written on the forehead of the woman was a common practice for harlots in the ancient world. This showed their shamelessness of their character. In the same way, depravity will have advanced to such a degree that there is no attempt to hide the shame. Open sinful expression is the norm and illustrates the character of mankind. The text says that the forehead name has been a “mystery” prior to this revelation. A mystery was something that was not revealed in the OT (Rom. 16:25-26; Eph. 3:4-6, 9; Col. 1:26). The content of the mystery is
the fact that Babylon will develop into a one-world, unified religious system and will be the religious ruler for the first half of the Tribulation. It will be headquartered in the City of Babylon.
Now that the mystery is revealed, she is described as being mother of two things: 1) “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS”. This means that Nimrod’s original Babel is the source of all religious prostitution. 2) “MOTHER OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”. This means that Nimrod’s original Babel is the source of all false doctrine, sorcery, sensuality, idolatry, and astrology of the ancient religion of Babylon. “Of the earth” indicates that her influence and false doctrine have spread worldwide.
v. 6: The city of Babylon is “drunk with the blood of the saints”. According to Jer. 50:7, 29; 51:24-25, 34-35, 49 this probably refers not only to Tribulation martyrs, but also to all those who were killed by the proponents of the religious system of Babylon throughout history. It is now time for God’s vengeance. It is time for God to recompense the enemies of His people! This religious system that was founded at Nimrod’s Babel has murdered millions of saints throughout history. So many saints have been killed that she has become drunk on their blood.
Though many aspects of the vision are left unexplained in this section, the next section reveals the interpretation of each component of the vision.
VI. THE INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION – 17-7-18
7And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns. 8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, (they) whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come. 9Here is the mind that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth: 10and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a little while. 11And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition. 12And the ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour. 13These have one mind, and they give their power and authority unto the beast. 14These shall war against the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they (also shall overcome) that are with him, called and chosen and faithful. 15And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her utterly with fire. 17For God did put in their hearts to do his mind, and to come to one mind, and to give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished. 18And the woman whom thou sawest is the great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
In this section four identifications are made by
the angel; 1) the scarlet beast is interpreted as being identical to the beast
of Revelation 13, who is the Antichrist, 2) the seven heads are interpreted as
seven successive kingdoms, 3) the 10 horns are interpreted as 10 contemporary
kings, and 4) the woman is interpreted as the great city,
A. The Scarlet Beast is the Antichrist – 17:8, 11
v. 8, 11:
8The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss…when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come. 11And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition.”
should be understood literally as “he was alive, he is dead, and he shall come
back to life”. This confirms what John saw in 13:3, 14, that the Antichrist
will counterfeit the resurrection. In 13:3 John “…saw one of his heads as
though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the
whole earth wondered after the beast;” Verse 14 adds that it will occur by the
sword. So the Antichrist will be killed by a sword but will come back to life.
This event occurs about Mid-Tribulation as indicated by comparing this with the
phrase “and is about to come up out of the abyss” (Rev. 13:1). The phrase “and
to go into perdition” indicates that this is the Antichrist’s last hour. After
the Antichrist rises from the dead he will desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem by
sitting in the Temple and exalting himself as God (II Thess. 2:4) “then shall
be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of
his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation
of his coming” (II Thess. 2:8). So at this point the “son of perdition” has
only 1260 days left and is thus about “to go into perdition”. Since this is his
last hour Satan will unleash all his hatred through the Antichrist in trying to
B. The Seven Heads are Seven Successive Kingdoms – 17:9-10
v. 9-10: “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth: and they are seven kings; the five are fallen, the one is, the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a little while.”
beast” was described as having “seven heads and ten horns” in 17:3. The seven
heads are interpreted in 17:9-10 as being “seven mountains”. When the term
“mountain” is used symbolically in Scripture it always refers to a “king,
kingdom, or throne” (cf. Jer. 51:25). As verification, the next phrase says the
“seven mountains are seven kings.” Many expositors have taken the phrase “the
seven heads are seven mountains” to be a reference to
nine states that the seven heads are seven mountains. Unfortunately, too many
Bible teachers have stopped here, ignored the following verse, and consequently
concluded that the seven mountains represent
statement is noteworthy and Bible expositors should be slow to make
are the words which are supposed to fix the application of the picture to the
A mountain, or prominent elevation on the surface of the earth, is one of the common scriptural images, or representatives of a kingdom, regal dominion, empire, or established authority (cf. Ps. 30:7)…So the Lord in His threat against the throne and power of Babylon said: “I am against thee, O destroying mountain, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.” (Jer. 51:25.) So the kingdom of the Messiah is likened to “a stone, which became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Dan. 2:35.) And this is exactly the sense in which the angel uses the word here, as he himself tells us. He does not say, “the seven heads are seven mountains, where the Woman sitteth upon them, “ and there leave off; but he adds immediately, “and they are seven kings,” or personified kingdoms…The description, therefore, so far from fixing the application to the Papacy, or to the city of Rome, decisively settles that it cannot possible apply to either, for neither has seven such mountains.
verses 9-10 are not depicting a geographical location, but rather seven successive kingdoms that have or will encroach and
At the time of John’s writing of the Book of Revelation (AD 95-96) the first five heads had fallen, the sixth head, Rome, was, and the seventh head, Revived Rome, was yet to come. Since the text designates seven successive kingdoms then if it referred
Of course, this
interpretation is impossible! The terminology forces the seven heads to be
seven successive kingdoms. Historically the
first six kingdoms fulfilled the requirement of the text; namely, that all five
C. The Ten Horns are Ten Contemporary Kings – Rev. 17:11-12
11And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goeth into perdition. 12And the ten horns that thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.
The ten horns mentioned in 17:3 are ten contemporary kings that will rule in the future. This passage should be interpreted by a comparison with Daniel 2:40-43, and Daniel 7:20-27. In Daniel 2:40-43 the Revived Roman Empire is described by ten toes made partly of tile and partly of iron. This unordinary mixture is illustrative of the apparent strength but certain brittleness of this Empire. The ten toes of the statue are obviously linked to the ten horns of Revelation 17. In Daniel 7:20-27 the Revived Roman Empire is described as ten horns, just as in Revelation 17. The angel gives a clear explanation of who the ten horns are in Daniel 7:20,24.
…and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates…As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
Antichrist will rule contemporaneously with 10
kings. This establishes his position as the other horn that “will arise after
them” [i.e. the 11th horn] of Dan. -27. After the Antichrist gives them
power for one hour they will destroy the religious aspect of
And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth [contemporary king], and is one of the seven [successive kingdoms], and he goes to destruction.
The following chart depicts the relationships just discussed.
I. The Egyptian Empire 1st head
II. The Assyrian Empire 2nd head
III. The Babylonian Empire 3rd head Successive Kingdoms
IV. The Medo-Persian Empire 4th head
V. The Greek Empire 5th head
b. The Two Division Stage: East-West Powers
c. The One World Govt. Stage
a. Ten Division Stage Ten Horns Contemporaneous Kings
b. The Antichrist Stage 7th head/11th horn/8th horn
VIII. The Messianic Kingdom
The Destruction of
v. 13 -17: The ten horns [contemporaneous kings] have one purpose or one mind and they give their power and authority to the beast (Rev. 17:13). This will set up the Antichrist Stage of the Revived Roman Empire which supplies the power needed to attempt to destroy the Jews (Rev. 12; ).
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.
Of course, he
will fail to destroy them and will be destroyed himself. The major influence of
the Harlot (i.e. religious aspect of
And the ten horns [contemporary kings]
which you saw, and the beast [Antichrist], these will hate the harlot [leader
obviously a power struggle between the 10 kings and the Antichrist with the
religious leaders of
For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.
D. The Woman is the Great City,
before, the woman is interpreted for us as the great city. And the term great
city is used to describe
V. THE JUDGMENT OF
– 18:1-3 BABYLON
announcements reveal the certainty of the impending judgment described in
Revelation 17:1-2. Here the destruction of
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.
By this time in
history the city of
VI. DESCRIPTION OF THE
– 18:4-20 BABYLON
Warned to Flee
Come out of her my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues;
These two verses
You who have escaped the
sword, Depart! Do not stay! Remember the Lord from afar, and let
B. The Ultimate Reason for Judgment – 18:6-7
To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, "I sit as queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning."
C. The Length and Characteristics of the Judgment – 18:8
For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.
D. Kings and
Merchants Weep over
The kings of the earth…will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning…every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what city is like the great city?
This is an extensive description of the mourning of the kings and merchants. Such mourning is not described anywhere else in the Bible. The reasons these people mourn is not because of spiritual loss, but rather, material loss. Note the list of materials which these people mourn over.
Purple and silk and scarlet
Articles of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble
Cinnamon and spice
Incense and perfume and frankincense
Olive oil and wine
Fine flour and wheat
Cattle and sheep
Cargoes of horses, chariots, slaves, and human lives
All luxurious materials
Their investment in the visible material goods of this world far outweighs their investment in the invisible spiritual gifts of God. For them, these goods are their entire life. In fact, they find their identity in the things of this world and define others by their level of material success. Ironically, it is not only what they live for, but also what they die for! For in one hour the economic, political, and religious center of the world will transform from splendor to ashes before their very eyes.
Hosts and Saints Rejoice Over
In contrast to
the great weeping of those who are Satan’s followers, the heavenly hosts and
all saints of God rejoice over the final and total destruction of
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.
In a single day the Lord will pronounce judgment against the Kingdom of man in favor of the saints of all dispensations. In the end, we can rest assured that we will be victorious through Christ, our deliverer!
– -24 BABYLON
So Jeremiah wrote in a
single scroll all the calamity which would come upon
And the future fulfillment of this magnificent prophecy is found in Rev. 18:21 which reads,
And a strong angel took
up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus
I ask you today,
Saddam Hussein of modern-day
clearly portrays that there must be a physical rebuilding of
Of all of the countries listed in Bible
prophecy, which are soon to be defeated in the upcoming war of Psalm 83, none
have the extensive amount of prophecy devoted to revealing their destruction,
as does Iraq (listed as Assyria in that passage). The entire Chapters of
Jeremiah 50 and 51 in conjunction with numerous other mentions in Scripture are
position is that
destruction of the city of
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! - Rev 19:1-6
 Froom, Leroy Edwin, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers: Vol. I, (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1978), p. 991.
 Harry A. Ironside, Lectures on the Revelation, pp. 287-95 quoted from Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1964), pp. 365-67.
 Couch, Mal, Dictionary of Premillennial Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), p. 62.
 Larkin, Clarence, Dispensational Truth, (Glenside, PA: Published by Clarence Larkin, 1920), p. 142.
 Ibid., 142.
 Johnson, Ronald,
 Wallace, Daniel, Lesson 25:
 Johnson, Ronald,
 Walvoord, John F., The Revelation of Jesus Christ, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), p. 243.
 Wallace, Daniel, Lesson 25:
 Fruchtenbaum, Arnold F., The Footsteps of the Messiah, (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1984), p. 160.
 Wallace, Daniel, Lesson 26: The Judgement of Religious (http://www.bible.org/docs/nt/books/rev/jhk3/rev-26.htm), pp. 1-2.
 Veith, Gene
Edward, World Magazine (
 Merryman, Ron, Justification By Faith Alone & It’s Historical Challenges (Hermantown, MN: Merryman Ministries, 1999), 94-95.
 Wallace, Daniel, Lesson 26: The Judgement of Religious (http://www.bible.org/docs/nt/books/rev/jhk3/rev-26.htm), p. 5.
 For an excellent primer on the Contemplative Spirituality movement which is sweeping across Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Religious lines see John Caddock, What is Contemplative Spirituality and Why is It Dangerous?: A Review of Brennan Mannings The Signature of Jesus.
 Johnson, Ronald,
 Fruchtenbaum, Arnold F., The Eight Mysteries of the New Testament: Manuscript #182, (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1992), p. 42.
 Seiss, Joseph A., The Apocalypse (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1957), 391-392.