Revelation 17:1-18

by | May 10, 2023 | New Testament, Revelation

Daniel 2:31-45

I. Introduction Of The Great Harlot Vs. 1-5

A. What She Does

1. Babylon The Great- Not just the name of a city, but of a Godless religious system.

a. Includes the ancient city of Babylon but goes far beyond it. Metaphorical language.

b. Ryrie- The name stands for a system. This is much the same as the way Americans speak of Wall Street or Madison Avenue. They are actual streets, but they also stand for the financial and advertising enterprises.

2. Harlots/Prostitutes seduce people away from their commitment of true love ought to be.

a. In this case, it is a spiritual seducing of people away from God.

b. This kind of language is used regarding Israel in the Old Testament.

c. Ezekiel 16:31-32 “You erected your shrine at the head of every road and built your high place in every street. Yet you were not like a harlot, because you scorned payment. 32 You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband.

3. V. 1 Sits on many waters- a metaphor for people groups. (Isaiah 8:7, 8; Jeremiah 46:7)

a. The Great Harlot is connected to many people groups and influences them. (V. 15)

4. V. 2 Seduces and intoxicates kings and humanity into committing spiritual fornication.

a. The Great Harlot Babylon has the ability to influence the world with her blasphemies

b. She spreads an attitude against Jesus that is utterly blasphemous and sinful.

c. That attitude is adopted by mankind & has a spiritual/emotional intoxicating effect.

B. John’s Vision Of The Great Harlot

1. V. 3 Sitting on a scarlet beast.

a. The Beast is the one called Antichrist. (Revelation 13)

b. The Beast has a beauty to it. It is appealing. Scarlet- costly garments of the rich.

c. Scarlet- also the color that metaphorically represents sin. (Isaiah 1:18)

d. Full of blasphemy- reproachful speech against the True God.

e. 7 heads & 10 horns- This speaks of the kingdoms which Antichrist will rule over.

2. V. 4 The Harlot is outwardly beautiful and seeks to share her GOLDEN cup of abominations and filthiness with whomever will drink it with her.

a. Increasingly, there is and will be attractiveness to spirituality without Jesus/truth.

b. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (the shape of godliness, but not the substance)

3. V. 5 Mystery- unknown apart from divine revelation. God reveals her true nature.

a. This means that apart from divine revelation, people will think they are really worshipping God, and will never see her for who she really is.

b. Mother of harlots- She is the source of all who commit spiritual fornication.

c. Mother of abominations- She is the source of all that is an abomination to God.

II. More Information About The Harlot

A. Drunk From Killing Christians

1. V. 6 The Harlot (false religious system) became intoxicated by executing Christians.

a. For the Harlot, killing Christians isn’t just a duty or necessary, but is intoxicating

2. John was amazed at this, perhaps because she appeared to be one thing, but was another.

3. V. 7 The angel told John to not marvel: he would reveal the truth about the woman

B. The Angel Further Describes The Beast & Harlot

1. V. 8 The unbelievers of the Earth will marvel at what happens with the Beast.

a. Was, is not, and will ascend- Revelation 13:1-4 Points to the healing of a head wound

b. Go to perdition- Antichrist’s final destination is the Lake of Fire.

2. V. 9 Seven heads/seven mountains- Rome is known as the city built on seven hills.

a. Morris- Rome does not exhaust the meaning of the symbol…the great city is every city & no city. It is civilized man, mankind organized apart from God. It has its embodiment in every age.

b. The Harlot always opposes the legitimate Bride. Ancient Rome embodied this with Caesar worship and lewdness of all kinds, but the spirit of Babylon is worldwide and spans history, and it always involves a perversion of who God is, and an allowance for the sinful nature to be gratified, whether through immorality or self-righteousness.

c. In the future, the geographical center for the Harlot seems to be Rome.

d. Some want to blame the RCC and call her the Harlot, but ultimately, Antichrist will overrule all churches except for the one He establishes for himself.

e. Catholic Review- The unity of religion promoted by the Holy Father Pope John Paul II & approved by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not a goal to be achieved immediately, but a day may come when the love & compassion which both Buddha & Christ preached so eloquently will unite the world in a common effort to save humanity from senseless destruction, & lead toward the light in which we all believe.

3. V. 10 Some point to 7 Roman Emperors; 5 had died, one lived, and one would come.

a. Others point to 5 world empires: Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

b. In John’s day, Rome ruled, but would fall, and a 7th world empire would come.

c. The 7th world empire (king) has yet to be, and will be short lived

4. V. 11 Eventually, the Beast (who comes out of the 7th empire), ends it and creates an empire for himself. The 8th will be the Empire of The Antichrist.

5. V. 12 The 10 kings serve in the 7th world empire, but only for a short time.

a. These 10 kings are referred to in Daniel 2:31-45, a revived Roman Empire that has inherent weakness, described as iron mixed with clay.

6. V. 13 Because of the weakness of the revived Roman Empire, they will defer to the AC

7. V. 14 The Empire of the AC will make war against Jesus upon Jesus’ physical return.

a. Jesus will overcome those nations at the Battle of Armageddon.

8. V. 15 Self-explanatory- The false world religious system will influence the entire world.

a. It may exalt humanism, & self-righteousness, and be more a philosophy than religion

9. V. 16 The 7th world empire, led by the AC, will finally turn against the Harlot, the false religious system, because the AC will demand that He be worshipped as God.

a. The AC will dismantle and destroy the false religious system called The Harlot.

b. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 The son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

c. The AC will use religion until it has served his purposes; then he’ll destroy it.

10. V. 17 God ordains & uses godless people to judge other godless people, to fulfill His will

11. V. 18 The spiritual vision that John had of a city called Babylon was, in his day, was ruling much of the known world, which would have meant that it was Rome.

1. Any religious system that seeks to unify all people and set aside doctrine isn’t of God, but of man.
2. Expect to see an increase in ecumenicalism (one world religion).
3. Expect to see repeated efforts towards a one world government and currency.
4. God is sovereign over all of this. He gives mankind free will without sacrificing His sovereignty.
5. Don’t be surprised when people who claim to follow Jesus depart from truth & oppose you/truth.
6. I don’t believe that the True Church will be on Earth to see much of this. Is your name in the Book?