To many people the 17th chapter of Revelation is a puzzle; they just can't seem to make all the pieces fit. They read this chapter, and they struggle to understand it, and so they give up. But in reality this chapter is one of the great chapters in the book Revelation, and we're going to see if we can put all the pieces in place.
Now consistently, all the way through the Bible, a woman in Bible prophecy always represents a church, a spiritual power. And there are several verses that give us the key to understand this.
Here God's church is compared to a beautiful and delicate woman.
And Paul does not leave us in any doubt, he makes it clear what he's talking about because he goes on and says:
So Paul is talking about the relationship between Christ and His people, the church. And as you read God's word you'll find that it always refers to the church as "she", and it always refers to Civil power as "he", it makes that distinction, so we don't have to be in doubt as to what it's talking about.
This woman is a good woman, she's pure. It says she's clothed with the sun this represented the early church, back when it was being formed, as it came out of Judaism. She was clothed with the sun, which represented the gospel. The moon under her feet represented the Old Testament period that she was coming out of. The garland of 12 stars on her head represented the 12 apostles to whom Christ had given the commission to take the gospel to the world we've seen before that stars sumbolise messengers or leaders, the leadership of the church. So this woman is a good woman.
But now we come to Revelation 17 and we find a woman that is just the opposite of the one in Revelation 12.
Revelation 17:1-2 "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: 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."
Judgment - Greek "krima" - meaning "sentence", "decision", "verdict", "decree". The kings of the earth have committed fornication, or adultery, with this woman, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with her wine (teachings/doctrines).
Sits on many waters - Exercises power over many "peoples" and "nations" (see verse 15). The form of the verb in Greek presents the "great whore" as in power at the time and as continuing to exercise power, just as the ancient city of Babylon was situated upon the literal waters of the Euphrates (see Jeremiah 50:12,38) and dwelt figuratively "upon many waters" or peoples - the peoples of earth (see Jeremiah 51:12-13, Revelation 16:12).
Revelation 17:3 "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."
Carried away - Not in body as if he was removed from the isle of Patmos to some other place, but in a visionary way, in the spirit, just as Ezekiel was carried between earth and heaven in the visions of God to Jerusalem (Ezekiel 3:12-14; 8:3; 40:2-3; Revelation 21:10).
The wilderness in Greek is "eremos", meaning "a desolate place". The related verb used in Revelation 17:16 means "to desolate", "to lay waste", "to strip bare", "to abandon." A "wilderness" was an uninhabited region where life could be sustained only amid difficulty and danger. Food, shelter and possibly even water would be difficult to obtain and there would be danger from wild animals and perhaps from brigands. Accordingly, some consider that when used figuratively as here, a "wilderness" would be a situation fraught with difficulty and danger, apparently for God's people. Absence of the definite article before the word "wilderness" in the Greek, clearly makes the term qualitative and descriptive. In other words, it specifies a condition rather than a particular location.
So John says that he was picked up and carried by the spirit into the wilderness, you have to understand that when reading this. You can read that John was carried into the wilderness, but, if it doesn't make the impact on you that it should, you will not understand this prophecy. If you try and leave John on the island of Patmos, you won't understand it. You see it clearly says the Sprit carried him into the wilderness, into a future time.
Remember in our studies we have seen the woman, the church flee into the wilderness to try and escape persecution, this is the time John was taken to in vision to this period of the 1260 years from 538 AD to 1798 AD. If you don't establish this you won't put all the prophecy together, he was carried forward to this time (verse 8).
The Old Testament prophets repeatedly represented an apostate people as a licentious woman (Jeremiah 3:1-25; Ezekiel 16:26-32; Ezekiel 16:15-58; 23:2-21; Hosea 2:5; 3:1; etc). This "woman", the "great whore" (Revelation 17:1), or mystical "Babylon the great" (verse 5), is guilty of "the blood of all that were slain upon the earth" (Revelation 18:24) throughout history. Mystical Babylon constitutes the organized religious opposition to God's people, probably from the beginning of time, but here particularly at its very close.
The form of the verb "sits" denotes continuing action. In verse one the "great whore" is represented as being in direct control of men as individuals religiously, and here as directing the policies of civil government. It has ever been a characteristic of apostate Christianity to attempt a union of church and state in order to consolidate religious control over public policy. Compare the declaration of our Lord that His "kingdom" is not "of this world":
So whilst the woman in Revelation 12 represents a good or pure church, here in Revelation 17 we have a bad church, one that is impure and corrupt. The woman (church) sat upon the beast (state) so the church has control of the state.
Revelation 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:"
Notice that pomp, ceremony and show does not necessarily equate to Godliness. Just because it may look good, just because it may have a lot of splendour, doesn't make it right. This woman has all the rich adornments on the outside, but there's something wrong on the inside.
Scarlet or "crimson" - A brilliant color certain to attract attention. In Isaiah 1:18 scarlet is the color of sin. Compare the "great red dragon" of Revelation 12:3.
In Bible prophecy beasts are commonly used to symbolise kingdoms or political powers (Daniel 7:3-7, 17; 8:3, 5, 20-21; Revelation 12:3; 13:1). The color of this beast no doubt represents a sinful kingdom, and not just sinful, but one that actually thought to change the law of God:
The names of blasphemy with which this beast is covered indicate that it stands in opposition to God. Accordingly, the beast itself may be identified as Satan working through those political agencies in all ages that have submitted to her control.
In certain respects this beast resembles the great red dragon of Revelation 12:3, and in others the leopard like beast of Revelation 13:1-2. The chief difference between the beast of chapter 13 and that of chapter 17 is that in the former, which is identified with the Papacy, no distinction is made between the religious and the political aspects of Papal power, whereas in the latter the two are distinct. The beast representing political power and the woman a religious power. With the two united, the apostasy and opposition to God are complete.
Purple and scarlet colour and decked with gold - Compare Revelation 18:12, 16-17. Old Testament priest robes were made of "gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet" (Exodus 28:3-6). The borders of the priest robes were to have a fringe of blue and when they looked upon the ribband of blue, they were to remember all the Commandments of the Lord. Blue symbolizes God's Commandments and is the colour of sapphire like God's throne from which His law was cut (Numbers 15:38-39; Ezekiel chapter 1 etc). The Papal priest's robe colours are also gold, purple and scarlet as per the great whore. The colour blue is missing from the Papal Church as per the great whore. So while scarlet being the colour of the beast represents sin (transgressing God's law; 1 John 3:4), the missing colour blue represents the law of God.
This apostate religious organization depicted in all her seductiveness, gaudily dressed and vulgarly bedecked, stands forth in striking contrast with the "bride" of the Lamb, who John saw arrayed in fine linen, clean and white (see Revelation 19:7-8; Luke 16:19).
Revelation 17:5 "And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth."
Mystery - This word is descriptive of the title but not part of it. Hence the appropriateness of the term "mystical Babylon".
Babylon the great - Although in one sense, mystery Babylon may be considered as representative of apostate religious systems throughout history, "Babylon the great" in the book of Revelation also designates the united apostate religions at the close of time. In Revelation 17:18 mystical Babylon is called "that great city" (Revelation 16:19; 18:18). Babylon is referred to as "great" here in view of the fact that this chapter deals most particularly with Satan's great final effort to secure the allegiance of the entire human race through religion. "Babylon the great" - the name which refers to the great threefold religious union of the Papacy, apostate Protestantism and Spiritualism.
The term "Babylon" refers to the organisations themselves and to their leaders but not so much to the members. The latter are referred to as "many waters" (Revelation 17:1,15) and as the "inhabitants of the earth" (verse 2 and verse 8).
Mother of harlots - As already noted, "Babylon the great" includes apostate Protestantism at the time envisioned here. The daughters of this "mother" thus represent the various religious bodies that constitute apostate Protestantism. This woman is contrary to what God would have her, she is not what He wants her to be.
Revelation 17:6 "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."
Drunken - Literally "continuing in a state of intoxication". In a general sense Babylon may be said to be "drunken" with the blood of the martyrs of all ages (Revelation 18:24) but in a more immediate sense with that of martyrs and prospective martyrs in the closing scenes of earth's history. God holds Babylon accountable for the blood of those whose death she has decreed but whom she is prevented from slaying. Babylon is utterly intoxicated with her past success at persecuting the saints (Daniel 7:25; Matthew 24:21; Revelation 6:9-11; 18:24) and with the prospect that soon she will have the satisfaction of completing the gory task.
John sees this woman and he can't understand what he is seeing, he can't understand how this woman, who represents the church, could be and do all of these things. We need to understand exactly who this woman represents, and we don't have to be in doubt. God has not put us in a place where we can't understand this piece of the puzzle.
There are four identifying points that will reveal clearly who this woman is and that will allow this piece of the puzzle to fit perfectly into its place.
1. It has to be a world power
2. It leads the world astray from God's word
3. It is a persecuting power
4. It is a union of church and state
This woman who represents a church, a spiritual power, is sitting on a beast, which represents a civil power. The woman riding the beast means that the woman controls the beast. Just as a rider controls the horse they are riding, so this woman controls the beast she is riding, in other words this spiritual power is in control of the civil power that she is in union with, she has taken over state power, and this represents the uniting of church and state.
So these four points identify clearly for us exactly who this woman represents, we don't have to be in doubt about it, it's clear from God's word.
Now that we have identified the woman who sits on the scarlet coloured beast, we next need to identify who the beast itself represents. Well, let's see that the scriptures say about it.
Here are 3 frogs, and who do they represent?
The frogs represent demons, and these demons will go out into the world and will be performing signs and wonders, in other words they will be performing miracles.
So there are 3 powers here the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet. What are these? What do they represent? We've seen that the dragon is clearly portrayed in scripture as the power of Paganism. We've seen that the beast represents the Papacy, or Catholicism. And we've seen that the false prophet, pictured in Revelation 13 as the beast with two horns, represents Protestantism. And so we have coming out of these three powers frogs, which are the spirits of demons. And this means that Catholicism, Protestantism and Paganism have united and have gone out to gather the kings of the earth to bring them together to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, and they are controlling the civil powers of the world.
We can see this if we look at the following points:
1. "The great harlot who sits on many waters" (Revelation 17:2)
2. "saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast" (Revelation 17:3)
3. "seven mountains on which the woman sits" (Revelation 17:9)
This means that the kings of the earth have symbolically slept with this woman, they have symbolically had sexual relations with her, and through this relationship she has made the world drunk with the wine of her fornication. The world has accepted and believed what she is giving them and they are following her.
Now we'll take a look at the wine cup that the woman holds in her hand, as this represents Satan's deceptions regarding the scriptures.
How have the inhabitants of the earth been made drunk by the wine in the cup that this woman holds? What beliefs are there that Paganism, Catholicism and Protestantism can all agree on and believe?
1. Natural Immortality of the Soul
2. The Trinity
3. Sunday Sacredness
4. Eternal Torment
So this tells us that these three world powers, Paganism, Catholicism and Protestantism all come together and work together to produce what the scriptures refer to as Babylon, or confusion, a false system of worship.
Revelation 17:7 "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."
Now the angel proceeds to give to John a detailed explanation of the strange scene he is looking at. This explanation is very important to us as these things are happening in our worldright now before our very eyes.
Revelation 17:8 "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 names 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."
So here in vision John has been carried away into the wilderness, and we have a beast that was, is not, and yet is. Now in order for us to understand what John is seeing, we need to understand exactly where he is. Unless we understand where John is we won't understand his vision. So where is John? He's in the wilderness, in vision. So John is seeing this beast in the wilderness. You can't interpret this as John being on the island of Patmos. You can't look at this prophecy from our day, you have to look at it from where John is, and John is in the wilderness, and in the wilderness he sees this beast that was, is not and yet is.
Notice the words this beast "was" it was ruling during the 1260 years; but now at the time the vision is showing to John it is towards the end of the 1260 years. He is told it "is not". But he is told it will come back it will ascend out of the bottomless pit. Now we have heard the expression "bottomless pit" before in the prophecies; and what it means here is the depths of wickedness and sin of this world. Every time this expression is mentioned in prophecy it shows us that here is some new demonstration of Satan's power; some different form of wickedness than he has used before. We saw the "smoke out of the bottomless pit" which was a dark religion which arose in the deserts; we saw a beast from the bottomless pit arise to kill the two witnesses in the French revolution, which was a form of atheism, not before known in Europe; and now we see that this beast, when it comes again will arise from the bottomless pit. As wicked and cruel as it was before in the 1260 years, it will be worse and a slightly different form when it comes again.
Revelation 17:9 "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth."
Now this is the place in Revelation where many people start to get confused. It's interesting that the Bible would use the same phrase in both the 13th and 17th chapters of Revelation concerning understanding this.
This is important because many of the things in the 13th chapter apply to the 17th chapter. It is interesting to note that Rome is often referred to as the city on 7 hills or mountains. But also another meaning can be seen here as in prophecy - a "mountain" refers to a church or religious power and "seven" means complete or total. So this power sits on, or influences and tries to control all religious organizations. The city of Rome is also built on seven literal mountains or hills:
Revelation 17:10 "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."
These seven heads of the beast, and the seven kings are the same, they are state powers, remember a Beast in Bible prophecy equals State Powers. They represent all the powers Satan has used to fight against God and His truth and His faithful people throughout world history. So here Johns is saying this beast that has 7 heads.
Five have fallen, one is, and one is yet to come - that's seven. So let's identify these. The scriptures make it very clear who the seven heads of these beasts are. In Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 :
1. First we had Babylon, which fell to...
2. Medo-Persia, which fell to...
3. Greece, which fell to...
4. Pagan Rome, which fell to...
5. Papal Rome
If you have watched our videos on Daniel and Revelation you will see how the United States rose to power as the 6th head just as the 5th head, Papal Rome, went into captivity.
Now in the riddle John said there were seven kings; five have fallen, one is and the other is not yet come, and when it does come it will only be for a short time.
When we looked at Revelation 13, we had a beast coming up out of the sea, this beast also had seven heads and ten horns. It had the mouth of a lion, the feet of a bear and the body of a leopard. We saw that this beast was a composite of the beasts in Daniel 7. We identified that Pagan Rome handed over its power and seat to Papal Rome, and this then became the fifth head.
He (Papal Rome) was the one that "was", from 538 AD onwards, the little horn power, the Papacy. Then it was "not", because remember that Papal Rome was in power until it fell to Napoleon who took the Pope prisoner in 1798, which is when it received its "deadly wound" (Revelation 13:3). So it "was" from 538 to 1798, then it was "not" because it had fallen in 1798, it had been mortally wounded. And as this one falls he sees the one that "is", the United States, the beast that came up from the earth, rise to power. But he says one more is still to come.
Revelation 17:11 "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
Now we're back to the beast. Here John gives us all the pieces of the puzzle and we just have to put them in place to see exactly what it's talking about.
Now when the Bible talks about a beast, you'll find that different beasts represent different powers. In the books of Daniel and Revelation we find 7 beasts described.
So this is what has taken place. Five have fallen, one is and one was yet to come, and we today are living in the time of the last beast. There are no more to come. This is the last one. The next thing that will happen will be the coming of Jesus Christ.
So it's saying that this scarlet beast that was, is not and yet is, that beast is number eight. This is strange. He's not only number eight but he is of the seven. So there's no point in looking for this eighth beast in some place other than these seven.
There are eight points of identification that tell us exactly who this beast is.
1. It is of the seven. So this limits it it has to be one of those seven beasts that we find in Daniel and Revelation.
2. It "was". This means it had to exist in the past.
3. It "is not". There was a time in which this beast "was not" - it fell from power.
4. The beast "is himself also the eighth". After the time when it "was not", this beast returns to power.
5. It had to make war with the saints. It had to be a persecuting power, it had to persecute God's people.
6. It unites church and state.
7. It received a deadly wound. This is what caused it to become "is not" - to fall from power.
8. Its deadly wound was healed. The wound is healed when the beast returns to power. And when the deadly wound is healed then all the world wonders after the beast.
The scriptures identify clearly that this beast is Papal Rome. It says that it will return to the ascendency, and with the uniting of Paganism, Catholicism and Protestantism, you have what the scriptures refer to as Babylon. This is the woman that the scriptures portray as riding on this beast right down at the end of time.
Now there are other players involved that will enter in as we look at the 18th chapter of Revelation. Some of those players are the ten kings:
So it says that these kings are going to rule with the beast.
So this beast power will exist right down until the end of time, and ten kings are going to join the beast and give to it their power and authority.
Now the interesting thing about this is that it tells us in Revelation 13 that the two-horned beast, the beast which rose up from the earth, which we've learned represents the United States, will make an image to the first beast (Papal Rome).
So we have ten kings and we have the two-horned beast (the United States), and all these give their power and authority to the first beast (Papal Rome). Notice that these are civil powers, and the woman, which is Babylon, rules over them all.
Now we are going to look at the last part of Revelation 17 where it talks about the ten kings. These ten kings have a very definite part to play in the last days, and so it's very important that we understand who these ten kings are, what they're going to do and how it all fits together.
There are five different powers that we will look at. It's very important that we identify each of these powers and see how they are involved in the events of the last days.
The first of these powers that we will look at in particular in this study is the ten kings.
We've already looked at the power which the scriptures refer to as the Beast, and which we identified as Papal Rome, now we will be looking at the relationship of the ten kings to this beast power.
We also need to identify who is the Harlot, or Babylon. We need to understand the difference between Babylon and the Beast. And we need to understand the relationship between the Beast, the Harlot or Babylon, and the ten kings.
We also have the False Prophet, which the scriptures identify as apostate Protestantism in the United States. So we need to understand how the Beast and the False Prophet are involved.
Finally we will take a look at the Lamb, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, and how He is involved in all of this.
So let's start by taking a look at the ten kings and see what the scriptures have to tell us about them and who they represent.
Revelation 17:12 "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."
So this beast has ten horns and it says the ten horns are ten kings. These kings have not yet received a kingdom; they are not yet in power. If we take the "one hour" and interpret it prophetically where a day represents a year then that "one hour" would represent 15 literal days. The original Greek phrase "one hour" just represents a very short period of time, so either way its not long.
As we have studied we have seen these ten horns represent powers/nations; they have not received a kingdom as yet. In our Daniel and Revelation videos you will see that many have tried to bring the kingdoms under a one-world rule - Napoleon, Charlemagne, Hitler etc, but we are told here in verse 12 that these ten horns, these powers, will receive power for one hour with the beast, in other words they will all come together to unite in power for one hour, or a very short time, and when they do unite they will give their power to the beast the Papal System. This power, these ten horns, represent the European Union (EU).
The EU today is made up of over 25 countries; however, the original ten nations of the Western European Alliance have a separate status as full members, while those nations who joined subsequent to the original ten have only associate membership, or observer status.
It is most interesting that in the plans which the world leaders and powers have drawn up for the New World Order', they have the world divided up into exactly ten parts. The leaders designated for these ten regions will agree to let this Beast power rule, this Beast power with the woman on its back, this is the way they can best get the people under control by using state and religious power - but who is to rule it?
The last Pope will lead the world to believe that Rome is a good and moral power and so these 10 leaders will agree to give "their kingdom to the beast". Sadly they have forgotten how Rome used such power in the past when she had it and also that it is Rome's boast that she never changes. The Papacy supposedly gives the government of the UN moral authority, and the third player, the USA is what gives the financial and military power to this final government that leads the world to Armageddon.
It is very interesting to see the style of the EU building, along with the statue they have outside of a woman riding a beast. Also interesting is that the that the 2 Euro coin of Greece also shows a woman riding a beast.
One other interesting thing is that The Tower Building (named after the Tower of Babel) houses the Fifth Parliament of Europe. It is certainly a building of the Space Age.
The legislative amphitheater is arranged in a massive hemicircle and has 679 seats, each assigned to a particular lawmaker. For example, Seat 663 is assigned to Rep Souchet, 664 to Thomas-Mauro, 665 to Zizzner and 667 to Rep Cappato.
While these seats are allocated to Members, one seat remains unallocated and unoccupied. The number of that seat is 666. The relevant section of the seating-plan provided to each Member reads as follows:
The number ten is used many times in scripture to represent the concept of totality, we have the ten toes of the statue and the ten horns of the beast in the book of Daniel. So the ten kings simply represent a number of kings/rulers uniting and working together, and these ten kings receive power with the beast.
Revelation 17:13 "These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
When it says they are of one mind, it doesn't mean that they are going to come together and be one kingdom, it means that there will be a number of them that will work together for the same goal. When it says they give their power and authority to the beast, notice that they don't give it to the woman who is riding the beast, they give their power and authority to the beast itself (church and state).
When it says "until the words of God shall be fulfilled" it means that these ten kings will be involved right up until the end, right up until the coming of Christ.
Now there are many places in scripture where ten kings are mentioned:
Here we have a beast that has ten horns, and the scripture says that these ten horns are ten kings.
Here the dragon has ten horns, which the scripture says represent ten kings. This is repeated in Revelation 13 and 17. Note that in Revelation 12 and 13 the horns have crowns on them depicting rulers of those kingdoms, but when we get to Revelation 17 there are no crowns on the horns showing that there is not a single sovereign that reigns here.
Scripture makes it very clear that these ten kings had to exist in Western Europe, and they were comprised of the Germanic tribes that came down and overran the Roman Empire, and they were such kingdoms as the Anglo-Saxons, the Franks, the Heruli, the Vandals, the Ostrogoths etc. This is very important because these barbarian tribes became the nations of western Europe, such countries as Germany, Italy, France and England. The Anglo-Saxons became the English, the Franks became the French etc. So, when it talks about ten kings, it's talking about these kingdoms or nations in Western Europe. And it is these ten kings that will play a major role in the last days.
Back in 1991, the Common Market, known today as the European Union, was just forming, and even though it was just forming the London Telegraph came out with this statement:
In other words it's saying that these ten kings will make up an empire which will be very much involved with the Pope. These ten kings will give their authority to the beast.
This means that these nations are going to come together and work together.
In the United States, 200 years ago, it was decided that all of the separate states would work together. But this was not the case in Europe. When all of these separate countries decided to come together as a European Union it caused major problems. One of the biggest problems is that these countries all speak different languages. Another big problem is that these countries used different systems of weights and measurements. Yet another big problem is money all these countries used different currencies. All these are major problems that had to be worked out. But today you can drive across England, France and Germany and all through Europe and it seems to be working. They are of one mind, working together.
The poster for the European Union shows stars representing the nations that comprise the Union, and it has the slogan "EUROPE: MANY TONGUES, ONE VOICE" meaning that they are of one mind, working together. It's interesting to note the tower of Babel is also on their poster.
This is the headquarters of the European Union, this is where the ten kings are all involved. Outside the parliament building is a statue of a woman riding on a beast; this is the symbol that is used to represent the Union.
So we must understand that today the European Union is a major power in the world, because the nations of Europe have the largest combined army in the world. The Euro currency is as powerful as the US Dollar, in fact there are some countries who say that they should stop taking the Dollar and take the Euro instead. So these nations of Europe are a major power in the world today these are the ten kings.
The ten kings give their power and authority to the beast.
We have learned that this beast power represents Papal Rome, we saw clearly the eight points of identification. So what is the relationship between the beast and the ten kings?
Is there anything happening today which shows that things are going this way, that this is beginning to happen?
The Papacy very much has a hand in what is going on. So there are movements happening in the world today which show that the ten kings are preparing to give their power and authority to the beast.
We need to understand the political background in order to understand what's happening here. This map shows the religions of the nations of Europe.
Those in blue, which are the majority, are Roman Catholic. Those in purple, which are mostly in the north, are Protestant. Those in red are Eastern Orthodox. Those in green are Muslim.
The following statement was made by Charles Malik, who was the ambassador to the United States, he taught at Harvard, and he was very much involved in the United Nations and what went on there.
He is saying that the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church need to unite, because the Eastern Orthodox church controls western Europe, and if they don't unite then Islam will be free to march across Europe.
And we find changes taking place in the world today that are beginning to open the door for this uniting to take place.
It's important to understand that when we talk about Babylon we're talking about a system, a religious system, and it's not just one religion, it's a uniting of several religions, and that's the reason it's called Babylon, because it's confusion.
As we saw in our last study, when a woman is sitting on a beast, that means she controls the beast.
So the woman riding the beast is the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.
This woman is not in harmony with the scriptures, she is in opposition to the scriptures and to God. But just because she is in opposition doesn't mean that she isn't religious you can be religious and yet be in opposition to God and His word. This woman certainly is religious, she's a spiritual power, but she's not in harmony with the word of God.
Revelation 17:14 "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 unanimous consent of the nations is achieved through the agency of the three evil spirits that we have looked at; The Dragon - The Beaset and the False Prophet. Now that probation has closed, God permits a worldwide religio-political union whose objective is the annihilation of His people. Such a plan He has held in check ever since the days of Babel (Genesis 11:4-8; Daniel 2:43; Revelation 14:8), but now He withdraws His restraining hand (Revelation 17:17; 2 Chronicles 18:18).
Under the leadership of the Beast, the final stage of the age long warfare against Christ and His people now begins. This stage of the conflict termed "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:16).
God's faithful people who have suffered so long at the hands of their enemies (Revelation 6:9-11; 12:13-17; 13:7, 15) are delivered when He who is "Lord of lords, and King of kings" lays bare His mighty arm and comes forth to champion their cause. Christ intervenes at the moment the forces of evil launch their attack on the saints at the opening of the seventh plague.
The title "Lord of lords, and Kings of kings" is used in Scripture of Christ as He returns to earth to vanquish the hosts of evil and to deliver His loyal people (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 1:5; 17:14).
Revelation 17:15 "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."
If she's sitting on the waters that means she is controlling them, she's controlling the peoples and nations.
Revelation 17:16 "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."
So these ten horns have given the woman their power and authority, and now the scripture says they turn against her and hate her and burn her with fire. So these ten kings are going to have a total change of mind and attitude toward the woman.
Revelation 17:17-18 "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. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
When the scriptures talk about the great city, Babylon, that's the same as the woman, there's no difference between the woman and the city, it's still Babylon, and so the woman is that great city.
Literal Babylon was the "great city" of ancient times. From the days of Babel the city of Babylon has been representative of organized opposition to the purposes of God on earth (Genesis 11:4-6; Revelation 14:8). A city is a highly organized and integrated association of human beings. Hence how appropriate is "Babylon the great" as a prophetic symbol for the organized, universal apostate religious organization.
So here we have three powers; the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, and out of their mouths are going frogs that are demons that are deceiving the whole world.
So the city, which is Babylon, which is a spiritual power not a political power (because a civil power is always referred to as "he", but a spiritual power is always referred to as "she") is divided into three parts, and the reason it's in three parts is because we have the dragon (Paganism), the beast (Catholicism, the Papacy) and the false prophet (Protestantism), those are the three parts. Protestantism at one time was given the grace of God and preached the word of God, but in the last days has given this up and it no longer stands for what its pioneers stood and fought for.
What has happened is that this woman has assumed civil power, that's why the scripture says she's riding the beast, or sitting on the waters, or she's the great city, it's saying that she as a spiritual power has assumed civil power. But notice that the ten kings did not give their power and authority to the woman; they gave them to the beast. You see a religious power has never had civil power, they have always had to use a civil power to achieve their ends, and down through history it has always been the case that if a church achieved control then they used civil power to carry out their operations. And we find that even the Papal power uses civil power to accomplish its purposes.
Babylon falls because she has not done what she promised she would do, and when the kings find themselves deceived, they turn against her, hate her and burn her with fire because all the things that she promised have not happened. She ruled over the nations but here rule has come to an end.
Now water represents peoples and nations. In ancient Babylon, the river Euphrates flowed right through the city. And we found that Cyrus took his army and diverted the Euphrates river into canals and they dried up the river so that they could get inside the city. So it says here that in the last days, the waters will be dried up, in other words all the opposition to God and His kingdom will be dried up. And when it talks about the kings of the east, it's referring to the coming of Christ. So the river is dried up in preparation for the coming of Christ.
Why would the scriptures use the word "kings", meaning more than one, concerning the coming of Christ? Simply because God's people, you and I, are kings.
We have the ten kings giving their power and authority to the beast, and now we have this power, the false prophet, giving its power and authority to the beast.
The false prophet is given great power to perform signs. And how will it use that power?
So this false prophet has been able to deceive the world - to deceive the world into doing something.
The false prophet is going to make an image to the beast.
So this false prophet has performed great signs, the people have turned to him, believing, and he has told them that they need to make an image to the beast. The woman is riding the beast, which means that you have unification of church and state, and so to make an image to the beast, the image has to be like the beast, and so you have to have union of church and state, and it says that the false prophet is the one that will give impetus to this, to bring it about.
So it's telling us clearly that the United States will be foremost in bringing together this union of church and state. Is there any evidence that things are going this way today? Well in the US supreme court there are nine justices. Presently six out of those nine are Roman Catholic, and three are Jews, sadly there is not a Protestant among the whole group. This group has enormous power, they literally hold the power of life and death.
So we find that one after another things are happening, so that step by step we are moving closer and closer to this whole thing coming together in the time in which we are living today.
The word "speak" means "legislation", and the word "cause" means "enforcement". So it's telling us that the image of the beast will be legislated and enforced, this is how the image is going to be set up, it says that the false prophet will give life to the beast, meaning that it will be legislated and enforced, that it will actually happen.
So you and I, as time goes by, can watch more and more the encroachment of church into political power, which we see more and more of this happening in our day.
These ten kings, the beast and the false prophet, will make war with the Lamb. What does this mean? It doesn't mean that they will make physical war. It means that they will teach things that are in opposition to what God teaches. When it says they will make war with the Lamb, it means they are drunk with the wine of Babylon and so they will teach things that are contrary to the word of God. These teachings may sound perfectly logical, but if it does not agree with the word of God then it is not truth. So they are in opposition to the Lamb and are fighting against Him, but He will overcome them.
So Christ will overcome them and will set up His kingdom and will reign forever.
God is going to come to this earth and live with us, He will move His throne from heaven to the earth. Astronomers are continually discovering that the universe is so much bigger than was previously thought, and of all the millions of worlds in the universe, God is going to come and live here on earth with us, His people who He loved and gave His life for. Amen.