Revelation 17:12-18

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Rev 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.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 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.
Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Rev 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.
Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Introduction

It is important that we remember that this revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ within each of us. That revelation necessitates that we look behind ourselves and see how this revelation has taken place upon us as the ‘earth’ which we are as “vessels of clay” (Jer 22:29), and within us as it transforms the heavens of our hearts and minds (Heb 9:23-24).

Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Christ in not addressing inanimate stars and planets. He is speaking to His heavens and His earth within us. “The heavens themselves” of Heb 9:23-24. He was speaking to the sad and wicked spiritual state of the seven churches within “He that hath an ear” (Rev 2:7, 11 and all seven churches).

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

We must constantly remind ourselves that these seven churches are each of us, who are told seven times to “hear what the spirit says to the churches.”

Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

With this perspective, let’s get into our study, where we will find that this beast and the waters on which this harlot sits are both one and the same, and they are both the symbols of the sad state of “the seven churches of Asia” within each of us.

Rev 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.

This ten horned beast with seven heads is the mature revelation of “the first Adam” within us and is first revealed to us as the fourth beast of Daniel seven.

Dan 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

“The ten horns… receive power… with the beast”. They receive power with the beast because they are part of this beast. When we pay close attention to the wording of scripture and we add together the information we are given, it becomes so clear that there are many symbols for the same thing in scripture. The story of Joseph reveals to us this principle.

Gen 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

In reality Pharaoh had two separate dreams. One concerned cows, and the second dream concerned ears of corn. But both symbolized the same thing. Both were symbols of the famine that was to bring all the world to the feet of Joseph, as a type of the Christ. That principle of “the dream is one” is carried throughout the scriptures, and it is again in play here in the symbolism of this scarlet colored beast with ten horns and ridden by a harlot.
Last week we saw that the angel revealed to John the mystery of the woman and the beast that carried her, and we saw that “the dream is one” and the woman is simply a symbol of our apostate, whorish, religious experience as the beast we are (Ecc 3:18). The beast and the woman who rides on the beast are one.
In like manner these ten horns are not separate from this beast, they too, are part and parcel of this beast and are merely the symbols of his power. They are ten in number because the number ten, symbolizes the perfection of the flesh of our first Adamic nature which worships this fleshly beast.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Are God’s elect an exception to this “law of sin in their members”? Absolutely not! We all worship ourselves by nature.

Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

The beast is given to “overcome… the saints”. These “kindreds, and tongues, and nations” of this verse of Rev 13:7 over which this beast is given power are the same “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” upon which we are told this great harlot sits, here in Rev 17.

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

But wait just one minute. Were we not just told that this harlot was sitting on a scarlet colored beast? Yes, indeed. That is exactly what we were told. Once again “the dream is one”, and these waters are this beast on which this great harlot sits.

Rev 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.

So what is this woman sitting upon, and who is this woman who sits upon this beast; Or is it waters she is sitting on???
These “kindreds, tongues, and nations” of Rev 13:7, and the “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” or Rev 17:15, are all to be found within one beast, which is destined to become God’s elect with, “ears to hear” (Rev 2:7), and are being ruled over by the harlot we all are at our appointed time, and the inward nations and principalities will all be destroyed by “the brightness of [ our Lord at] His coming.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [ this beast with the names of blasphemy upon him] be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let [ withhold], until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Once again, the only way any of this will ever make any sense at all is to remember that John is “in the spirit” (Rev 1:10), and “in the spirit… the dream is one” (Gen 41:25). These horns are an integral part of this beast, just as are the horns of any beast. So long as they are upon the beast, they are the beast. But they are the symbol of his power just as any great bull, whether a cow or a moose is empowered by having his horns.

Amo 6:13 Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?

Take away a bull’s horns, and a female cow with horns will become his superior. It is in the strength of these “ten horns”, that the strength of our flesh is made manifest, and it is in the strength of these ten horns that we must all “make war with the Lamb”.

Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 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.

In Rev 13 we were told “the beast makes war with the saints and overcomes them”, but here in Rev 17, we are told that the Lamb and those who are with Him” overcome the ten horns of our beast. How is that possible? Are these contradictory statements? Or are both possible simply because God’s word “is, was, and will be”, and therefore is always True?

Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

“My words will not pass away”. What does that mean, and how is it possible for the saints to be overcome by the beast in Rev 13, while the beast is overcome by the Lamb and those who are with Him in Rev 17?
Let’s use a common, every day event to demonstrate how the beast can overcome the saints, and later be overcome by the saints.
If I were to tell you that I was going to go to the town of Buford, Georgia, just 12 miles south of my home, today, and then someone told you that they had seen me in Gainesville, Georgia, a larger town about 12 miles north of my house, that same day, would that make me a liar? How utterly absurd! Of course not. I could very easily have been in Buford that morning, and have been spotted in Gainesville later that afternoon, and both would have been true. So it is with the beast conquering all men. “All men, small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” are first conquered and overcome by the beast, before they can then be overcome by the Lamb. Another way of saying this is “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” in “the first Adam”, before they will all be made alive in Christ, “the last Adam”.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him [ the first Adam, the beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations [ the waters on which the harlot sits, our flesh]

So we are told what is the interpretation of these “kindred tongues and nations” on which the harlot sits.

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Again, “the dream is one”, and the symbols of this vision are one. These waters are the “people, and multitude, and nations, and tongues of the “two hundred thousand, thousand” false doctrines which ascend up out of the bottomless pit within us to darken our Sun and our air, and keep us in the darkness which is our false Babylonian doctrines. These waters are this beast on which the woman sits, and over whom she rules with “the bondage of the elements of this world.” These waters and these peoples are all within us submitting to the teachings and doctrines of this great harlot until the appointed time when the beasts we are will rebel against the strength and influence of this harlot. Whenever this woman within us comes into conflict with this beast within us, the brute beast we are will always win that battle, and will hate the hypocrisy of the harlot we also are.

Rev 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.
Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

We are all ruled by this great apostate woman before we are granted to throw off her seductive ways and doctrines. But as “newborn babes” we are Christ’s disciples, but we “are yet carnal”, and we will all “hate the whore”, and we will want to “make her desolate and burn her with [ the] fire” of the words of our Lord. We do this as zealous “carnal… babes in Christ”, and in doing so we are “fulfilling the words of our God”, which have prophesied this harlot’s destruction.

Luk 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
Luk 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luk 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

We are the ‘earth’.

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

This woman is within us as the very “powers and principalities” and as “the rulers of darkness of this world” and as the “kings of the earth” of these verses.

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [ Greek, the heavens].

These “principalities and powers” against which we wrestle are “the kings of the earth” over whom this woman rules.
Here again, “the dream is one” and “That great city” here in Rev 17: 18 is also “the city wherein our Lord was crucified” within each of us. “That great city… is the woman you saw”, with all of her falsehoods and false doctrines, and “that great city” the power of the work of this woman within us, which causes us all to be guilty of the blood of our own Savior.

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city [ the woman who rides upon our beast], which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
Rev 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations [ the “waters… and the beast” upon which the woman sits] shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

We as God’s own people, are in our own time “spiritually called Sodom and Egypt”. That is exactly what our Lord calls His own people in Isa 1.

Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Still speaking to “My people”, our Lord continues His lament:

Isa 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of [ spiritual] Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of [ spiritual] Gomorrah.

Now he tells us who this “great whore” of Rev 17 is.

Isa 1:21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

This is what we see as we “look behind us to see the voice that speaks to us” and shows us all this “great and marvelous… revelation of Jesus Christ” within us all. This is all each of us, as the murderers of those the Lord sent to us as Jesus Christ. It is we who He must be slain within. We dare not blame it on anyone else, or our part in the things written therein will be removed from the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Luk 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Rev 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Rev 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Again, “the dream is one”, and Babylon and Jerusalem are both the symbols of us as Christ’s own people who receive from Him many blessings but cannot hear His words or accept His doctrines.

Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

The destruction of this great city within us is the loss of our lives, and it is in “that great city Babylon being thrown down” and destroyed within us that we are given life.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

May our Lord grant that we are all given to “lose our lives for His sake that we may all find our lives”.
Next week, Lord willing, we will begin to see how our Lord is going about His work of destroying “that great city” within each of us, and bring His people out of great Babylon, with all of the evil spirits of false doctrines which occupy that great city.

Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

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