Revelation 17:1-6

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Rev 17:1 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:
Rev 17:2 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.
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.
Rev 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:
Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 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, wondered with great admiration.

Introduction

As we saw in our previous studies, all of these seals, trumpets and plagues occur within us for the purpose of dragging us out of darkness and into the light of Christ. It all happens while we are yet in darkness and in the clutches of Babylon the Great. Those seven last plagues fill up the wrath of God, for the purpose of doing what nothing to this time in our lives has accomplished. That is why they are said to be “great and marvelous”.

Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

The seventh plague is the sum of all that fills up God’s wrath against the sins that still hold us within Babylon. Here is how that plague is described. Here is what must happen in the lives of all who will be dragged out of Babylon and ripped away from all that this world has to offer in the attempts of the adversary to keep his king, the beast within us all, upon Christ’s throne, the throne of our heats.

Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [ every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Wait just one minute! Weren’t we told that these seven last plagues “fill up the wrath of God”?

Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
Psa 9:1 <To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.> I will praise [ thee], O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

Yes, there it is, but the fact that it is the seventh plague which “gives to Babylon the wine of the fierceness of God’s wrath” explains to us that these next two chapters are nothing less than the details of what takes place within us as these plagues are being poured out upon us while we are still in the clutches of the darkness of Babylon, all the while thinking of ourselves in these terms:

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

It is while we are in this complacent, Laodicean mindset that we are in reality enmeshed and submerged in our most tenacious darkness. We have “works, and labour, and patience, and we have not put up with them which are evil: and we have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and we have found them liars: We have borne, and had patience, and for Christ’s name’s sake we have labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless we have all left our first love (Rev 3:1-4).
At this point we all cry out, ‘My Lord, what more do you want of me? How have I “left my first love”? What more is there of this world that I must give up?’
We are completely unaware that it is even possible to have accomplished all of what is listed here in Rev 2 and 3 and still come to a spiritual place where we are in reality “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”. How is that possible? It is possible, because we have “become entangled again with the yoke of bondage”, we have left our first love, we have become lukewarm, and we deny that it is even so.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

So here we are in this 17th chapter, where all of the shortcomings of the seven churches are about to be judged within and burned out of us. In other words chapters 17 and 18 are simply the fulfilling of the plagues of chapter 16. That is why we are told:

Rev 17:1 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:
Rev 17:2 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.

So something has to take place which will shake us up to such a degree as to bring us to realize that there is something which has not yet been burned out of us. There is something which has blinded us from seeing ourselves as “carnal… babes in Christ”, a spiritual state, which simply does not yet permit us to receive the strong meat of God’s Word. There is something still within us which resents even being told that we are “weak in the faith”, still “in need of milk and herbs, and not strong meat”. We are “drunk with the wine of her fornication, and we can’t even recognize the alcoholics we have become. There is still more to be accomplished in us, even after so very much has been done. Remember, this entire prophecy is addressed to the “seven churches which are in Asia”. These seven churches, with all their shortcomings, are Babylon the great with which we are now dealing in this 17th chapter. These are not two separate churches. The seven churches of Rev 2-3 are the complete church, with all of its strengths, as well as all of its faults and shortcomings, and the “great city” and “great harlot” of Rev 17-18 is that very same church. Satan’s throne in the church in Pergamos is the same as “the throne of the beast” in Rev 16. The beast is given his throne by the great red dragon. When we are bowing down to and worshiping the beast, we are also bowing to and worshiping the dragon who gives the beast his power and his throne and his great authority.

Rev 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat [ Greek, throne] is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
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?

So the seven churches are one and all “Babylon the Great”, and her candlestick will be removed. But this is ” Mystery Babylon the Great”. She is not easily detected by the world within us, and to make certain Babylon is not too soon detected within us, she performs “many wonderful works”, and we are even told that she is filled with “gold, silver and precious stones”, which are the very symbols of the materials with which we are to build upon Christ, in 1Co 3. So we do not see the depth of her tentacles within our way of life, until it is “revealed by fire”.

1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

It is while we are still in Babylon that we begin building with the proper materials, but until we become wholehearted in our walk, we are really doing nothing more than adding to the gold, silver and precious stones in Babylon, and we are simply adding to her great accomplishments up to this point.

Jer 3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.
Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

It is “strife and divisions” stemming from the inability to receive the strong meat of God’s word, which attempts to obstruct the body from remaining “of one mind, and of one spirit”. Doctrinal divisions and denominations are symptoms of a carnal mind, and are not the fruit of searching for God with a whole heart. “For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”

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 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

Now let’s look at the first example of this “gold, silver and precious stones” which are to be found in such great abundance in Babylon, as it is described in the first of the seven churches mentioned in Rev 2.

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

So we all produce many wonderful works; we labor hard in the Lord’s service; we develop patience, and we refuse to put up with those who are evil in our midst. We have even tried those who say they are sent by God, and we have found out that they are not sent by God, but are in reality just liars who deny the Truth of God’s Word. Our patience is twice noted, our labors in the service of our Lord is twice noted and we are commended for “not fainting”. In the face of all of these “many wonderful works”, we are still told that we are guilty of “leaving our first Love”. In spite of all that has already been accomplished, we have not yet been granted to follow Him in everything and to go everywhere he goes. We are warned that if we do not repent, our candlestick will be removed.
Let’s compare the description of all of what is taking place in the seven churches in Revelation two and three, with the last three vials of Rev 16, which fill up the wrath of God on the darkness that is still in us even after we have come so far.

Rev 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat [ Greek, throne] of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
Rev 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Rev 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Rev 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

This seventh last vial, which fills up the wrath of God upon our ungodliness and unrighteousness, is the judgment of those influences of “great Babylon” which even at this late date, still afflict us. We have seen the scriptural meaning of ‘darkness’. We know that great Babylon carried away God’s people, and she is a spiritual harlot who is nourished by the spiritual “waters of the Euphrates river”, which we are told are “being dried up”. There is no difference between the “drying up” of the waters which nourish Babylon and “the great hail stones which sweep away the refuge of the lies” of Babylon. Both are instruments of Babylons exposure and her judgment and destruction within us.

Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

We are plainly told that the frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet, are all false, evil, lying spirits, and we know that “Christ’s words are spirit” (Joh 6:63), and we know that these spirits coming out of the mouths of the dragon, beast and false prophet are false words and false doctrines which gather all the kings in our earth to “the day of the battle of the great day of God Almighty”. Finally, we know that “the battle of the great day of God Almighty, the great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon our earth, the dividing of that great city Babylon within us and the great hailstorm within us; are one and all the “great and marvelous” work of God which work wipes away all the lies of Babylon which to this time have held us in their bondage.
This is how she is described to us:

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.

This “In the spirit into the wilderness” is where our own Savior fought with the beasts of His own flesh, which would have Him deny His own linage, His own calling and His own inheritance, to avoid having to give up all that is in this world and become the savior of us all.

Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying [ to Christ], Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mar 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

This scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy having seven heads and ten horns is the exact same beast we came to know in our studies of Rev 13:

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The only added detail here in Rev 17 is the fact that we, like our father the devil and Satan, are “scarlet colored”.

Rev 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Like our spiritual father at this time we too, have seven heads and ten horns.

Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Rev 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:

Babylon seems so very innocuous. In fact she appears as a downright righteous woman who is decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. She is very generous and is filled with many wonderful works towards her fellow man. But that is her greatest fault. Babylon is a harlot whose greatest joy is to please men, and not her true and ultimate husband, our Lord. She “has a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication”. It is enough to deceive and seduce us all at our appointed time. She is much too subtle for any man to resist by himself or by his own wisdom. It requires knowing the word of God, and trying the spirits of Babylon to see her as she is here described:

Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead [ was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 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.

The blood of Jesus, and the blood of the saints is what causes the drunken stupor of the harlot we all are. These words are “written therein” and are kept by us all in our own time. We do not martyr Christians as the apostle Paul martyred Stephen. Our drunkenness on their blood is detected in the hatred we have for the doctrines of Christ, and our hatred for the example He has left us to follow.

1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Christ tells us that His blood is “My blood of the New Testament.” The New Covenant is the Words of Christ. If we hate Christ’s Words, then we hate the words which tell us of the example He has set for us to follow, and if we hate those words we run the risk of hating those who bring us His Words. As a matter of fact, we are told that when we reject those who come to us with the words of Christ, we are rejecting Christ himself:

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Mat 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Joh 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” When we are given to follow Christ, we are given to follow Him wherever He goes. Those who seek to know God and His Son with their “whole heart”, always ask ‘What did Jesus do” in each and every situation encountered in any situation. The flesh asks ‘What is permissible?’ while the spirit inquires ‘What is commendable, what did Jesus do?’

Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Rev 14:4 These [144,000] are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [ being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Ask yourself where Christ went in every move of your life. When you are given to see His steps “follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes”, and you will never be ashamed, nor will you ever have the blood of His saints on your hands.
Next week, Lord willing, we will discover what is the origins and the fate of the beast within us when were look into the spiritual meaning of these words:

Rev 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.
Rev 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.
Rev 17:9 And here [ is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 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.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
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.

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