Revelation 17:7-18 The Meaning of the Woman and the Beast

Persecuted for preaching the gospel, around A.D. 95, John was exiled to Patmos, an island on the Aegean Sea where he received a revelation from an angel of Christ.

Previously, Christ spoke to John through a vision that included seven candlesticks which represent the seven churches in Asia; the Loveless Church at Ephesus, the Persecuted Church at Smyrna, the Compromising Church at Pergamos, the Corrupt Church at Thyatira, the Dead Church at Sardis, the Faithful Church at Philadelphia and the Lukewarm Church at Laodicea.

Then, in the vision, Jesus revealed to John the Throne Room of Heaven as well as a scroll, sealed with seven seals which only the Lamb of God was worthy to loosen. Before He open the scroll, the Lamb was praised by all the creatures on the earth and in Heaven, as well as countless angels.

When the first seal was loosen, John saw the anti-christ riding a white horse. Next, the second seal was opened and revealed a rider armed with a sword on a fiery red horse, which meant worldwide bloodshed and inhalation of epic magnitude. When the third seal was loosened, John saw a black horse holding a pair of scales that would bring scarcity on the whole earth. After the fourth seal was loosened, Jesus showed John devastating death that would inflict a quarter or the earth’s population. Then, when the fifth seal was opened, John saw and heard the souls of the Christian martyrs cry for deliverance as each one was sleeping until judgment day. The sixth seal revealed cosmic disturbances and devastation on the earth, as well as the number the children of Israel who would be spared by God to one hundred and forty four thousand. When the seventh seal was loosened, John saw seven angels of God standing before God, each one holding a trumpet. The apostle also witnessed another angel who covered the whole earth with the judgment of God, inflicting pain and suffering throughout the world.

When the first angel sounded his trumpet, hail and fire covered the world, where one third of the trees were burned up, indicating massive destruction through a form of judgments over the whole earth. Then, along with the second trumpet came great devastation as one third of the sea became blood, and one third of the creatures of the sea were killed. Also, a third of the ships in the sea were destroyed. When the third angel sounded his trumpet, God’s judgment came in the way of a star that fell upon the earth where it caused a third of the fresh water on the planet to be ruined. The fourth trumpet caused a third of the sun, followed by a third of the moon then a third of the stars to go dark. The fifth trumpet unleashed smoke and locusts from the bottomless pit, causing pain and suffering throughout the whole earth. When another angel sounded the sixth trumpet, four angels were released from the Euphrates to kill one third of mankind. Then, John saw a mighty angel come down from Heaven holding a open little book, but its content would remain secret as the apostle was commanded to eat the small scroll, which was the word of God. After this, John is called to measure the temple court, or the church, as those not counted as part of the family of Christ as well as two witnesses of God are sent on a 1260 year march around the New Jerusalem. After they concluded their mission, the two witnesses were killed and their dead bodies were left on display in a city that dwelled in sin and bondage. When three and a half years had passed, Yahweh brought His witnesses back to life which overcame many with fear and reverence. Following this miracle, John had a vision of the the Seventh Trumpet as the Kingdom of God is proclaimed. Next, the expansion of church of Christ is threatened by the enemy as fallen angels abandon the peace and joy found in Heaven, for war, pain and suffering among the army of Satan, who is cast from Heaven along with his soldiers. To avenge his exile from Heaven, Satan then focused his attacks on the church of Christ which survived the offensive as it found itself divinely protected from harm at the hands of evil. Next came the beast from the sea, a satanic, dragon like warrior appointed by Satan to seek and destroy those in Christ, and this demon was followed by a second beast that came out of the earth to fulfill Satan’s plan to destroy Christianity.

But, God revealed His plan for those surrendered to Him as a multitude of believers were spared from doom at the hands of the beasts. After a large number of saint were spared, the Lord’s judgment was cast once again on the earth where, once sin was overcome, the saints were praised as the King continued to be worshiped. After this, the earth’s harvest was reaped by the Son of Man, Jesus in the flesh. Following the harvest, another angel of God came from Heaven to reap the grapes of wrath, a harvest of souls under God’s judgment. Following the reaper, John saw seven angels getting ready to pour out seven bowls, each containing God’s wrath in some form.

When the first angel poured out his bowl, the wrath of God was spread upon all those who refused to believe, bringing grievous, painful, malignant ulcers to those who sided with the anti-Christ. The second angel followed by pouring out the content of his bowl on the sea, killing every creature in it. The third angel went out and poured the content of his vial upon the rivers and streams which were turned to blood. The fourth angel pour out the content of his bowl on the sun, and epic suffering followed on the earth as unbelievers were scorched with fire. The fifth angel poured out the content of his bowl on the throne of the evil beast, bringing pain and suffering upon those who refused to believe. God’s wrath upon the unrepented is so severe, each one gnawed at his tongue in agony and deep anguish. The sixth angel poured out the content of his bowl on the Euphrates river, allowing the wise men of the East to partake in the forthcoming battle against evil. The seventh angel poured out the content of his bowl, there came noises, thunder and lightning, followed by an epic earthquake that shook the whole earth like never before. The mighty quake was so severe, it split Jerusalem, the great city into three parts as all other cities of the world are destroyed, just as Babylon, the fallen kingdom. Next, John marveled as he witnessed the mother of harlots, the cult made of impenitent souls be cast into Hades where pain and agony rules over those hypocrites who chose idolatry over Christ.

“7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:7-8)

Now, the angel asks John why he is surprised at the harlot and the beast, seeing that both should be familiar to the apostle as each one already appeared in his vision. The beast, Satan who was slain and cast into Hell now returns as the impenitent worship and follow him.

“9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.” (Revelation 17:9-11)

The angel then explains the meaning of John’s vision. The beast had seven heads, which the angel describes as seven mountains. The woman, a worldwide infestation of sin ruled by seven kings, of whom most have come and gone but one, the antichrist is to come, to rule over the earth until the final battle is won by the mighty Hand of God.

“12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14)

Next, the angel describes the ten horns of the beast as ten kings, to rule over unbelievers for a short time, leading each one to sin, the gateway to Hades. These kings, under Satan’s authority will rage war against God’s army, but lose the final battle as the sword of the Lord is victorious.

“15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)

Lastly, the angel describes the waters in John’s vision as the impenitent of the earth, the unbelievers who are destined to burn in agony in this life and forever in the next as each one is destroyed by the beast, followed by a description of the woman, the sinful movement that flows throughout the whole earth. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through your revelation delivered by your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.

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