Revelation 17-18

17:1 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials. . . .”

[Revelation has revealed seven angels as a central part of the Lord’s high government in heaven:

They have “seven trumpets” which introduce each step of the outpouring of God’s wrath (Revelation 8:2 & 6)

They have “the seven last plagues” which is the wrath of God (15:1, 6, & 8)

They have “seven golden vials” which contain that wrath to pour out on the earth (15:7; 16:1; & 17:1))

“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:”

[COMPARE 17:1 with 21:9

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. . . .”

21:9 “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (For help concerning “bride” here, see Isaiah 62:1-5)


(A) When a friend of yours says, “Come here, I want to show you something.”, just go with him and pay attention: he wants to teach you something he thinks you should know.

(B) Both of these verses run exactly parallel in their tone and intent.

(C) The parts underlined are exactly identical.

(D) Both verses are the revealing to John by one of the seven angels of “a woman”! (See study on Revelation 12.)

(E) TWO mystical women are showcased in Revelation and each of them is SEEN as “a woman”.

i.) The first “woman” was shown first (in chapter 12, v. 1) and also last (in chapter 21, v. 9).

ii.) The other “woman”, revealed now ( in 17:3), was introduced in 14:8 and 16:19 as a “city”.

(F) Both women act like whores: (Compare with Peter and Judas, who both betrayed the Lord.)

i.) Ezekiel 16:41 “And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.”

[But Israel is the Lord’s “bride” and he will return unto her and glorify himself in her anyway.]

See: Isaiah 62:1-5 (and others)

ii.) Revelation 19:2 “. . . for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

(F) The Lord typifies both of these women through connection with a “city”.

i.) Isaiah 62:11-12 “Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

ii.) Revelation 17:18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” [Like they say, “All roads lead to Rome.”]

(G) There are exactly TWO earthly cities referred to in the book of Revelation: they are Jerusalem and Rome.

(H) Both of these cities are referred to by the term, “great city”.

i.) Revelation 11:8

ii.) Revelation 12:18

(I) The two earthly cities to which Revelation refers are the spiritual homes of the two women revealed in Revelation.

i.) Revelation 12:1,4,6,13,14,15,16,17 (JERUSALEM)!

Zechariah 1:17 “. . . the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”

Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

ii.) Revelation 17:9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (ROME)!

(J) The book of Revelation NEVER refers to either of these two “great” cities by their earthly names.

i.) 11:8 “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”

ii.) 17:5 “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

(K) Revelation is the revealing of the truth, from the God of Truth, to those who love the truth.

(The world calls “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS”, “the holy Roman Catholic church,” but God is not a liar:

this “whore” (1) is not “holy”, it is UNHOLY;

(Leviticus 10:10 “And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy. . . .”)

(2) it is not “the church” (and never was “the church”), it is “the whore” of Revelation.

(The movers and shakers of the world are by necessity POLITICIANS, and they must necessarily make peace with the world’s head politician, the “pope.” There is tremendous pressure (through religion, media, government, entertainment, etc.) to “genuflect” to “His Unholiness” as though he were God’s man on earth, when, in fact, he is Satan’s man on earth, that is, until Satan no longer needs him.)

v. 2 “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication . . .”

[There are TWO completely different (but similar) biblical ways to commit fornication:

(a) physically and

(As when Bill Clinton has his security police get him a bimbo.)

(b) spiritually.]

(As, when Bill Clinton, George Bush, or Hillary put on an a black suit and “obtain audience with the pope”!)

(Every American president in the last sixty years has had such an “audience.”)

“and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk . . .”

[There are TWO completely different (but similar) biblical ways to be made drunk:

(a) physically and

(As Lot’s daughters did to Lot in Genesis 19:32, with literal wine and literal fornication (and he didn’t flee from either.) [And so Israel was plagued forever with the Moabites and the Ammonites.])

(b) spiritually.]

(For example, like Delilah did to Samson in Judges 16.)

QUESTION: How did Delilah do it?

ANSWER: (1) She had something Samson wanted.

(2) She was giving Samson what he wanted but at a continually increasing price!

(3) She didn’t give up until she got what she wanted.

(4) Samson gave up.

[Nearly every “Protestant” minister in the last fifty years is drunken like that.] (They’re concerned that “you don’t get ahead in this world” by bad-mouthing the chief politician of the world.)

QUESTION: What does the head politician of the world have that “the kings of the earth” want?

ANSWER: Exactly what Satan offered the Lord in Matthew 4:8-10, but unlike the kings of the earth, the Lord would not “fall down and worship” Satan to get it.

[SAID ANOTHER WAY; verse 2 says, “The kings of the earth get in the sack with this whore, who in turn services them by making the people “drunk” so her cuckold kings keep their power, and she can live like a queen (at the expense of the poor drunk “inhabitants of the earth”). (It’s a gigantic scam!)]

“with the wine of her fornication.”

[This is SPIRITUAL “fornication”, the mixing and polluting of the things of God with the things of the world.]

v. 3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness . . .”

In Revelation 1:10, John was carried away in time.

In 4:2 John was transported to the throne room of the Lord in heaven.

It is no big thing to be carried “away in the spirit into the wilderness”.

“and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast . . .”

[a “beast” can be:

i.) a good thing (Revelation 4:7, etc.)

ii.) a bad thing (Revelation 11:7; 13:17; etc.)

iii.) or neutral (Exodus 11:7, etc.)

as well as being either

i.) a physical thing (Acts 28:5)

ii.) or a figurative representation

so we need to pay attention to see what kind of “beast” this is.]

“full of names of blasphemy . . .”

[And already we suspect what kind of beast this is: it’s in the “bad” category, and it is a “figure” (1st Peter 3:21).]

“having seven heads . . .”

see v.9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Rome!)

“and ten horns.” [This is not new to us.]

Daniel 7:7-24 “And the ten horns . . . are ten kings that shall arise. . . .”

v. 4 “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour . . .”

(These are the official colors of Roman Catholicism.)

“and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. . .”

QUESTION: What comes to my mind about a woman “decked with gold and precious stones and pearls”?

ANSWER: (1) She’s rich, concerning money. (She has more money than brains.)

(2) She’s poor, concerning good taste.

(3) She’s ungodly.

(4) She’s a hooker.

(5) She’s made her husband poor.

(6) She’s, no doubt, ripped somebody off.

(7) She’s inwardly ugly. (I think Tammy Fae Baker.)

“having a golden cup in her hand . . .”

QUESTION: What might come to mind symbolically about this woman having “a golden cup in her hand”?

(A) She’s toasting her own success at being the world’s greatest hooker.

(B) She’s offering a swig of her ill-gotten hootch to one of her ignorant victims.

(C) Jeremiah 51:7 “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.”

(The only other use of “a golden cup” in the bible.)

(D) All of the above.

“full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication . . .”

[This is how the Lord sees her works.]

v. 5 “And upon her forehead was a name written . . .”

(The name written upon her forehead is one name . . .)


(1) Her name is in all caps.

(Does this have anything to do with the global determination to do the same thing to our names?)

(2) This name is obviously not the name she would give herself, but clearly, rather, God gave her this name.

(The Lord is calling it like he sees it in Revelation: he’s not reporting a script regurgitating worldly opinion like the talking heads working for the media.)

(3) A name on your forehead is a name that cannot be missed. It’s as obvious as it gets.

(4) Her name is one name, but it has three parts: first , middle, and last.

(5) The parts to her name get progressively and more obviously worse as you move through them.

(i.) “MYSTERY” (Parents sometimes incline toward giving smooth sounding names for their daughters that evoke emotion, such as: Clarity, Brandy, Joy, Zena, Passion, Cool Drink of Water, etc.; so really “MYSTERY” is not so bad.) (By itself, “MYSTERY” is not necessarily evil or good.)

(ii.) “BABYLON THE GREAT” (This name is more ominous, but only if you’re a bible believer.)

(Some prominent parents name their daughters, “Babylonia”: to them it has a certain pizzaz.)

(iii.) “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (That’s just plain bad, period.)

(a.) The “mother” of something is greater than everything going before. (As in, “the mother of all wars”.)

(b) The “mother” of something produces offspring; and the daughters tend to be just like the mother.

Ezekiel 16:44 “Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.”

v. 6 “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus . . .”

[This is the summary description of two thousand years of horror through the Catholic inquisition while, and where, the whore was in absolute power, that is, “the dark ages”! (This is referred to in Catholic writings as “the golden years,” or by historians who are non-committal as “the middle ages.”)]

“and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”

(Genesis 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”)

[Why does the human race assume that because it looks good, it IS good? Even John the apostle falls for this.]

v. 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.”

v. 8 “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not . . .”

[Simply put, in other words: “lived previously, and now is dead.”]

“and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition . . .”

perdition, complete and irreparable loss or ruin (the general definition)

[In biblical usage, this is synonymous with being given up to reprobation and destruction. (a specific definition)

“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.”

[Simply put, in other words: “lived previously, and now is dead, and yet becomes alive again.”]

v. 9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

[The scripture now refers back to the passages that left us swimming for answers, and provides the interpretation.]

v. 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.”

v. 11 “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”

Who Is The Beast “that was, and is not, and yet is”? (There are several theories floating around!)

(1) Some people say the key word here is “perdition” and that the important use of it is the term, “the son of perdition”:

John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

2nd Thessalonians 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 be revealed, the son of perdition. . . .”

[This theory is somewhat compelling however there are drawbacks to it:

(a) It is possible that “the son of perdition” is not a title for a specific person but a term of contempt which could be applied to more than one such person.

(b) The “beast” is given to be one of seven kings (Revelation 17:10-11) before being killed, and it is not given in scripture that Judas Iscariot was ever a king.

(c) The “beast” was wounded “by a sword”, while Judas hanged himself and his bowels gushed out.

(2) Some people say the key concept for this beast is that he “is of the seven” “kings” (Revelation 17:10-11) and that he will be Caesar Nero (which is quite compelling in view of the historical Nero).

(3) I am persuaded that the rising of the beast will be obvious to born-again Christians, even without prior certain knowledge of exactly who he was formerly (which is not really necessary):

(a) The rising of the beast will be attended by many wondrous and Satanic signs which will deceive the world.

Revelation 13:13-15 “And [1] he doeth great wonders . . . and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles . . . and [2] cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

(b) The beast will be evil and his identity will be obvious because of his deeds.

Matthew 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

(c) His purpose and nature will be spiritually discerned in any case.

John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

(d) Regardless of who the beast was formerly, when he appears he could always lie and say he was resurrected from somebody else anyway; and how would you know or prove differently, except by the power of God? If the power of the Lord is with you, there’s no reason to worry about this issue at all?

v. 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.” [Thanks to the biblical definitions already provided, this is quite straight forward.]

(Matthew 26:40 “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”) [Clearly, that is, “even a short time?”]

v. 13 “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

(a) There is “power and strength” in having one mind. The Lord admonishes us to be so.

Romans 15:6 “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God. . . .”

2nd Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind. . . .”

Philippians 1:27 “. . . stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. . . .”

1st Peter 3:8 “Finally, be ye all of one mind. . . .”

(b) These kings “give their power and strength unto the beast” because they are deceived by him.

(Which we saw already in Revelation 13:13-15)

v. 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.”

v. 15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

v. 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.”

(“and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast . . .” – Revelation 17:3)

v. 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.”

v. 18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”


v.1 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”

v. 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.”

v. 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.”

v. 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.”

v. 5 “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

v. 6 “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.”

[This is the pronouncement of the judgement of God against the religion of this city and its citizenry; which occurs simultaneously with Revelation 17:16. For two thousand years this harlot spilled the blood of God’s saints by deceiving the kings of the earth (her lovers) into killing them, to fulfill her will; and now God does not destroy this whore himself, but deceives her lovers into killing her to fulfill his will! Tit for tat.]

v. 7 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”

v. 8 “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

[You realize that the plague of “famine” can “come in one day” but it will not be played out for days, weeks, months, or years!]

9 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10 “Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11 “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

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,

13 “And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14 “And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

15 “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16 “And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17 “For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

18 “And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

19 “And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

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.

22 “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

23 “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

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