Summary: Who is this Prostitute riding the beast from Hell? A close look at the Old Testament prophets reveals a surprising possibility! Who is this new bride of the Lamb? Is it not the church?
What do you think about weddings? Timothy was our first child to get married. When I performed the wedding for my son and his bride, weddings took on a whole new meaning to me. There I stood, a father joining his only son and his son’s beautiful bride in marriage. I knew it before, but at that time it all hit me. This lovely bride of my son is about to enter my family.
At the wedding, the father of the son becomes the new father of the bride. From this day forward, she wears my name, just as my son does.
When Tim and Stephanie made their promises and stated their vows and gave their rings, one of the greatest blessings about her was knowing that she was and is a faithful Christian, a young lady of great character and spiritual dedication. Twenty years of prayers that God would prepare a faithful Christian wife for my son were answered that day. And Stephanie took on my family name when she took the name of my son as his wife. She became part of our family. Her life now has the potential to bring either honor or dishonor our family name.
Woe to the man who marries a faithless woman that practices wickedness. She can never bring honor to the family or the name she receives. (In the same manner: Woe to the woman who takes the name of a faithless, wicked man. She and her children will pay a terrible price).
In this week’s lesson, Revelation describes a woman who is powerful because of her association with evil. She is powerful, she is comfortable, she is popular and at the center of much attention, decorated with jewels and wealth and filled with immorality. She also kills the saints and rides the beast of hell. She is the prostitute who gives herself to the rulers of the earth, and her wild living and party spirit knows no boundaries. Her life is filled with the cheap worldly thrills of wickedness. Whose wife is this harlot? Whose name does she bear? She is filled with adulteries. She is drunk from the blood of the saints. In her confidence she boasts and brags that she sits as queen and will never mourn. But God’s judgment comes and suddenly she falls, never to recover. Only her shame endures. The very evil that empowers her now devours her as her lovers and those that used her witness her doom and cry over their personal losses at her demise. God’s hand is clearly swift in bringing about her fall.
Then, in marked contrast to the cries of woe on earth, from above comes a shout of joy. A loud resounding, four-fold, “Hallelujah!” is shouted from a multitude of celebrating saints, the twenty-four elders, the four living creatures and all the servants of God both small and great. The wicked woman is fallen, gone. Now another woman rises before us. Who is this beautiful woman dressed as a bride? She has received her garments from God. Instead of wicked Babylon, she is the holy new Jerusalem!
Now the wedding announcement of the Lamb to His bride is declared. Jesus, the Son of God, takes a bride who has prepared herself in righteousness and splendor.
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!!!
May we be among the celebrating saints that gather in this glorious wedding feast!
Now listen as I read Revelation 17:1 through 19:10. (Read prayerfully and with intensity).
Listen to what God has said in the past about Israel and the danger of her becoming like this woman who rides the beast! Notice Jesus words in Luke 13:34-35 and Luke 21:20-24. Now listen to the Old Testament warnings.
"Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.
And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the LORD your God
and have no awe of me,"
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
20 "Long ago you broke off your yoke
and tore off your bonds;
you said, ’I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill
and under every spreading tree
you lay down as a prostitute.
21 I had planted you like a choice vine
of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
into a corrupt, wild vine?