Summary: This sermon deals with the harlot religion of chapter 17.

Islam’s War on the West

Revelation 17:1-6

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

2with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." 3So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

4The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

5And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS

OF THE EARTH.

6I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

Today we come to a chapter in Revelation that is much debated.

We will be introduced to the religion that is dominant

during the days of Tribulation.

In chapters 17 we get a description of the great harlot.

There is a very good reason.

We find that reason in chapter 18 verse 4.

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

We need to know who this harlot is!

Many preachers and Bible commentators

believe it will be the Roman Catholic Church.

I strongly disagree with many Roman Catholic practices.

However, I cannot go along with that interpretation.

The church we are reading about is described by John as a harlot.

So what church will that be?

That’s what I hope to show you today.

VERSE 1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,

One of the 7 angels who had the 7 bowls of God’s wrath

speaks to John.

The angel tells John

to come see the punishment of the great harlot.

In Scripture a woman is usually the symbol of God’s people.

In the Old Testament the woman represents Israel.

In the New Testament we are compared to the bride of Jesus.

Paul compares the relationship of husband and wife

to the relationship of the church and Jesus.

Christians are the bride of Christ.

In Revelation that image continues.

Revelation 19:7 says,

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

We also see the church compared to both a woman and a city.

Revelation 21:9-10

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

These references are to the true church.

However, when the people of God forsake Him

and choose to worship other gods,

they are compared to a harlot or prostitute.

A harlot is one who forsakes her true husband

and chases after other men.

She is unfaithful.

An excellent example of this is found in the book of Hosea.

Hosea’s wife was a woman named Gomer.

Her unfaithfulness to him is compared

to the unfaithfulness of God’s people Israel

who followed after other gods.

Ezekiel 16:22 offers another description of Israel as a harlot.

And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood.

Clearly God is saying Israel abandoned Him

and began worshipping false gods.

So the harlot represents a false religion.

She appears to be the church, but is not.

The harlot is a false religion that is about to be judged by God.

The religious system in Babylon came long before Christianity.

It was Satanic inspired.

We read about a man named Nimrod in Genesis chapter 10.

He was a great grandson of Noah.

The Babylonian religion was founded by the wife of Nimrod

Her name was Semiramis, a high priestess of idol worship.

She gave birth to a son

whom she claimed was conceived miraculously.

The son, named Tammuz, was considered a savior.

Many ancient artifacts remain

with the image of the mother Semiramis

holding the savior-infant Tammuz.

It was also said that Tammuz was killed by a wild beast

and then miraculously brought back to life.

Baal was the Canaanite name for the Babylonian Tammuz.

The Bible makes specific mention

of some of the features of the religion of Babylon.

The Israelites got involved in this false religion.

The prophet Ezekiel protests against worship of Tammuz.

Ezekiel 8:14 So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD'S house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.

The prophet Jeremiah mentions the heathen practice

of making cakes for the queen of heaven

and offering incense to the queen of heaven.

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.

Jeremiah 44:17-19

But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." 19 The women also said, "And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands' permission?"

Jeremiah 44:25 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, "We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her." You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!'

Clearly, false religion had drawn away many Israelites.

Look again at Verse 1.

Notice that it ends with the words “sits on many waters”

The prophet Jeremiah described Babylon

as a city that sits by many waters.

The city of Babylon was built on the banks of the Euphrates River.

It had a network of water canals.

However, the meaning of the many waters is found in verse 15

Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.

So “many waters” is a symbol meaning many people.

Her influence and presence is worldwide.

This false religion will be practiced worldwide by people.

VERSE 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."

The “kings of the earth” refers to

the world leaders in power during the 7 year of Tribulation.

They commit “fornication” with this great harlot.

The Bible consistently calls fornication a wrong relationship.

These world leaders cooperate with this false religion.

Religion and government work together.

Notice Verse 2 says “and the inhabitants of the earth”.

That means the people in the world get involved.

It says they are “drunk with the wine of her fornication”.

People who are drunk don’t think and act like they should.

Men who get drunk in bars often end up with a bad woman.

That seems to be what this false religion does.

VERSE 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Here the angel mentioned in Verse 1 leads John into a vision.

In the Spirit John sees more information about this woman.

The harlot rides the same beast previously seen in Revelation 13:1

who is none other than the Antichrist and his dictatorship.

Riding the beast indicates that she is supported by the Antichrist.

Notice the word “blasphemy” in Verse 3.

What does "blasphemy" mean?

It means great disrespect shown to God or to something holy.

It’s something said or done that is disrespectful to God.

We can only speculate what those names will be.

My guess is these 10 nation’s leaders will deny Jesus.

They proclaim that the Antichrist as the true god.

The Antichrist commits blasphemy by claiming to be god.

To the people of the earth he will look very religious.

The Antichrist described as a “scarlet beast”

refers to his bloody acts in gaining more and more power.

The “seven heads ” refers to the 7 previous kingdoms

that had taken the lead in oppressing God’s people Israel.

They are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Turkey,

Syria, Egypt, and Rome.

All of these kingdoms were absorbed into the Roman Empire.

They bullied the Jews throughout history.

At the end of history they will be united

into the single "beast" kingdom of Revelation 13 and 17.

The “10 horns” represent the 10 world powers

from which the Antichrist comes.

Again, we covered that all back in chapter 13.

VERSE 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.

The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet.

She wears jewelry glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.

Her appearance is impressive!

She gave them and told them what they wanted to hear

and these are her rewards.

However, there is a difference between her outward appearance

and her inner character.

She is not what she appears to be.

She holds a golden cup in her hand.

It is filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.

The cup was beautiful in appearance and promised excellent wine,

but it was full of repulsive corruption.

Abominable things are those that are detestable to God.

With the promise of wealth and luxury,

This religion entices men away from the worship of God.

VERSE 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

This woman has a title on her forehead: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT.

She is a mystery!

Who she really is, is unknown by most who see her.

Many will be deceived by her.

She also wears the name: “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

Not only is she a harlot who leads people away from God

and into idolatry worship,

but she is the mother of harlots.

She insisted that her daughters join her in this terrible thing.

VERSE 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

This false system of belief is responsible for the deaths

of every saint of God who has ever died

at the hands of false religion.

From the death of Abel in Genesis, to the murder of prophets,

to the early Christian martyrs like Stephen,

to the martyrs of the inquisition,

all the way to the millions of martyrs of the Tribulation;

every single death can be blamed on the Babylonian harlot.

She is responsible for the deaths of God’s children

and she will be judged for her blood thirsty ways!

We see it going on even today!

We hear about Christians being killed by radical Islamics.

CLOSING:

I close with three questions.

What religion is now growing worldwide at a fantastic rate?

What religion accepts parts of the Old Testament,

but rejects the message of the New Testament?

What religion calls for the killing of all people

who believe anything other than Islam?

That answer to all 3 questions is: Islam.

I believe the fantastic grow of Islam

is a sign that the beginning of 7 years of Tribulation is very near!

There are several other false religions in the world today.

I believe they all will eventually be swallowed up by Islam

as the Antichrist promotes it over all other faiths.

Every belief system in the world that does not center on Jesus

is a false system of belief and it is a false religion.

Jesus said, John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Jesus also said in John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”

Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Being a Christian has been easy for us,

but it isn’t that way for every Christian.

Oh, you might be teased and ridiculed for being a Christian,

but being put to death isn’t likely to happen now.

However, that will happen for those who accept Jesus

during those 7 awful years of Tribulation.

.

We can escape those terrible times by being saved today!

Do not be satisfied with anything less than believing on Jesus,

and Him alone, for your salvation!

Anything else is just religion.

Anything less than Jesus is a prescription for Hell.

One day God will judge and do away with false religion.

Be sure that you are in Jesus Christ!