Summary: Study of Chapter 17 of John's Revelation

“Revealing the Revelation”

Chapter 17 – “The Prostitute”

March 7, 2010

Revelation Chapter 17

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."

Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead:


I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

"The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."

Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."

Last week our study in John’s Revelation took us to the seven angels who poured out their seven bowls of God’s wrath on the world. But it wasn’t really on the whole world. God’s wrath was poured out on those who took the mark of the beast and on the throne of the beast and on those who would not turn to Him. I believed God loves His creation so much that He is giving them every chance to turn to Him. His love compels Him to try every avenue to make them change their ways. Someone said it wasn’t nails that kept Jesus on the cross – it was love. I think that it is not so much God’s justice, though it is in part, that is the cause of these bowls of wrath – I think it is love. Sometimes if things get so bad – we will repent and turn to God. But the sad commentary, over and over, was “STILL they would not repent!”

Now, I know some of you have a hard time thinking about these things. The wrath of God and the terrible things that are going to happen, possibly in our future, are pretty scary – but I want to remind you when we started this study we read in the first chapter,

“Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3

God has been blessing us, hasn’t He? And we need to know and take to heart what we are learning – because the time IS near. We don’t want to be caught unaware. The man or woman of God needs to be knowledgeable of the Word of God.

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