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Notes on the Book of Revelation

Chapter 17

The False Church

Overview.

This chapter speaks about the three-fold system of spiritual Babylon which are also identified in Revelation 16:13 and Revelation 20:10, as the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. 

 

Everything that God has, Satan attempts to put in place a counterfeit. The Bible speaks about the Godhead or the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Revelation 13 we were introduced to all three powers that make up Satan’s counterfeit of the Godhead. The dragon of Revelation 13:2 is the devil/Satan which gave power to the first beast. The first beast of Revelation 13 is the papal system and the second beast of Revelation 13 is the United States which is also the false prophet. 

 

So Satan’s counterfeit of the Godhead is the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. But here in chapter 17 the three-fold system is identified by using different entities. The dragon is now the kings of the earth, the beast is now the harlot, and the false prophet is now daughters of the harlot.1 

 

This chapter also describes the false church (the great whore) which is in contrast to and is a counterfeit of the true church (the pure woman) described in Revelation 12. The pure woman is in heaven, clothed with the sun, has a crown of twelve stars, is attacked by the dragon, and is the mother of the remnant while in contrast the great whore is on the waters, clothed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, gems, pearls, is supported by the dragon, and is the mother of harlots.2

 

This chapter is connected to chapters 12 and 13 because all three chapters describe the beast with ‘seven heads and ten horns’. Here is a chart showing the similarities between the chapters. (Pastor Bohr, From the Close of Probation to the New Earth, Anchor 2021, video 8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 17 gives more detail on the sixth and seventh plagues, as sort of a repeat and enlarge concept. The vials are poured out in chapter 16, with each vial representing one of the plagues. The book of Revelation is not written in chronological order. See Annex A: Chiastic Chart for a better understanding. 

 

This chapter describes two great battles at the end of time, the war against God’s people (verse 14) and the battle between the beast and its followers (verse 16). 

Judgments of God.

Chapters 15-20 are primarily focused on the judgments of God. 

 

Chapter 15 introduces the plagues.

 

Chapter 16 explains the plagues. 

 

Chapter 17 describes the false church that will be judged.

 

Chapter 18 describes the fall of the false church (spiritual Babylon).

 

Chapter 19 describes judgment on the beast and the false prophet at the second coming of Jesus Christ

 

Chapter 20 describes judgment on all the wicked, Satan and his fallen angels. 

This chart is taken from Pastor Stephen Bohr's series called, "From the Close of Probation to the New Earth", which is a part of his Anchor School of Theology classes. The entire series can be found on the Secrets Unsealed app and YouTube channel.  

 

 

 

 

  • Revelation 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 show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

17V1: One of the seven angels = This is the sixth plague angel. The sixth plague deals with the Euphrates drying up and this verse deals with the whore sitting upon many waters (which is figuratively the Euphrates). The sixth plague is the support for the beast drying up or going away. Revelation 17:15 tells us the waters is peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues (languages). 

17V1-18: Describes the sixth and seventh plagues again with a focus on the religious and political perspective. Chapter 18:6-24 also covers the sixth and seventh plagues but with a focus on the political and economic perspective. 

17V1: John is still in vision and sees one of the seven angels mentioned in chapter 15 verse 1. Since chapter 17 occurs before chapter 16, then it makes sense that this chapter probably fits between chapters 15 and 16. 

 

17V1: Seven vials = Also translated as bowl or cup. These cups are filled with the wrath of God, Revelation 15:1; 14:10 (wrath of God = Cup of his indignation). 

 

17V1: The great whore = Which is the false church since a woman is used to represent a church. 2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

 

Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

 

Jeremiah 6:2 says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.”

 

To be more specific, this is the antichrist of end time events and is the papal system. This great whore has some of the same characteristics as the first beast of Revelation 13 which was identified as the papal system. For example, in this chapter, the great whore sits on many waters (a populated area, see Revelation 17:15) just as the first beast of chapter 13 came up out of the sea. Also, Chapter 17 describes a beast with seven heads and ten horns, just as described in chapter 13.  

 

17V1: Many waters = Populated area, see Revelation 17:15. 

 

Isaiah 17:12-13, “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”

 

17V1: Sitteth upon many waters = This indicates that the false church (RCC system) sits on or controls the kingdoms and nations of the earth as we can see in the next verse. In chapter 17, the beast’s deadly wound is fully healed, which means that she has united church and state and has regained her power over the nations of the earth. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:2, With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

 

17V2: Kings of the earth have committed fornication = These are those people, institutions, leaders, kings and governments that join with the false church to persecute God’s people and to gain riches, Revelation 17:13 (given their power and strength unto the beast); Revelation 18:2-3 (all nations and kings of the earth have committed fornication with her); Revelation 18:9 (kings of the earth committed fornication and lived deliciously with her); Revelation 18:15 (merchants made rich by her).

In chapter 16 you have a three-fold union of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13). In chapter 17 you have the same three-fold union but by different names, the kings of the earth, the mother and the harlots (verse 5). 

 

See the explanation in chapter 16, but the dragon represents Satan working through civil powers, here represented as kings of the earth.

 

The mother is the beast of revelation 13, which is the papal system. 

 

The harlots are the apostate protestant churches in the United States. 

 

17V2: Fornication = Biblical fornication is when the church uses the state to slay (persecute) those not in harmony with her teachings. Here is chapter 17 it gives a description of the beast of Revelation 13 with its wound fully healed. This means that the beast has full power and authority restored which means it has united with the state/civil powers to persecute God’s true church. This is the uniting of church and state. 

 

17V2: Made drunk = Revelation 17:4 refers to the cup being full of abominations - the cup is full of wine in this verse; so the wine are abominations which include idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:25-26; Deuteronomy 27:14-15), spiritualism and immortality of the soul (Deuteronomy 18:9-12), denying the Ten Commandments (Proverbs 28:9), homosexuality (Leviticus 18:2), worshipping the sun (Ezekiel 8:16-17), justification by works (Luke 16:15), eating of unclean foods (Deuteronomy 14:3; Leviticus 11), teaches a wrathful God (Jeremiah 32:35), condemns the just and justifies the wicked (Ezekiel 22:2; Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 15:26; Revelation 18:2); The people are made drunk on false teachings being pushed by the united church and state powers. 

 

17V2: Wine = The wine represents the counterfeit or false teachings, pagan practices, and doctrines that are contrary to scripture within a so-called Christian church (an apostate church). The cup in verse 4 is full of abominations, which are false teachings. See verse 4. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:3, So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 

 

17V3: Into the wilderness = John is shown in chapter 17 the other woman that was chasing the woman of Revelation 12:6; the woman in Revelation 12:6 was God’s church that fled into the wilderness; here John is taken back into the wilderness to be shown the other woman (Satan’s bride); also, the woman of Revelation 12 and Revelation 17 are two different woman because they occur at the same time and the woman of Revelation 12 keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17) and the woman of Revelation 17 persecutes the other woman.3

 

17V3: Sit upon = The woman is controlling the beast with ten horns; the church controls the kingdoms of the world, see descriptions below. The church controls the civil power of the state. 

 

17V3: Scarlet = Red = Enemy of God, Genesis 25:30, Edomites because of red lentils and red hair of Esau.4

 

17V3: Names of blasphemy = Blasphemy is found in John 10:33 and Mark 2:7 (Taking the place of God and forgiving sins). But here it says the ‘names of blasphemy’ so it means so much more. 

 

The woman (the first beast of Revelation 13 is the papacy) claims to be the representative of Christ on earth, but the Bible says the Holy Spirit is the representative, John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13. 

 

The woman says to call its priests father, but the Bible says the only spiritual Father is in heaven, Matthew 23:9.

 

The woman says to bow before the Pope, but the Bible says not to bow to any man, Acts 10:25-26. 

 

The woman says it can forgive sins through the priests at confession, but the Bible says only God can forgive sins, Mark 2:7. 

 

The woman says it is infallible, but the Bible says only God is infallible, James 1:17.

 

The woman says it can put kings in place and depose kings, but the Bible says God does that, Daniel 2:21. 

 

The woman says it can judge people, but the Bible says only God can judge and has given that to the Son, John 5:22, 27. 

 

The woman says it transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday, but the Bible says God made the seventh-day holy, Exodus 20:8-11. 

17V3: Seven heads = Are seven successive kingdoms (civil power) which have been controlled by the harlot or apostate religion. It is also referred to as seven mountains, Revelation 17:9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

 

Mountains = Kingdoms. When the verse refers to the seven heads as seven mountains, it is actually saying seven kingdoms. Then in the very next verse it says ‘seven kings’ to make the point clear. 

 

Daniel 2:34-35, 44, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

 

Jeremiah 51:25, “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”

 

Micah 4:1, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”

 

“The seven heads are seven forms of civil power which successively bear rule. These seven heads belong alike to the dragon of Revelation 12, the beast of chapter 13, and that of Revelation 17. This shows conclusively that the dragon and these two beasts are symbols of the same power under different heads; for there are not three sets of seven heads, but it is evident that the heads are successive forms of its power, one of them bearing rule at a time, and then giving place to another (Revelation 17:9, 10). The proper period of each seems to be this: The dragon before the 1260 years, the beast of chapter 13 during that period, and the beast of chapter 17 since the deadly wound and captivity at the close of that period.” (J. N. Andrews, The Three Messages of Revelation XIV, 6-12, pages 77-78)

 

17V3: Ten horns = Ten kings, Revelation 17:12.

 

17V3: “All three beasts have seven heads and ten horns, which represent the sum total of heads and horns of the beasts of Daniel 7.”5 The three beasts are in Revelation 12:3, 13:1-3, and here in 17:3 and are the dragon, the sea beast, and the scarlet beast respectively. This also reinforces the concept that the books of Daniel and Revelation go hand in hand. The seven heads in Daniel 7 are the lion, bear, four headed leopard, and the terrible beast. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:4, And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

 

17V4: Woman = Church.

 

Jeremiah 6:2, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.”

 

2 Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

 

Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

 

17V4: Purple and scarlet (red) = Colors of the papacy for bishops and cardinals; no blue because that color represents the Ten Commandments, Numbers 15:38-41; The Catholic church has altered the Ten Commandments by getting rid of the second dealing with idol worship and splitting the 10th commandment into two (so they would still have Ten Commandments); of course, the RCC also altered the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday even though there is no biblical reason to do so.

Purple and scarlet represents royalty which the harlot claims to be by sitting on many nations, peoples and tongues. 

 

Matthew 27:28-29, “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!”

 

17V4: Decked with gold and precious stones… = The papacy is the wealthiest church in the world and has numerous priceless artifacts; the papacy also has artifacts decked with precious jewels and pearls and gold many of which are on display at the Vatican; also rich and wealthy from controlling the kingdoms (Revelation 17:3), Revelation 18:3, abundance of her delicacies.

 

17V4: Golden cup = The gold cup is an essential element of the Catholic church’s communion services and contains wine (see Revelation 14:8).

 

17V4: Full of abominations = The cup is full of wine in verse 2; so the wine are abominations (false teachings and ungodly behavior) which include idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:25-26; Deuteronomy 27:14-15), spiritualism and immortality of the soul (Deuteronomy 18:9-12), denying the Ten Commandments (Proverbs 28:9), homosexuality (Leviticus 18:2), worshipping the sun (Ezekiel 8:16-17), justification by works (Luke 16:15), eating of unclean foods (Deuteronomy 14:3; Leviticus 11), teaches a wrathful God (Jeremiah 32:35), condemns the just and justifies the wicked (Ezekiel 22:2; Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 15:26; Revelation 18:2); shedding innocent blood (Ezekiel 22:2). The people are made drunk on false teachings being pushed by the united church and state powers.

 

“The fallen denominational churches are Babylon. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God's holy and sanctified day. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches, and thus the Scriptures are fulfilled that say, ‘For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ It is a wrath which is created by false doctrines, and when kings and presidents drink this wine of the wrath of her fornication, they are stirred with anger against those who will not come into harmony with the false and satanic heresies which exalt the false sabbath, and lead men to trample underfoot God's memorial.” (Testimonies to Ministers, page 61.3) 

 

17V4: Fornication = Biblical fornication is when the church uses the state to slay (persecute) those not in harmony with her teachings. Here is chapter 17 it gives a description of the beast of Revelation 13 with its wound fully healed. This means that the beast has full power and authority restored which means it has united with the state/civil powers to persecute God’s true church. This is the uniting of church and state.

 

 

  • Revelation 17:5, And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

 

17V5: Mother = Roman Catholic Church. The term ‘mother’ infers that she has children. The children are the harlots. 

“In the seventeenth of Revelation is foretold the destruction of all the churches who corrupt themselves by idolatrous devotion to the service of the papacy, those who have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” [Revelation 17:1-4 quoted.] (SDA Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 983.3)

 

“Thus is represented the papal power, which with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, by outside attraction and gorgeous display, deceives all nations; promising them, as did Satan our first parents, all good to those who receive its mark, and all harm to those who oppose its fallacies. The power which has the deepest inward corruption will make the greatest display, and will clothe itself with the most elaborate signs of power. The Bible plainly declares that this covers a corrupt and deceiving wickedness. “Upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.” (SDA Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 983.4)

 

17V5: Harlots = Protestant churches in the United States that broke away from the Catholic church. This also refers to churches that worship idols or on the wrong day (Sunday).

 

17V5: Abominations = In verses 2 and 4 we see that the golden cup is full of wine which is described as abominations; so the wine are abominations which include idol worship (Deuteronomy 7:25-26; Deuteronomy 27:14-15), spiritualism and immortality of the soul (Deuteronomy 18:9-12), denying the Ten Commandments (Proverbs 28:9), homosexuality (Leviticus 18:2), worshipping the sun (Ezekiel 8:16-17), justification by works (Luke 16:15), eating of unclean foods (Deuteronomy 14:3; Leviticus 11), teaches a wrathful God (Jeremiah 32:35), condemns the just and justifies the wicked (Ezekiel 22:2; Proverbs 6:16-17; Proverbs 17:15; Proverbs 15:26; Revelation 18:2).

 

17V5: Babylon the great = Spiritual Babylon = Roman Catholic Church system. This is not the literal Babylon, it is a spiritual Babylon. It is used in Revelation as a symbol of the end time apostate church. See a full study on this topic called, What is Babylon?. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:6, And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

 

17V6: Drunken with the blood = The enormous pain and suffering through persecution of the saints, see Blood of the saints.

“The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. . . And no other power could be so truly declared ‘drunken with the blood of the saints’ as that church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ. Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connection with ‘the kings of the earth.’” (The Great Controversy, page 382)

 

17V6: Blood of the saints = Persecution by Catholic church. 

 

Revelation 12:13-14 says, “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

 

Revelation 13:15 says, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

 

John 16:2 says, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

 

Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

17V6: Saints and martyrs = The good news is that in chapters 12, 13 and 17, God always has a small remnant of faithful followers. In chapter 12 they are referred to as the woman that flees or the remnant. In chapter 13 they are referred to as saints and in chapter 17 here, they are referred to as saints and martyrs. 

 

17V6: Great admiration = Also translated as ‘greatly astonished’ or ‘marveled greatly’. In the next verse, the angel uses the word ‘marvel’. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:7, 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.

 

17V7: The angel tells John that he is going to explain the visions that he was given. This is a good example of letting the Bible explain the Bible when dealing with symbols and prophecy. 

17V7: Seven heads = Are seven successive kingdoms (civil power) which have been controlled by the harlot or apostate religion. It is also referred to as seven mountains, Revelation 17:9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

 

Mountains = Kingdoms. When the verse refers to the seven heads as seven mountains, it is actually saying seven kingdoms. Then in the very next verse it says ‘seven kings’ to make the point clear. 

 

Daniel 2:34-35, 44, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

 

Jeremiah 51:25, “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”

 

Micah 4:1, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”

 

“The seven heads are seven forms of civil power which successively bear rule. These seven heads belong alike to the dragon of Revelation 12, the beast of chapter 13, and that of Revelation 17. This shows conclusively that the dragon and these two beasts are symbols of the same power under different heads; for there are not three sets of seven heads, but it is evident that the heads are successive forms of its power, one of them bearing rule at a time, and then giving place to another (Revelation 17:9, 10). The proper period of each seems to be this: The dragon before the 1260 years, the beast of chapter 13 during that period, and the beast of chapter 17 since the deadly wound and captivity at the close of that period.” (J. N. Andrews, The Three Messages of Revelation XIV, 6-12, pages 77-78)

 

 

  • Revelation 17:8, The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: 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.

 

17V8: Ascend out of bottomless pit = Darkness and confusion, Romans 10:7; not the same as bottomless pit of Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:9-10.

 

17V8: Shall wonder, names not in book of life = Similar to Revelation 13:3, 8; so this refers to the same beast of Revelation 13 that comes out of the waters, the papacy.

 

17V8: Beast that was, and is not, and yet is = The Papacy received a deadly wound in 1798 when General Berthier entered Rome and took the Pope into exile, Revelation 13:3;6

  • 1798, Wound began.

  • 1870, Lost power to Italy.

  • 1929, (11 Feb), Lateran Treaty, regained sovereignty (Civil power restored).

  • 2013, (11 Feb), Pope Benedict XVI resigns to allow full healing.

  • 2017, (31 Oct), End of Protestant Reformation; regaining religious supremacy.

  • 20??, Image to the beast established as outlined in Revelation chapter 13 and worship is enforced (Religious power restored). Once the beast’s civil and religious powers are restored, then the wound will be fully healed and persecution will follow. 

  • This is also a counterfeit of Jesus Christ who is described at least three times in Revelation as the one which is, which was, and which is to come (Revelation 1:4, 8, 19).

 

17V8: Behold = When the world sees the three-fold union of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet (Satan, papacy, United States).

 

 

  • Revelation 17:9, And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

 

17V9: Seven mountains = The city of Rome is called the city of seven mountains. But in this case the mountains represent kingdoms, so the better interpretation is “The seven heads are seven kingdoms.” The very next verse lays out the seven kings of those seven kingdoms. So these are seven successive kingdoms (civil power) which have been controlled by the harlot or apostate religion.

 

Mountains = Kingdoms.

 

Daniel 2:34-35, 44, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

 

Jeremiah 51:25, “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”

 

Micah 4:1, “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”

 

“The seven heads are seven forms of civil power which successively bear rule. These seven heads belong alike to the dragon of Revelation 12, the beast of chapter 13, and that of Revelation 17. This shows conclusively that the dragon and these two beasts are symbols of the same power under different heads; for there are not three sets of seven heads, but it is evident that the heads are successive forms of its power, one of them bearing rule at a time, and then giving place to another (Revelation 17:9, 10). The proper period of each seems to be this: The dragon before the 1260 years, the beast of chapter 13 during that period, and the beast of chapter 17 since the deadly wound and captivity at the close of that period.” (J. N. Andrews, The Three Messages of Revelation XIV, 6-12, pages 77-78)

 

17V9: Woman sitteth = The false church (RCC) sits in the Vatican which is in Rome. Woman in prophecy represents a church. The last of the seven kings which are listed in verses 10 ends with Papal Rome which is the RCC. 

 

2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

 

Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

 

Jeremiah 6:2 says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:10, 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. 

 

17V10: Here are the seven kingdoms in order: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome (Roman Empire), Papal Rome (controlling the ten divisions of Europe), Civil power of the United States with apostate protestantism, and the civil powers of the world under the control of the harlot/beast (papacy). This is the interpretation that I believe to be in line with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. This is the interpretation being taught by Dr. McNulty, Pastor Bohr and others. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:11, And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

 

17V11: The beast = The first beast of Revelation 13 is identified as the Papacy (The Roman Catholic Church). 

 

17V11: Was, and is not = The Papacy ruled with absolute power from 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D. as explained in verse 10. Then it received a deadly wound and “is not”. 

 

17V11: Even he is the eighth = The Papacy will return to absolute power when the wound is fully healed. The wound is healed completely when there is a union between the church and state to enforce its beliefs on the populace. At this time the eighth also represents the three-fold union of Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet. Once the wound is healed, persecution will begin. 

 

17V11: And is of the seven = The Papacy was one of the seven as Papal Rome which had not yet come during the time of John when he wrote the book of Revelation. The Papacy is a kingdom like the other seven and is a persecutor of God’s people like the other seven as well. 

 

17V11: Goeth into perdition = Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet are thrown into hell, Revelation 20:10.

 

 

  • Revelation 17:12, 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. 

17V12: Ten horns = Are kings which rule contemporaneously, whereas the ten heads ruled consecutively.

17V12: Kings = These are those people, institutions, leaders, kings and governments that join with the false church to persecute God’s people and to gain riches, Revelation 17:13 (given their power and strength unto the beast); Revelation 18:2-3 (all nations and kings of the earth have committed fornication with her); Revelation 18:9 (kings of the earth committed fornication and lived deliciously with her); Revelation 18:15 (merchants made rich by her). The number ten is symbolic and represents all those that side with the papacy. 

Ten is sometimes synonymous with ‘all’. 

Matthew 25:1, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”

 

Daniel 1:20, “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”

 

Ecclesiastes 7:19, “Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.”

 

Luke 19:13, “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”

“The ten kings represent the rulers of the Christian world who, under the leadership of apostate Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, will influence the multitudes to enact and enforce a Sunday law. When this happens, the kings will all be on the same page.” (Pastor Bohr, From the Close of Probation to the New Earth study notes, page 105)

“The so-called Christian world is to be the theater of great and decisive actions. Men in authority will enact laws controlling the conscience, after the example of the papacy. Babylon will make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Every nation will be involved.” (Selected Messages, volume 3, page 392.1)

 

“These have one mind.” [referring to verse 13] There will be a universal bond of union, one great harmony, a confederacy of Satan's forces. “And shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Thus is manifested the same arbitrary, oppressive power against religious liberty, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, as was manifested by the papacy, when in the past it persecuted those who dared to refuse to conform with the religious rites and ceremonies of Romanism.” (Selected Messages, volume 3, page 392.4)

 

 

  • Revelation 17:13, These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

 

17V13: These have one mind = See EGW statement in verse 12. 

17V13: Give power = Kingdoms will wonder after the beast and give him their power and allegiance, also in Revelation 17:17. 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:14, 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.

 

17V14: Lamb = Jesus Christ. Revelation 15:3 says, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”; 1 Peter 1:19 says, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…”; John 1:29 says, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” and verse 36 says something similar, “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”

 

17V14: Make war with the Lamb = The enemies of God will persecute His children (His church), Revelation 12:17; 13:15.

 

 

  • Revelation 17:15, And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

17V15: So waters represents peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues (or languages). Multitudes of people are often associated with water in the Bible prophecy, this can also be seen in Isaiah. 

Isaiah 17:12-13, "Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."

 

 

  • Revelation 17:16, 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. 

 

17V16: Hate the whore = The ten kingdoms will support the beast until they realize they’ve been deceived and their support dries up, Revelation 16:12; 18:10, 17, 19.

 

Isaiah 47:9, “But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.”

 

Daniel 11:45, “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”

 

17V16: Whore = This is the first beast of Revelation 13, which is the false church since a woman is used to represent a church. To be more specific, this is the antichrist of end time events and is the RCC. Also mentioned in verse 1. 

 

2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

 

Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

 

Jeremiah 6:2 says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” 

 

 

  • Revelation 17:17, 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. 

 

17V17: The beast = Refers to the first beast of Revelation 13, which is the sea beast and represents the RCC. 

 

17V17: Give their kingdom = The leaders of the kingdoms of the world will give their allegiance to the beast (RCC).

 

 

  • Revelation 17:18, And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

 

17V18: Woman = Here it represents the false church. A woman in the Bible often refers to a church, either God’s church or the false church. 2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”, Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”, and Jeremiah 6:2 says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” 

 

17V18: That great city = Here the great city represents the seat of the sea beast power which is the Vatican. But the great city also has a spiritual aspect made up of three parts representing the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, see Revelation 16:19.7

 

 

Chapter 17 Resources and Notes

1.  Pastor Stephen Bohr, Unsealed Secrets Ministry video series called, Three Angels Message, can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6A480C40F7BA55A4

 

2.  Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Preparation for the End Time, 3rd Quarter 2018, Pacific Press Publishing Association, ISSN 1096-7400, page 84.

 

3.  Pastor Stephen Bohr, Unsealed Secrets Ministry video series called, Three Angels Message, can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6A480C40F7BA55A4.

 

4.  Ibid.

 

5.  Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, Preparation for the End Time, 3rd Quarter 2018, Pacific Press Publishing Association, ISSN 1096-7400, page 84.

 

6.  Pastor Stephen Bohr, Unsealed Secrets Ministry video series called, Three Angels Message, can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6A480C40F7BA55A4.

 

7.  Pastor James Rafferty and Pastor Ivor Myers, Salvation in Symbols and Signs (Program on 3ABN’s Dare To Dream Network), video series can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i42C2tZ5yuI&list=PLZE9r6f37K0AJPuImVU9DX-Y1Ntikqv0R.

 

 

Ellen White references can be found here: https://beta.egwwritings.org

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