Revelation 17:1-18

The Punishment of the Great Prostitute

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Today, we continue our verse-by-verse study in the book of Revelation with chapter 17. This chapter does not qualify as an apocalyptic prophecy because this chapter doesn’t have a chronological sequence in it. Rather, Revelation 17 contains a commentary on the punishment of the Great Prostitute.


You might be surprised to know that the great prostitute is not introduced in Revelation 17. That’s right, she is introduces earlier in Revelation under a different name. I’ll say more about this in a moment.


Do you remember in Daniel 9, that the angel Gabriel was sent to Daniel with additional information on the vision that he received in Daniel 8? I ask this question because the situation in Revelation 17 is identical.


One of the seven angels having the seven bowls was sent to John to amplify certain matters that he had previously seen. As you might expect, the angel’s visit was brief and to the point. 


Revelation 17 has puzzled Bible students for many centuries because valid rules of interpretation were unknown. Now that the book of Daniel has been unsealed and we have the four rules of interpretation, this chapter is not very difficult to understand.


Here’s why:


Valid rules of interpretation produce a matrix and this matrix forces every prophetic element in the books of Daniel and Revelation into a chronological position.


A Very Common Matrix (the game x & o)


O          X        O

 X         O        O

 X         O        X


              A Prophetic Matrix


Bowls:                                                                              1234567

Trumpets:                   1 2 3 4             5     6   7

Seals:        1  2  3         4                                     5                        6


When all the prophetic pieces are properly assembled with respect to each other and placed accordingly to their location in time, the books of Daniel and Revelation will make a lot of sense just as they read!


In fact, the more we study the amazing matrix with the books of Daniel and Revelation produces, the more we recognize and appreciate the wisdom and intelligence of God – He says so much with very few words!


OK, before we get started with Chapter 17, I want to make sure that you understand two key points that were covered in our study on Revelation 13.


Point #1:


The composite beast in Revelation 13, the beast having seven heads and ten horns that rises out of the sea, represents a crisis government called “Babylon the Great.”


The second angel’s message gives the composite beast its name:


Revelation 14:8   A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine [intoxicating doctrine] of her adulteries. [This language means that all nations will embrace the erroneous doctrine advanced by the world’s religious leaders that God’s wrath can be appeased by legislating and enforcing moral behavior that is acceptable to God.].”


About two months after the censer is cast down, the fourth trumpet will sound and at this time, Babylon the Great will form. Because death and destruction will be everywhere, religious and political leaders the world over will be moved to humbly unite in a global effort to appease God so that His wrath will cease.


The seven heads on the composite beast represent the seven religious systems of the world and the tenhorns represent ten kings that will be set up by Lucifer during the sixth trumpet. Revelation 13:7 says that the composite beast, Babylon the Great, will be given authority over all nations.


The global reach and the composite nature of Babylon is important to understand because Babylon’s authority over the nations will not come through military force. No, Babylon’s authority over all nations will come through an intoxicating doctrine. Religious and political leaders will submit to a false doctrine out of panic and fear.


Think about this: Religious leaders from every nation will agree that God’s wrath has come from all mankind because we are degenerate and offensive to God. The flip-side of this coin is that God’s wrath will be appeased if we stop living degenerate lives and force people do  “right.”


Therefore, religious leaders will plead with political leaders to quickly enact and enforce legislation so that God’s wrath will cease or God will destroy everyone within a few weeks.


This is how the 42 months of persecution will begin.


We have to remember this crucial fact: Babylon will arise out of necessity. Babylon is not a conspiracy government. It is not the brainchild of the Illuminati nor the product of a secret order of some kind.


No.    No.   No. 


With thousands of cities in ruins and 1.75 billion people dead, a global effort to appease God will appear to be a highly rational decision – thus the rise and dominion of Babylon the Great will be though necessary by most everyone.


Point #2:


Eight hundred ninety days after the censer is cast down [remember, 890 days is 2/3 of 1,335 days] the devil will be released from the abyss [spirit realm]. He is permitted to leave the spirit realm so that he might physically appear. This is the fifth trumpet.


Paul says “the man of sin” will be “revealed” because people refused to love the truth and be saved.  For this reason,” Paul says, “God sends them a powerful delusion.” This delusion is the devil and his angels masquerading as Almighty God and his angels.


This is important: During the Great Tribulation, the gospel will reach a saturation point. By the 890th day, most everyone will have taken a position on the testimony of Jesus – which was proclaimed throughout the Earth by the 144,000.



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