“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, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness.” Revelation 17:1-3a.
The above will give you an overview of the things we will cover in this study.
“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…’” Revelation 17:1.
The word, “then” indicates that this conversation takes place after the revelation that the seventh bowl of the wrath of God has been poured out (Revelation 16:17-21).
Bear in mind though that the bowl judgments are poured out at the end of the tribulation and the events described in Revelation chapter 17 actually take place in the first half of the tribulation; the first 3 ½ years.
The subject is “the judgment of the great harlot”. Idolatry is called adultery by God, or better yet spiritual adultery, but this one is called a prostitute, a whore.
As such she goes well beyond adultery, selling herself to anyone who wishes with no discernment whatsoever.
“Who sits on many waters”, is interpreted by the angel for us in verse 15.
“And he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15.
This passage emphasizes the fact that this is a worldwide church, not just a very large organization.
We next see a list of this church’s members.
“…with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:2.
As we shall soon see the kings of the earth are actually ten in number; but this sort of relationship goes all the way back to the original city of Babylon where idolatry began.
Throughout history the priests and the rulers were intimately tied together, and in many cases the ruler was in fear of the priest because of the threat of a curse being put upon them or just the power of the people under the sway of the priest.
Even today in areas where things like voodoo are practiced the leadership is in fear of the priest, because these guys could do some serious supernatural damage.
Do not let anybody kid you, witchcraft, voodoo; any of the occult has real satanic power. However, though it gives the practitioner real power, it soon envelopes the user in chains of darkness, and the user becomes the used spiraling ever downward into madness, and finally into hell.
Not worth it my friends. Christ is the real power that will not destroy you in the process; nations have been turned upside down by the prayers of Christians.
Before leaving the abuse of the power of the priesthood, mention should be made that the dark ages were dominated by the church, and as Lord Acton (1834-1902) said:
“Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
This was borne out by the fact that everyone, including kings were in fear of the church, and for good reason 50 million Christians and Jews were horribly tortured and murdered during the inquisition.
This is why the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, says this:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Most of the original thirteen colonies were established by Christians escaping religious persecution. Scripture tells us here that the state church will again rear its ravenously bloodthirsty head, and very soon.
Not only do the kings of the earth commit fornication with this false church for their mutual benefit of controlling the masses, but:
“…the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:2b.
This unholy union between church and state becomes a wine which dulls and enslaves the world’s inhabitants to the point of allowing the church-state alliance to rule unquestioned.
“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness.” Revelation 17:3a.
In the first two verses the angel tells John of this “great harlot”; now he transports him into the wilderness to see her. It is interesting that we do not see this harlot in her city which is later described, but rather in the wilderness.
Speaking of God, Job says the following.
“With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding.” Job 12:13.
But to the nations that forsake Him Job says.
“He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man.” Job 12:23-25.
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited.’” Jeremiah 17:5-6.
Having deserted God, the tribulation’s godless harlot church finds itself in the wilderness, and like a desert shrub, “shall not see when good comes”.
To those who recognize that they are in a desolate wilderness He extends His hand and says to all who will believe:
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:1-9.
“Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know; gracious Spirit from above, thou hast taught me it is so! O, this full and perfect peace! O, this transport all divine! In a love which cannot cease, I am His, and He is mine. Heav’n above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green! Something lives in every hue Christ-less eyes have never seen: birds with gladder songs o’er-flow, flow’rs with deeper beauties shine, since I know, as now I know, I am His, and He is mine…But while God and I shall be, I am His, and He is mine.” “I am His, and He Is Mine”; text by George W. Robinson (1838-1877), music by James Mountain.
Jesus prophesied this of the end times.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [WWI and II, fulfilled this prophesy]. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7-8.
The end is in sight, and while they have been saying this for two thousand years, are you willing to gamble your eternal soul on whether they are right or wrong? An everlasting heaven or an everlasting lake of fire is on the balance, what will you do?
Revelation 17:1-3a taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 2-14-17, reposted on 10-6-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.