Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Great Prostitute

"Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke to me. He said, 'Come, and I will show you the punishment that will be given to the great prostitute, the one sitting over many waters. The kings of the earth sinned sexually with her, and the people of the earth became drunk from the wine of her sexual sin.' " (Revelation 17:1,2 -New Century Version)

Chapter Seventeen, like many others in Revelation, is not in chronological order. There are, however, some clues that give us a good idea of when this chapter fits into the Tribulation period.

This chapter describes a great religious system that will exist during the first part of the Tribulation. This religion will be used by the Anti-Christ as he consolidates his position as world ruler. There is much symbolism in this chapter; most of it is easy to understand.

Often in Revelation, an angel speaks with John and points out to him something of importance, or explains what John is seeing. This angel does both. This angel is one of the ones who poured out the bowls of God's wrath. He now wants to show John the judgment that will come upon the great prostitute.

In the Bible, adultery and prostitution are used in both a physical and spiritual sense. Spiritually these terms speak of false religion and being unfaithful to God and the truth.

So the great prostitute represents a wicked and immoral religious system. She claims to offer peace with God. In fact, to accept her seductive ways brings damnation.

Verse fifteen tells us that the waters upon which this woman is sitting represents all people groups. This will be a world-wide religious system. All ethnic groups, all nationalities, all languages will be represented within this immoral religion. This religion will be multi-faith and ecumenical. It will seek to please everybody but God.

This religious system will have political power because of its world-wide nature. The kings of the earth will join this new religion.