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Revelation 17 Commentary - The Great Whore! 
By Brother Mike (7-22-13)


Verse 1: 

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 shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters . .

The first thing of interest is who are the seven angels? In discovering this, we will know who the one is which is spoken of as the one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and who it is, therefore, that talked with the apostle John in this vision. To discover who the seven angels are, we must go back to Revelation 15 where a more complete description of these seven angels is given. There we read, 

6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles .

From this verse, we learn that these seven angels are clothed in pure and white linen, and have their breasts girded with golden girdles. First of all, this means that these angels are saved since to be clothed in pure and white linen is symbolic of being clothed in the salvation of Jesus Christ. Second, these angels are also priests since they are clothed in girdles as only a priest would be clothed (Ex. 28:4; 29:9). So what we see is that these seven angels are both saved, and they are priests. This means that these seven angels can not possibly be celestial angels since such angels are never referred to as priest in the Bible, but it must mean that they are saved and priestly messengers since the word for angels can simply mean messengers. And, in the Bible, the only messengers who are described as both being priests and saved are God's elect.

So what we have learned so far is that the angel which had the seven vials in verse 1 of Revelation 17, and who spoke to the apostle John in the vision is a representation of God's elect. In other words, it is God's people who show the apostle John, who, being an apostle, is also a representation God's elect, the judgment of the great whore. So it is a picture of God's elect in our day communicating to God's elect about the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters.

We can realize that the context of Revelation 17 is in our day, namely Judgment Day, by looking at a more literal translation of verse 1. A literal translation would read like this: 

"And there came one of the seven angels, the ones having the seven vials, and talked to me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore, the one that sitteth upon many waters . . . "

Notice that the seven angels of which the one came from are the ones having (present tense participle) the seven vials. They did not have the seven vials in the past, which is how the King James translation makes it sound in saying, " And there came one of the seven angels which had (past tense) the seven vials," but they are having the seven vials right then presently when the angel talked to the apostle John. Now since the pouring out of the seven vials has to do with the pouring out of Judgment Day beginning on May 21, 2011 as described in the previous chapter of Revelation 16 (see Revelation 16: The Last Seven Vials of Gods wrath ), this means that the apostle John is being brought right into the present time of Judgment Day. And since John is a picture of God's elect just as the angel which spoke to John is a picture of God's elect, this whole thing is a picture of God's elect revealing to God's elect the judgment of the great whore during the time of Judgment Day, which began on May 21, 2011. We see, then, right from the start, that Revelation 17 is set in the context of Judgment Day, which is directly pertinent to where we now find ourselves after May 21, 2011 in the timeline of history. Think about it: what I am doing right now in beginning to talk about the judgment of the great whore is in fulfillment to what this verse is declaring. " O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Ro. 11:33)! 

Now we read that the angel says to the apostle John,

"Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters ." 

Who is this great whore? The first most obvious hint that we get about her is that she is a whore or prostitute. Spiritually, what this means is that she is quite active in spreading her false teachings, religions and false Gods to the world. In other words, she is, spiritually speaking, a great fornicator. We can presume that all of the false gospels and false teachings of the world have come about by her fornication. Second, we read that she sits upon many waters. What this means is defined for us in verse 15 where it reads,

"And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues ." 

To sit in the Bible is symbolism which means to rule, so in that the great whore is said to sit on peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues means that she rules over a great amount of people. Furthermore, we see that she is sitting on four different categories of waters: peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. This emphasis on the number four reveals that her rule is universal or worldwide (see Meaning of Bible Number 4 ). So what we have learned so far about this whore is that she rules over a great amount of people worldwide, and her apparent goal is to lead as many as she can into false gospels and false teachings by her spiritual fornication with them. We will learn more about this whore as we continue on. 


Verse 2: 

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

Now we learn just who it is that has committed fornication with the great whore. It is the kings of the earth and the inhabitants of the earth. The kings of the earth can refer to all the various rulers of this earth on any and all levels right on down from top levels of the governments to those who rule over smaller groups within a given government, but, spiritually speaking, they can refer to the believers in Jesus Christ, for the Bible declares that [He] has made us [the believers] kings and priests unto God and His Father (Rev. 1:6; 5:10). Furthermore, the believers in Jesus Christ can be divided into those who are saved, and those who are unsaved. So the kings of the earth can refer to either God's very own elect who are saved, or to those who, although they claim to be believers in Jesus Christ, are not really saved. What we see, then, is three categories for the kings of the earth. First, the kings of the earth can refer to literal kings and rulers in this life such as we see in Acts 4:26-27 (the fulfillment of Ps. 2:2) or in Matthew 17:25. Acts 4:26 reads like this:

Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ .
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For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together . . .  

And Matthew 17:25 says,  

Mt 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers ?

Second, the kings of the earth can refer to God's very own elect who are saved since only they can be said to bring their glory into the next life such as we see in Revelation 21:24:

Re 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it [the New Jerusalem of the next life] .

Third, the kings of the earth can refer to all those who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, but who are not actually saved. Most of these are now residing in the apostate churches and denominations of our day, but there are also some who came out of the churches when they were commanded to do so between May 21, 1988 and May 21, 2011 as did God's elect; nevertheless, they never did become saved. We see this entire category of the unsaved kings of the earth included in passages such as Revelation 6:15:  

Re 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains . .

This is a picture of the unsaved believers - the kings of the earth - hiding themselves in the churches (the dens) and hiding in false gospels or false Christ's (the rocks of the mountains) during the time of judgment, which is what has been taking place ever since May 21, 2011. Ever since then, the unsaved believers continue to abide in the churches while thinking that they will still be saved (so it is as if they are hiding in there) when the truth is that they are now being spiritually judged and are not being saved.

Now another passage which refers to this third group of unsaved believers known as the kings of the earth is seen in a verse like Revelation 19:19: 

Re 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army .

Obviously, the kings of the earth in this verse can not possibly refer to God's elect, but must refer to the unsaved believers, and, or the literal kings of the earth since we are told that they are gathered together to make war against Christ.

Well, we are still left to answer the question, so who are the kings of the earth being referred to when verse 2 of Revelation 17 says that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with the great whore? Some think that the kings of the earth here cannot possibly be God's elect, for, spiritually speaking, they are known as virgins in the Bible, and cannot, therefore, be spoken of as having fornicated with the whore. As we read in Revelation 14, 

Re 14:4 These [God's elect] are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These [God's elect] are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These [God's elect] were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb .

But this is viewing God's elect from the vantage point of their legal standing before God, and, it is in this sense only that God's elect can be viewed as virgins because all their sins have been paid for, past, present, and future so that God does not see their sin, but sees only the righteousness of Christ in them. In this legal sense before God, they cannot have possibly fornicated with anyone, for they are virgins. Nevertheless, in the sense that God's elect do still sin in this life even after being saved, there is a sense in which they can be thought of as having spiritually fornicated. So in that the kings of the earth are said to have fornicated with the great whore, this can possibly be in reference to God's elect having sinned (fornicated) with the whore. 

So who are the kings of the earth in reference to in verse 2 of Revelation 17? Well, as we have learned, it could be God's elect, or it could be the literal kings of this earth, or it could be the unsaved believers in Jesus Christ, or it could be all three or any combination of these. Just who they are, we will find out once we go through Revelation 18 in our next study. At least at this time we know what the possibilities are. 

Now we read that not only have the kings of the earth fornicated with the great whore, but the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. To be made drunk is to be intoxicated with false teachings and gospels. This is just emphasizing what we had already learned, namely that the great whore is very active in her fornication of deceiving the peoples of the world into false belief systems and the worship of false Gods. She has concocted a whole array of schemes to so intrigue the human race that it has placed the entire human race into a drunken stupor of deception.


Verse 3:  

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 .

Now we are told that the apostle John is carried away in the spirit into the wilderness. In the spirit means that John is in that special place in God to be able to commune with God, and that he is carried away into the wilderness is a picture of being carried out into the world. This is the same place where the woman who symbolizes the corporate church fled to get away from the dragon (Satan) in Revelation 12:

12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days .

12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child .
14 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

So could it be that the woman (the corporate church) in the wilderness of Revelation 12 is the same woman that John sees in Revelation 17 who sits upon a scarlet beast in the wilderness (the world)? At first glance, this doesn't seem possible since this would mean that the corporate church has become the great whore of Revelation 17 and 18, but, as we shall see, this is exactly the case: the woman here in Revelation 17 is the corporate church of our day ever since May 21, 1988 when the Church Age ended, and God began His judgment with the house of God (1Peter 4:17). 

Now we read that the apostle John saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast. The beast is Satan himself - the antichrist - as he ruled in the churches during the great tribulation period from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, and he is scarlet colored because this is a color which identifies him as a king, which meaning to the color scarlet can be seen, for instance, when the soldiers who were going to crucify Jesus identified Him as being a king by putting a scarlet robe on him in Matthew 27:

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe .
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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 !

Here we find that when they mocked Jesus, they put on Him a scarlet robe and said, Hail, King of the Jews. In other words, the scarlet color has to do with being a king; it is a color identified with royalty. So in that the beast (Satan) is scarlet colored means that during the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, Satan (the beast) comes looking just like Christ; that is, he appears to be king as if he were Christ Himself, and all the churches are deceived into thinking they are worshipping Christ when they are actually worshipping Satan. 

Then we read in verse 3 that this scarlet colored beast (King Satan) is full of names of blasphemy. Blasphemy has to do with going or speaking against or contrary to the truth found in the Bible. That Satan is said to be full of names of blasphemy means his very nature is that which is contrary to and against the very Word of God.

Next, we are told that this beast has seven heads and ten horns. This is explained in more detail in verses 9-12, but at this point we can say that seven heads is symbolic of Satan's perfect ruler ship according to God's plan, and the ten horns is symbolic of Satan's complete authority according to God's plan. We can say this because the number seven is symbolic of perfection (see Meaning of Bible Number 7 ), and the head is that part of the person which rules. So, in that this beast has seven heads is symbolic of its perfect rule. Similarly, the number ten is symbolic of completion (see number 10 ), and horn is symbolic of authority. So, in that this beast has ten horns is symbolic of its complete authority.


Verse 4:

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 . .

In this verse we begin to learn much more about who the woman - the whore - actually is. We are told that she was clothed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. In that she was clothed in these things means that she comes outward (in array) looking like God's people and His kingdom since purple, scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls are normally all representative of these things. In other words, she does not look like a dragon with a forked-tail and pitch fork, but she looks in outward appearance like the followers of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. Now, in attempting to recognize who she is, we must ask the question, who or what in this world is the outward representation of the kingdom of God? The answer is clear: why it is the corporate church of our day? She is the false church of God. She is all the so-called Christian churches and denominations in this world, which, ever since May 21, 1988 have been all forsaken by the Lord. She is the corporate church, which outwardly appears like the kingdom of God and the followers of Christ, but inwardly they are unsaved and being carried away by the false Christ - the antichrist - who is Satan.

Next, we are told that she has a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. The golden cup represents what she has to offer to the world, which on the outside looks pure and holy as represented by the golden cup, but, on the inside, it is full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. Yes, she looks like the real McCoy of the true church and kingdom of God, but, inwardly, she is full of false teachings, false gospels, and false Gods. This is God's view of all the churches in our day. They appear outwardly to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, but, inwardly, they are full of falsehood. They worship a false Jesus! This reminds me of what Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day, who are a picture of the Christian leaders of the churches in our day: 

Mt 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess .

Lu 11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness .


Verse 5: 

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

What is on the forehead reveals the nature of the person being described. So when we are told that on the whore's forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, we are being revealed the very nature of the whore. The first thing we learn about her nature is that she is a mystery. A mystery in the Bible is a truth that remains hidden until the time comes for God to reveal it, and, in this case, the mystery is that the whore is one and the same with Babylon the Great, which city for a long time has been known to represent the kingdom of Satan. And, since we have learned that the great whore is a picture of the corporate church or all the churches and denominations, the real mystery is that the kingdom of Satan, Babylon the Great, has come to include the corporate church. This was the great mystery that in ages past was hidden, but has now been revealed, namely that ever since May 21, 1988, the churches and denominations throughout the world have become Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. When we consider all this, that that which should be holy - all the churches - are actually now the kingdom of Satan, we must marvel about this. After all, the churches were considered to be the very people of God for 1955 years from May 21, 33 AD to May 21, 1988 (see biblical calendar ), but now they have become Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. 


Verse 6: 

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 .

So far we have learned that the great whore represents the kingdom or dominion of Satan, and this kingdom is also known as Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. We also learned that the woman or great whore represents the corporate church or all the churches and denominations throughout the world, which have now all become apostate ever since May 21, 1988 when God's judgment came upon them all. Next, we learn that the woman or whore is drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. In other words, the kingdom of Satan, which now includes the corporate church, is responsible for all the deaths of God's people. She has not only killed many of God's people physically throughout history, but she has killed them all spiritually because, in the eyes of God, just to hate someone is murder, and Satan hates Christ and every single one of God's people; therefore, Satan and his kingdom have murdered every single one of God's people. Remember what it says in 1John 3:15:  

1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him

Now, we are told that when John saw her, He wondered with great admiration. Actually, the word for admiration would be better translated as marvel or wonder so that when John saw her he wondered with great marvel. It wasn't that John admired the great whore who was responsible for killing God's people, but he marveled about her because she looked so good and holy like she could never kill anyone, but then John learns that she is a great murderer. This would cause anyone to wonder and marvel, especially when they realize that the corporate church which was the very Holy Place of God's people has now ever since May 21, 1988 become the place of murderers, for they have hated the true children of God. How could this be? 


Verse 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 .

In the previous verse the apostle John wondered and marveled about the great whore who had killed God's people, but, in this verse, the angel said unto him, wherefore dist thou marvel? In other words, why are you marveling about her? Why are you wondering how such an apparently good and holy woman in outward appearance can be such a filthy, rotten murderer of God's people? There is no need to wonder because I, the angel who represents God's elect, am going to tell you: I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns

It is of interest to note that although we saw that the woman (the churches) - the great whore - sitting on the beast in verse 3 as if she ruled over the beast, which, being deceived, is exactly what the churches believe they do, we find in this verse that the beast actually carries the woman. I guess that the relationship between the woman and the beast would be something like the relationship between a bull rider and his bull. The rider might think he is in control for awhile, but in the longer run it is the beast who wins out. This is what we see in the relationship between the woman and the beast; it is the beast who wins out as we read in verse 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." 


Verse 8: 

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

We already have learned that the beast is Satan himself, but what does it mean that the beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition? That the beast was refers to Satan before the cross; that the beast is not refers to Satan after the cross because, at the cross, Satan was cast into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20) in the sense that he could no longer frustrate God's plan to send the gospel into the entire world as he was able to do before the cross. So after the cross, it is as if Satan is not. This doesn't mean that Satan did not any longer exist after the cross, for he still was able to go around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour (1Peter 5:8), but it does mean that he was no longer able to keep the gospel from going out to all the nations to the extent that he was able to do before the time of the cross. That Satan shall ascend out of the bottomless pit refers to when Satan would be loosed out of the pit, which we now know was on May 21, 1988 when God loosed Satan from the pit to bring judgment upon all the churches. After this was completed on May 21, 2011, he was given over to perdition, but still exists while bound in the chains of darkness. He is now under the judgment of God and awaits his final destruction on the Last Day as do all the unsaved of the world when they will all be completely annihilated.

Next we read, 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. The ones who shall wonder or marvel are the unsaved of the world since we know that it is their names which were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. And what are they marveling at? They are marveling at the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. The beast that was refers to Satan's rule before the cross; the beast that is not refers to Satan's rule after the cross when Satan was cast into the bottomless pit; and the beast that yet is refers to Satan's rule during the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when God loosed Satan from the pit in order to bring judgment against the churches. The unsaved of the world are said to marvel at this because when they see that Satan is loosed during the Great Tribulation they will greatly marvel at Him as He is given complete rule over the churches and over the world like never before. They will be so enamored with the beast that they will all worship him like never before in history. Of course, they don't think that they are worshipping Satan, but they actually are deceived to think that they are worshipping God. 


Verse 9:

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

We were told that the beast had seven heads back in verse 3, but now we begin to learn what these seven heads represent. We are told that the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. Now mountains in the Bible are symbolic of kingdoms, and the number seven is symbolic of perfection (see Meaning of Bible Number 7 ). So what is being described here is the perfect kingdom of Satan. The seven heads, then, are symbolic of Satan's perfect kingdom according to God's plan, and it is on this kingdom that the woman sits. Normally, to sit means to rule in the Bible, so the woman sits on the kingdom of Satan because she, at least, appears to rule over it. The woman is the great whore, which we had learned refers to the corporate church. So what this is saying is that the corporate church appears to rule over the kingdom of Satan. And this is exactly what we see: The churches and denominations all claim that they have power over the devil when the truth is that the devil actually rules over them as he carries them wherever he desires into destruction, which is why we later read in verse 16 that 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. So although the whore - the corporate church - thinks she is in control of Satan during the time of God's judgment on the church from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, the opposite is actually the truth. In fact, during this time Satan is used to spiritually destroy the churches with false teachings and gospels which cannot save. 


Verse 10:

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 .

The seven kings are used to reveal the perfect rule of Satan throughout history. Five are already fallen. This refers to Satan's rule before the cross, and in that five of the seven have already fallen means that most of Satan's rule was complete by the time of the cross. Then we are told that one is. This refers to the rule of Satan after the cross to the end of the church age and the beginning of the great tribulation on May 21, 1988. This includes the rule of Satan even though he had been cast into the bottomless pit at the cross. Then we are told that the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space. This refers to the final great rule of Satan during the great tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011. This is that short period of 23 years when Satan is loosed from the bottomless pit in order to bring judgment upon the corporate church.


Verse 11: 

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition

In this verse, we wonder why God mentions the eighth, which is of the seven. We know that each of the seven kings represent a different period of Satan's rule in history, so it follows that the eighth king would represent a period of Satan's rule, but it must be a part of the seven, so we wonder why God would even mention the eighth. Certainly one of the reasons for doing this is to place emphasis on the last period of Satan's rule - the seventh - of which the eighth is a part. This is that last period of Satan's rule from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when Satan rules over all the churches as God's judgment against them all. Another reason for mentioning the eighth is that the number eight breaks down into 2 x 4, which spiritually emphasizes that this seventh or eighth period of Satan's rule over the churches is worldwide (The number 2 symbolizes the church, and the number 4 symbolizes worldwide - see Meaning of Bible Numbers ). Additionally, we know that the little horn mentioned in Daniel (7:7-8; 8:9) is a picture of Satan's rule over the churches from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, and the little horn is known as the eighth because it is that horn which comes up after three of the ten horns are plucked up by the roots, which makes the little horn the eighth. We see this in Daniel 7:

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns .
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I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things .


Verse 12: 

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

We are finally told in this verse what the ten horns on the beast represent. We are told that they represent ten kings. This is not to be taken literally as ten kings, but the number ten is symbolic of completeness while a king is symbolic of rule (see Meaning of Bible Numbers ). Therefore, what this verse is saying is that the ten horns represent complete rule. But then we wonder, complete rule of what? The answer is found in that these ten kings receive power as kings one hour with the beast. So this complete rule is with the beast, which is just another way to say that the beast - Satan - has complete rule for one hour. Now one hour in the Bible represents the entire great tribulation period from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, so these ten kings are a picture of Satan's complete rule during the great tribulation period. It was during this period of time that Satan was used by God to bring judgment upon the corporate church, and it was also when the Holy Spirit was removed from all churches while God's people followed in departing out of all the churches (see Why Leave All Churches ). 


Verse 13: 

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast

In the previous verse we learned that the ten kings represent complete rule. In this verse we are told that these [kings] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. This is figurative language to teach that the complete rule given to Satan during the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 comes with power and strength, and with one purpose, which we know is to spiritually destroy the corporate church as judgment against them. 


Verse 14: 

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

Satan comes with great power and strength in his attempt to destroy God's people during the Great Tribulation from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011, but on Judgment Day - May 21, 2011 - Satan is spiritually overcome. We have a picture of this in the Old Testament in 539 BC when Cyrus (Darius), king of the Medes and Persians, overcomes the king of Babylon in one night (Dan. 5:30). The king of Babylon typifies Satan, and the king of the Medes and Persians typifies Christ. Just as the king of Babylon who typifies Satan was overcome in just one night, so was Satan on May 21, 2011 overcome in just one day. It was on this day that Satan was removed from ruling any longer over the churches, and he is now simply wandering the earth while in chains of darkness awaiting his complete annihilation on the Last Day of this world. He is still able to cause problems here and there in the world, which includes the corporate church, but he has been stripped of his command. It is Christ who is now ruling with a rod of iron (with His Word) until when on that Last Day this world is destroyed and the new heaven and earth is created where it will clearly be seen that Christ rules forevermore.  

And they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Without going into any detail, these obviously refer to all of God's elect people who have been saved through the electing grace of Jesus Christ. 


Verse 15:  

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

We actually already looked at this verse back in verse 1, but leave it to say that this is a picture of the worldwide dominion of Satan, but with a special emphasis in this chapter of Satan's kingdom as identified with the corporate church. In this respect, the whore is the corporate church who rules over her people worldwide through the churches and denominations in the world.  


Verse 16: 

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 .

We already learned that the ten horns of the beast represent the complete rule of Satan during the Great Tribulation, but now we are told that these horns shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. In so far as the whore represents the corporate church, this reveals that the rule of Satan is to hate the corporate church and so destroy it during the Great Tribulation period from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011. This is exactly what happened; Satan made the churches desolate and naked in the sense that he deceived them into false gospels which could not save; he ate her flesh in the sense that his false teachings led them to death, for the wages of sin is death; and he burned her with fire in the sense that he brought judgment against her.  


Verse 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

From this verse, we learn that it is was God's will that Satan be given complete rule over the corporate church during the Great Tribulation as judgment against them, for God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will. And His will was for the corporate church to be judged due to her lack of hearing and obeying His Word. As it is written, judgment must begin at the house of God (1Pet. 4:17). So God loosed Satan from the bottomless pit as his instrument to spiritually destroy the local churches and congregations with false gospels and teachings from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011 when God's judgment on the churches would then transition to spiritual judgment upon the entire world. This entire period after May 21, 2011 is known as Judgment Day.  


Verse 18:  

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

Here we learn what we have already learned, namely that the woman or whore who represents the corporate church, which refers to all the churches and denominations, is that great city, namely Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, which, in turn, refers to the kingdom of Satan. And it is she which reigneth over the kings of the earth. This means that the kings of the earth in this verse cannot possibly be God's elect because they are not ruled over Babylon. Rather, the kings of the earth here must refer to the literal rulers of this earth, and, or the unsaved believers.

aaaaaaaaaaaaiii