We’ll see that each person must identify with either the harlot or the bride there can be no compromise. The woman represents the ultimate in godless world religion, and she is joined with government. Carried by the beast, by the way, and corrupts everything she touches. The bride is the true church of Jesus Christ, cleansed by his blood and destined for glory. Participating in false religion is like committing adultery. You are unfaithful to the one to whom you pledged your love. The harlot was popular for a time, but then her lovers turned on her and destroyed her. Now the Antichrist will use a world church to get himself into power and then establish his own religion.
Though Christians must be good citizens and seek to influence government for the Lord, the church must not marry political systems. The systems will only use the church to promote their own plans and then abandon it. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and the enemy is spiritual. We must use spiritual weapons to fight spiritual enemies.
The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.
~ Revelation 17:4
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New Testament: Revelation 17:1-18
Summary: The Great Prostitute and the Beast
The foolish acts of a proud and great city
And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. ~ Revelation 17:3
The woman in Revelation chapter 17 means the greatest city in the world. Really, therefore, she means the greatest thing that people can achieve by their own efforts in this world. Nothing could be greater than to build the great city that rules the world (see Daniel 4:30).
When people do such things, they consider themselves to have great power. Clearly, this woman considers herself to have great power. She rides on the back of the most terrible, fierce and dangerous beast (wild animal) in the world. She imagines that she can control the beast. Really, however, the beast will kill her (17:16).
That beast looks very much like the devil himself (12:3). Really, however, it would seem to be the antichrist, the great ruler of the world who is Christ’s enemy (13:1). So, even the greatest city in the world will support the antichrist. That city imagines itself able to control him, even as it already controls many other great men (17:2). However, the antichrist will only use that city for his own advantage. Then he will actually destroy it completely.
In this matter, the city is behaving like a proud prostitute (a woman who sells her body for sex). She imagines that she can control any man. She constantly desires to sleep with richer and more powerful men (compare Ezekiel 23:5-31). She does not realise that, one day, she may be unable to control such a powerful man.
This world’s cities and its governments constantly try to increase their own power. They do it by clever political schemes, by agreement with those who are more powerful than them. They often carry out, or permit, evil acts for the same reason. Perhaps they do not realise that, by such behaviour, they are making agreements with the devil and his agents. They may support the devil, but the devil will not support them. His desire is to ruin those cities, and to send their inhabitants to hell (Isaiah 14:12-17). ~ From: usefulbible.com
Revelation Chapter 17
- 17:1 – The evil power that causes rulers and people to oppose God
- 17:2 – The city that rules the present world
- 17:3 – The foolish acts of a proud and great city
- 17:4 – The use of beauty for evil purposes
- 17:5 – Babylon the great
- 17:6 – What causes great acts of cruelty?
- 17:7-8 – The spirit of antichrist
- 17:9-13 – 7 hills, 7 kings, and then 10 kings
- 17:14 – Christ will overcome the 10 kings who follow antichrist
- 17:15-16 – Antichrist destroys the greatest city
- 17:17 – God’s judgement and antichrist’s cruelty
- 17:18 – The power of selfish human effort