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A Woman Rides the Beast (Commentary Notes)

A Woman Rides the Beast (Commentary Notes)

Revelation 17:1 (a)

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…

At this point in the Book of Revelation, although the church is in heaven, the structures, systems, and stuff of religion—referred to here as the great harlot—remain intact on earth.

Remember that we said, previously, that God considers chasing after strange gods to be adultery. Well, in reality, there is only one strange god, one presentence to the Throne, False Religion, and this false religion is the whore in church, and every other false religion, for that matter.

Revelation 17:1 (b), 2

…that sitteth upon many waters: 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.

Throughout Scripture, the “waters” refer to the nations, specifically, the Gentile Nations (Ha’Goyom). This is ubiquitous power and influence. The kings of the earth, this is the leaders of the gentile nations, will become drunk with the wine of her fornication.

What does this mean, drunk with the wine of her fornication?  Delusion.

Matthew 24:4-5

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 tells us,

For there shall arise false christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

So many people are already deceived into thinking they are Christians. Billions are deceived by other “saviors” from other religions. All of them will be deluded and are deluded, blinded by the debauchery of false religion.

Revelation 17:3

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Note the unique position of the false religious system as the harlot is seen riding the Beast, or Antichrist. At this point, all true believers are in heaven at the ultimate worship serviee of all eternity (See Revelation 4 and 5). This leaves only the trappings of religion atop the Beast.

Why is she closed in scarlet. Scarlet and purple are considered the colors of majesty. Kings are adorned in scarlet or purple, especially when seated upon the throne and holding court.

Note the similar description of the Beast in Revelation 13- False Religion is so arrogantly deluded as to think that she can control the Beast (riding on the beast) thus making religion the ultimate power in the world.

Revelation 17:4 (a)

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls…

Wealth untold, Power untold, Majesty Supreme… this is how the great whore is described. Of course she is arrayed in gold and precious stones, and pearls, every prostitute is paid for her whoredoms and this is no exception. Every human is designed to worship and will worship. Those who will not bow down and worship Christ will bow down to false religion. Even the atheists, in the end will bow. The Scarlet Woman’s deceit, so powerful and so universal, even the atheists will bow to her and profess fielty.

Revelation 17:4 (b)

…having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

The “wine” offered to the nations is false worship, which is an abomination unto the Lord.  Filthiness Isaiah 64:6

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

If we translate that literally, filthy rags actually says menstrual cloths. There is, perhaps, nothing more disgusting than a used menstrual cloth so it is quite apropos a description  of false religion. It does not just disgust God, it repulses him.

Revelation 17:5


The Bible could rightly be called The Tale of Two Cities, for from cover to cover, two cities pop up over and over again: One is Jerusalem, the city of God. The other is Babylon, the city of rebellion.

Mentioned more than three hundred times in Scripture, Babylon was founded on the plain of Shinar near the Euphrates River by Nimrod, a man whose name literally means “we will rebel.” Babylon was centered around the tower of Babel—a ziggurat used for the practice of astrology.

We will see, in very short order, that Babylon is used as a methaphor…

Revelation 17:6 (a)

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…

Note the unsettling persecution perpetrated by the false religious system. Bear in mind that John wrote the Book of Revelation in the midst of ten waves of persecution that would ultimately claim the lives of six million believers.

All of the persecutions of history put together will not match the holocaust of the Tribulation. We are beginning to taste it now but our present taste of persecution does not rise to the level of an hors doeurve. Satan, the god behind this false religion, will unleash unbridled fury upon those who are saved during the Tribulation.

Revelation 17:6 (b), 7

…and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 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.

Initially, we saw the woman riding the Beast (verse 3). Here, we see the Beast carrying the woman—a small, but I believe, important change of terminology as Antichrist employs the false religious system to serve his own agenda.

False religion, thinking it as the power, will ultimately be seen as nothing more than a pawn. She is a “useful idiot.” The false religious system(s) will be nothing more than a puppet in the hands of the true world power, the Beast.

Why didst thou marvel? Why are you surprised? Diabolos est Dei simia; the devil is God’s monkey. All that John is seeing is happening according to God’s timing, His design.

Revelation 17:8

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.

Remember from our Revelation Study, those that dwell on the earth, are those who refuse to believe in Christ.

John gives a seemingly enigmatic description of the beast carrying the woman when he writes of the “beast that was seen and is not, and yet is.” But then he goes on to give further illumination.…

Revelation 17:9

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

Only one city in history is known as “The City of Seven Mountains”: Rome.

From days antecedent to the time of Christ even to this day, Rome is a center of decadence, debauchery, and spiritual whoredoms. Many of the Magisterial Reformers believe that this can only refer to the Roman Catholic Church.

Revelation 17:10 (a)

And there are seven kings…

At the time John wrote this, there had been seven Roman emperors: Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, Tiberias, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and Domitian.

Revelation 17:10 (b)

…five are fallen…

Of the original emperors, the lives of five were cut short. Julius Caesar was assassinated. Tiberias was poisoned. Caligula was stabbed. Claudius was smothered. And Nero committed suicide.

Revelation 17:10 (c)

…and one is…

When John penned this book, Domitian was on the throne. It is interesting that Domitian was on the Throne in the dayse this book was written. It was Domitian who demanded to be referred to as Dominus et Deus noster (Our Lord and God) and viciously persecuted any who would not bow down to Caesar. It will be the same in the last days, all who will not hail the Beast as lord and God will be viciously persecuted up to and including being killed  for their faith.

Revelation 17:10 (d)

…and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

This is a reference to the final Antichrist.

Revelation 17:11

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

The Beast yet to come is “of the seven.” In other words, Antichrist is one of the original seven emperors. Consider Caesar Nero—the sixth of the original Roman emperors.…

It was to Caesar Nero that Paul appealed (Acts 25:11). History verifies that it was after meeting with Paul that Caesar Nero went on a rampage that resulted in the martyrdom of tens of thousands of believers. Whomever he perverted spirit of Caesar Nero that caused massive bloodshed under his reign, that demon will reappear in Antichrist.
By this time, though, his full filthiness is exposed. Truly this will not just be the spirit of Nero, but of Caligula and Domitian as well.

Revelation 17:12, 13

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

Historically, we as Dispensationalists believe that Daniel 7 tells us that the ten horns of the beast signify the ten nations of the revived Roman Empire. Since the Rapture has happened at this point, Antichrist and this ten-nation federation will be of one mind.

I am not 100% on it being a literal revival or the Roman Empire but it will most definitely be in the spirit and power. If you stop to consider the Roman Catholic Church, her influence, and power, you will realize that there has never been a point where Rome lost its influence over the world.

Revelation 17:14 (a)

These shall make war with the Lamb…

The bottom line, the only goal, the one objective of Antichrist is to destroy Jesus. The Muslims claim that their savior, Mahdi (who bears a striking resemblance to the Antichrist of Scripture) will destroy Dajjal, their devil, who happens to bear a striking resemblance to the Jesus of Scripture.  What perversity is this, the worlds two largest religions, Catholocism and Islam, united together in a futile attempt to make war with the Lamb.

Revelation 17:14 (b)

…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.

Because Jesus is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, Antichrist will be unsuccessful in his attempted coup. In Revelation 19, we see that the Lamb overcomes them by the Word of His Mouth. Like the late Dr. LaHaye, I belive that Jesus will, on that day, declare Himself to be the Divine Son and the one true and living God, at which point the beast is destroyed.

Revelation 17:15, 16

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

Once the Beast has used the false religious system to gain power, he will then turn against her. So, too, we will be disgraced, denuded, and devoured by any sin we attempt to control rather than confess.

Well did Paul say that the wages of sin is death. The Beast will turn his unbelievable hatred and fury against the woman. ALL OF HER WHOREDOMS ARE NOW JUDGED AND REPAID.

Eat her flesh and burn her with fire: Coplete and total destruction. The Beast no longer needs her and so she is consumed.

Revelation 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.

According to His own will, God will use the Beast to destroy the false religious system. All is laid bare. The impotence of false religion to control the depravity of the human heart will be on full display. I, personally think that part of this destruction will be when the Beast sets himself up to be worshipped as God.

Revelation 17:18

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

Rome has always had its vassal kings (Herod). Even in the days of the Beast there will be vassal kings exercising power and authority on his behalf.

Naturally, Babylon is a metaphor for Rome- like mother like daughter. Yet for all of its filth, Babylon is amateurish compared to Rome.

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