Preface to Chapter 17

Recall from Chapter 12 "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."  According to chapters 13-16 Satan had developed a powerful multifaceted political and religious systems in which to attack those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (the Lord's church).  He caused to rise up out of the sea of humanity a seven headed, ten horn beast that was made in the image of the dragon.  This was a multinational beast designed to bring political power and pressure against the Lord and His church.  He also caused to rise up out of the earth another beast with two horns like a lamb, but spoke as a dragon.  This beast is the false prophet.  This also was a multinational religious beast designed to gather the false religious systems against the true religion of Jesus Christ. 

The second beast made an image to the first beast, which of course Satan made in the image of the dragon.  Furthermore, the second beast caused all outside the true church of Jesus Christ to worship the image of the beast (or dragon).  This image of the beast is the antichrist spoken of in 1 John chapter 2.  The antichrist is one in the place of Christ who is also opposed to Christ.  As the scriptures teach, there are many antichrists in the world. 

          Among the arsenal of this trifecta of enemies against the Lord and his true disciples are included:

          1.  Destruction and devastation (Rev. 13:2).

          2.  Great political power (Rev. 13:2-4).

          3.  Blasphemy against God, against his name, against his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven (the Lord's church). (Rev. 13:6)

          4.  False worship (Rev. 13:8, 12).

          5.  False wonders (Rev. 13:13).

          6.  Deception (Rev. 13:14).

          7.  Mortal fear (Rev. 13:15).

          8.  Bondage (Rev. 13:16, 17).

          9.  False spirits (Rev. 16:13).

          10.  False doctrine or teaching (Rev. 12:15, 16).

Finally there is introduced to us in Rev. 14:8 and 16:19 the bride of Satan or the false church known as Babylon the Great.   Chapter 17 will help us identify Babylon the Great. 

Rev. 17:1, 2 "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 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."  

  The seven angels are the same as the seven angels, which had the seven vials of the seven last plagues.  There is no reason to think that these are any different from the seven angels of the seven churches of Asia in Rev. Chapters 2 and 3.  Since the word angel means messenger, the angels are delivering the message of God to God's people.  A part of the message of God is God's judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.  The "many waters" are identified for us in verse 15 "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."  This is consistent with the fact that the great whore rides the back of the seven head ten horn beast (v.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").  

The great whore was judged for her fornications.  She committed fornication with the kings of the earth, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.  Her fornications were spiritual fornications not natural fornications.  Examples of spiritual fornications follow:

          1.  2 Chr. 21:11 "Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto."

          2.  Ezek. 16:15 "But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. 16 And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so."

          3.  Ezek. 16:26 "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. 27 Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food, and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way. 28 Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied. 29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith." 

As can be seen by the above examples, spiritual fornication is idolatry or the worshipping of false Gods. 

There are two groups of people mentioned in the above passage, "the kings of the earth" and "the inhabitants of the earth."  The term, "kings of the earth" is used several times in the scriptures and while sometimes it has reference to natural "kings of the nations of the earth," yet other times it appears to have reference to God's people: 

          1.  Ps. 102:13 "Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory."

          2.  Ps. 138:4 "All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. 5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD."

          3.  Ps. 148:11 "Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: 12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven."

          4.  Lam. 4:12 "The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem."

          5.  Rev. 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

          6.  Rev. 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 term, "kings of the earth," appears nine times in the book of Revelations and very obviously the first and last time it appears it is referring to those who the Lord has made kings and priests unto God.  That is, it has reference to God's born again people.  If we are to be consistent in our interpretation then the other seven times it must have reference to God's born again people.  With this understanding, we conclude that God's people sometimes commit spiritual fornication with Mystery Babylon and her harlot daughters.  It appears most of them commit spiritual fornication or idolatry through ignorance. 

          The term, "inhabitants of the earth," appears to have reference to humanity in general as those who inhabit mortal bodies:

          1.  Ps. 33:13 "The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works."

          2.  Is. 24:6 "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left."

          3.  Is. 26:21 "For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."

          4.  Jere. 25:29 "For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. 30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD."

          5.  Dan. 4:35 "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"

All humanity are possessors of earthly bodies, but only God's born again people have been made kings and priests unto God.

We notice a difference in the effect of Mystery Babylon's fornications.  The kings of the earth have committed fornication, but the inhabitants of the earth are made drunk (intoxicated) with the wine of her fornication.  The one have committed fornication with a condemning conscience, whereas the other has been completed taken in and ravished with Mystery Babylon.