‘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:’ — Revelation 17:1
In Revelation 17, John has a vision of a beautifully arrayed woman sitting on a beast that sits on many waters. This ‘woman’ is a mystery that is revealed in the chapter. We notice several thing about her:
- She will be judged (v.1,16).
- She is immorally involved with the kings of the earth and makes the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication (v.2).
- She is very beautiful but also very blasphemous, abominable, and filthy (v.3-4).
- She is called Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth (v.5).
- She is drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (v.6).
Various details are given in the chapter to explain who she is and who the beast is upon which she is carried. The beast has seven heads which are seven mountains or seven kings. The ten horns are ten kings which will come and empower the beast that is to come. United they will make war with the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, but they will not win. The waters upon which the woman sits are the nations and peoples of the world.
So, this woman represents an unholy alliance of a system of blasphemy and deception that goes back to the tower of Babel with the kings of this world. The alliance is designed to deceive and to rebel against the true King Jesus. The alliance is designed to destroy the followers of Christ. But the alliance will not last and the wicked religious system that rises up to lead people astray from the truth will eventually be broken and the religious system will be judged and destroyed by the very kings who used it (v.16-18).
God and His truth will prevail in the end. Christ will defeat all His foes including the deceptive, blasphemous belief systems that lead people away from God in whatever form they are found around the world.
And, this chapter is a warning to not be deceived by the attractive yet unfaithful lies of false religion. Many have been led astray by false religion and many have been drawn into much sin and wickedness through false religion.