Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.
As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place,
the seven year period we call the Tribulation, the time of God’s wrath.
We’ve now made
it to the end of the seven years. God’s wrath has been poured out.
The next two
chapters are going to back up and give a little detail to events mentioned at
the end of the last chapter, specifically “Babylon”
This chapter is going to make me sound as if I’m a raging anti-Catholic. Sorry.
Revelation, we made a suggestion that the letter to the church of Thyatira
seemed like a prophetic letter to the Roman Catholic Church.
The church at Thyatira was praised by Jesus for their works, love, service,
faith, and patience. But
it was also condemned by Jesus for allowing a false prophetess named
Jezebel into their church:
2:20–22 NKJV) —20
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow
that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things
sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time
to repent of her sexual immorality,
and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed,
and those who commit adultery with
her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
Note the sexual words connected to this church. We’ll see this in our
Yet as bad as
Thyatira was, there were some in the church who did not participate in the
wickedness of Jezebel, but were considered “overcomers”.
Rapture takes place, those true believers within the Roman Catholic Church will
be taken to heaven.
What’s left will
become what we’ll look at today.
17:1-6 The Woman on
:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked
with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot
who sits on many waters,
:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the
inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
:1 one of the seven
We saw last week that the last bowl involved the world’s worst earthquake:
(Re 16:19 NKJV) Now the
great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.
And great Babylon
was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of
We will spend the couple of weeks looking at various aspects of this entity
known as “Babylon”.
:1 harlot – porne – a woman
who sells her body for sexual uses
In the Bible,
sexual sins are often used to describe the spiritual unfaithfulness of God’s
In the Old
Testament, Israel was considered as a bride married to Yahweh.
When Israel was
unfaithful, she was described as a harlot (Hos. 1:2)
“But you trusted in
your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your
harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.
speaks of a spiritual entity. The “harlotry” we’re going to read about is
spiritual harlotry – people abandoning the true God.
:3 So he carried
me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a
scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads
and ten horns.
:3 beast … seven
heads and ten horns
This “beast” is
the antichrist and his kingdom (Rev.
13). We’ve seen this beast.
Then I stood on the
sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads
and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous
The kingdom of
the antichrist is a form of a revived Roman Empire.
gone to great lengths to show this from Dan.
40Whereas you saw the
feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be
divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron
mixed with ceramic clay. 42And as the
toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the
kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43
:3 a woman sitting
on a scarlet beast
If the woman is
some sort of spiritual entity that encourages people to spiritual adultery, and
she’s sitting “on
the beast”, and the “beast” is this revived Roman Empire, it’s not much of a
stretch to conclude
that this is talking about the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church does sit on top of the old Roman Empire … and
even beyond. The
headquarters of the RCC, the Vatican, is in Rome.
:4 The woman was
arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones
and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the
filthiness of her fornication.
:4 arrayed in
purple and scarlet
These are the colors of the robes of the bishops and cardinals.
:4 gold … precious
stones … pearls
:4 golden cup full
Quite a few things within the Roman Catholic Church are detestable. Here’s
The RCC teaches that the bread magically becomes the actual, real flesh of
Jesus and that the wine becomes the actual blood of Jesus.
They teach that
when the priest says his magical words over the bread and wine, that Jesus is
once again being sacrificed for our sins.
Yet the Bible
By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of
the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
(Heb 10:14 NKJV) For by one
offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
While He was on
the cross, Jesus said “it is finished”. There is no need for further sacrifice.
Jesus said to
“do this in remembrance of Me” during communion. He didn’t say to crucify Him
over and over again. What an insult to the true sacrifice of Jesus.
and has made us kings
and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever
and ever. Amen.
Salvation by works
The Bible says that we can’t save ourselves, but that we are saved by God’s
grace as we come to have faith in Him.
2:8–9 NKJV) —8 For by
grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Yet the RCC teaches that you must do good works in order to be saved. And if
you don’t do enough good works, then your family can pay them money to say
prayers and conduct masses to get you out of purgatory after you die. Detestable.
:5 And on her forehead
a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
– musterion – secret; in rabbinic
writings it denotes the hidden sense
I think it’s referring to the idea that the name has a “mystical” or
:5 BABYLON THE
The original Babylon - Babel
Karl Keating, Catholic
apologist writes, “Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six
times in the last book of the Bible and in extra biblical works such as
Sibylling Oracles (5,159f.), the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii,I), and Esdras (3:1).
Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303 noted that ... Peter ... referred to
Rome figuratively as Babylon”
To be honest, Keating is talking about “Babylon” referring to the Rome of
the Caesars, but he still makes the connection between Rome and Babylon.
:5 MOTHER OF
Well … it is “Mother’s Day” … let’s take a quick break from this and …
:6 I saw the woman,
drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
:6 drunk with the
blood of the saints
Over the last 1500 years, there have been millions of believers in Jesus
Christ who have been put to death at the order of the Roman Catholic Church.
Historian Will Durant
“Compared with the persecution of alleged heresy in Europe (by the Roman
Catholic Church) ... the persecution of Christians in the first three centuries
after Christ by pagan Rome was a mild and humane procedure.”
17:7-18 The Meaning
of the Woman
:7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the
mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven
heads and the ten horns.
:7 I will tell you
the mystery of the woman
Sometimes we lowly men have a hard time
understanding women. We’ll get a little
help from an angel with this woman…
:8 The beast that
you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to
perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not
written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the
beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
:8 the beast was …
is not … will ascend
Again, this is the antichrist (Rev.
:9 “Here is the
mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the
Here is wisdom. Let
him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the
number of a man: His number is 666.
Here is wisdom. Let
him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the
number of a man: His number is 666.
:9 seven mountains
We will see at
the end of the passage that the woman is also a “city” (vs. 18)
Encyclopedia states: “It is the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the
entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined”
:10 There are
also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet
come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
:10 There are also
This “mystery” of the seven heads has several layers of meaning. The seven
heads not only refer to seven mountains, but also seven kings.
These kings are
divided into three categories – past, present, and future – in respect to
In a sense, the earthly kingdom of the antichrist has gone through various
phases in history. It’s not just a future thing.
I believe these
“kings” are speaking of world empires, especially the world empires mentioned
in the Bible and the book of Daniel.
Past Empires: Egypt;
Assyria; Babylon; Persia; Greece
(in John’s day): Ancient Rome
And he said to Him,
“All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Future Empire: Revived
:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of
the seven, and is going to perdition.
I think the angel is saying is the beast is “of the seven” in that his
kingdom is one of the seven kingdoms, but he’s the “eighth” in that he is a
specific king, not just an empire.
:12 “The ten horns
which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they
receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
:12 ten kings
One of the heads has ten horns. The
visions in Daniel spoke of ten divisions in this latter day revived Roman
this might be the European Union (currently at 27 nations)
The EU is having some difficulties (Greece, Spain, etc.) and perhaps these
ten kings might represent ten of those nations forming a new government.
A group formed
in 1968 calling itself “The Club of Rome” is a “think tank” made up of world
leaders, businessmen, and scientists. Their goal is to help the world plan,
think ahead, and survive.
divided the world up into how many regions? Ten. (ref: Dave Hunt)
:12 one hour
Perhaps this might simply be a way of saying “a short time” compared to the
whole Tribulation “week”.
:13 These are
of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
These ten kings join together to form a single government and give it to
:14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for
He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are
called, chosen, and faithful.”
:14 make war with
the world’s armies will be waiting to fight with Jesus.
NKJV) And I saw
the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make
war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
Play Avengers trailer. What if the alien invaders are the good guys?
:14 those who
are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful
That will be us with Jesus when He returns (more in Rev. 19). We’re returning with the
One who wins the battle.
Some might say, “It’s not fair that God chooses people”. But we like the
idea of getting to choose our spouse, the person we’re going to spend the rest
of our lives with. Aren’t you glad you have a choice like that? Jesus is going
to spend eternity with us, isn’t it fair that He get to choose who He spends it
If you want to be one that Jesus has chosen, you simply need to choose
Jesus. You’ll find that He has already chosen you.
15:4–5 NKJV) —4 Abide in
Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides
in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the
branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me
you can do nothing.
Our victory doesn’t come from our own effort or our own
works. Our victory right now simply comes from “abiding”, from staying put,
from simply trusting in Jesus.
:15 Then he
said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples,
multitudes, nations, and tongues.
Then one of the seven
angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I
will show you the judgment of the
great harlot who sits on many waters,
:15 waters … where
the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes …
The idea is that this entity known as “Babylon” covers a lot of territory –
spanning a lot of places in the world. The Roman Catholic Church does that.
:16 And the ten
horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate
and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
:17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of
one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are
This league of nations will turn on this false religion.
:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the
kings of the earth.”
:18 the woman … is
that great city
This woman in
the picture is not only a religion that promotes spiritual abominations, but it
is also a city – Rome.
What about my Catholic friends?
1. Not all
Catholics are unbelievers
We’ve already talked about how the Church at Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29) seems to parallel
with the Roman Catholic Church.
Not all in Thyatira were wicked.
Some were overcomers.
2. Clarify the gospel with them
We are not saved because we go to the right church and take communion.
We are not saved because we’ve led a good life.
We are saved
because Jesus Christ shed His blood to pay for our sins, and when we’ve
received His free gift of forgiveness, we have eternal life.
3. Read the Bible
The root of the problem with Catholicism is that the traditions of the
church, the proclamations of the popes, are taken to be as authoritative as the
You just get them into the Bible.