The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
18. Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
The 17th chapter is as mysterious as chapter 13. We meet symbols which we already know and also some very mysterious pictures. Here we have need of true revelation from God to comprehend what lies beneath the symbolic descriptions. Again we are concerned with the key-words which are given to unlock those symbols.
For instance, if one reads the 1st and the 15th verse, the answer is found right there. We saw what the symbol of the true woman means (chapter 12) and what women mean in general (chapter 14) according to Bible prophecy. Sufficient light is thrown by the Scripture itself about the beast with the seven heads and ten horns. Now we must deal with the woman riding on the beast.
The overwhelming majority of Bible teachers agree that this "great harlot" is the church of Rome sitting on the seven hills. Of all the many churches which exist only the church of Rome is a worldly state with national territory, and an independent country, with the exchange of ambassadors, as is the usual practice between nations. In this way the Vatican state has all diplomatic channels with the governments of the world at its disposal. The pope is also head of state, and therefore, when making a state visit he is received with all diplomatic honours. All other churches are more or less represented in certain countries and areas, but the Catholic church is present in one way or another all over the world. This fact is sufficiently shown forth in verses 1-2:
"And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come here; I will show unto thee the judgement of the great harlot 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." There is no other church institution which seeks the favour of the kings and rulers in such a way on earth. In August 1994 the Pope addressed 184 governments prior to the World Population Conference in September in Cairo and sought support for the Vatican's version, especially with the extreme Islamic countries.
John saw what this institution actually is, "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." (Rev. 17: 3). In chapter 12 we were acquainted with the faithful woman who had received the godly seed and gave birth accordingly. Here we see the unfaithful woman who has received the strange seed, she is still called a woman, because she is looked upon as a church but is decked with names of blasphemy.
The symbol of this woman riding the beast very plainly shows that the religious power has the upper hand over the worldly power. This world institution is the unfaithful woman and has the reins in her hands and is thereby directing the worldly power, upon which she sits. This beast power is already dealt with in chapter 13. For better understanding the following verse should suffice: "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and bedecked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." Whoever has visited the treasury of the Vatican, can very much confirm this scriptural text.
God spoke long ago, by the Prophet Ezekiel, about this system and of the one who thinks himself to be more than a man: "Thus saith the Lord God: Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas, yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God
With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasuries;
By thy great wisdom and by thy merchandise hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches " (Ezek. 28: 2-5). Every insider knows that the treasuries in the Vatican cannot be estimated. It is also participating financially wherever possible, in banks, insurance and other branches of the commercial world.
The Holy Scripture further declares: "And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." (Rev. 17: 5). This writing again is not being carried about visibly in the forehead because then all could see it. As we know the incomprehensible, unexplainable mystery of God in Christ in the Church, so in contrast, there is this mystery of Satan in the apostate church which is also incomprehensible and unexplainable. Satan himself is a created apostate being, but never denies God. The same applies to the apostate church.
The Prophet Jeremiah was shown the spiritual condition of this great institution. He wrote, "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunk; the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore, the nations are mad." (Jer. 51: 7). All of humanity is in spite of their all-embracing knowledge spiritually made drunk, and therefore cannot judge the situation with a clear scriptural understanding. The wrong teachings have had an affect spiritually as the overdose of wine in the natural. Biblical orientation can only be obtained by those who come out of this system.
The Prophet Jeremiah continues: "Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed; wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed; forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgement reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies." (Jer. 51: 8-9).
The reformers did not succeed in healing this great Babylon, they all had to forsake the same without accomplishing anything and founded their own churches. It is also not possible now. In spite of all the so-called changing process, things remain as they were. What seem to be adjustments and concessions have only one aim, to calm the Protestants down, so that they would not think negatively and raise their warning voices. Much of Protestant vocabulary is being invented since the II Vatican Council, but in reality nothing is changed.
This great institution is the mother church, out of her came all the daughter churches which are now returning into the mother's lap. They have similar or almost the same teachings, that which cannot be agreed upon is discarded. The tragic situation is found in the fact that Protestant churches do not compare themselves with the Scripture but rather with one another for unity sake.
Regarding the blood of the millions of martyrs, John testifies: "And 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 wondered with great wonder." (Rev. 17: 6). This verse of Scripture is certainly confirmed, especially during the 1,000 years reign of that state church.
Verses 7 and 8 describe the constellation of worldly and religious power in the end-time, they also speak about the kings and rulers and the "beast" which neither comes out of the sea (13: 1-10) nor out of the land (13: 11-18), but ascends from the bottomless pit (11: 7) and then goes into perdition: "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." (v. 8).
In verse 9 we are told, "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." The city upon the seven hills, also called "eternal city" is known world-wide. This place is geographically fixed. The seven heads point to the historical developments of the past and also to the seven leading Western industrial nations. Only the eighth is mysterious who actually belongs to the seven, and is being called a beast and executes worldly power. "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." (v. 11).
The mystery in this text is hidden and revealed at the same time. We are dealing with the smallest state within a state belonging to the "United Europe". In any case, the Eastern European rulers who are in power at the end-time will submit their might to this superman. "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who 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." (vv. 12-13). As the seven heads point to the seven Western leading nations, so the ten horns point to the Eastern European nations.
"These shall make war with the Lamb, 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."
In connection with this last battle, the Eastern European states under the leadership of Russia will feel betrayed by this religious world power, shall be angry with the church and destroy Rome: "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
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." (vv. 16-17). The co-operation will only last until the Word of
God be accomplished. Communism will not disappear in Russia. The Eastern
European nations will only co-
operate, until the biblical prophecy on Israel for the end-time is fulfilled. They are destined to destroy the so-called "eternal" city.
In the last verse of chapter 17, we are once again informed about the activities of the religious world institution: "And the woman whom thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." (v. 18). Only one city exists on this earth, upon seven hills from where religious and political world-power is being exercised over all in responsibility in the world.