Revelation 17:1-18

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 13, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?

The apostle 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 next chapter has been interpreted many different ways – and I’m only going to give you my view. But keep in mind, the critical areas of interpretation rely on the passages we’ve already worked through.

Roman Catholicism

This chapter is going to make me sound as if I’m a raging anti-Catholic. Sorry.

NOTE: The word “Catholic” means “universal”. The “Catholic Church” is technically the “Universal Church” – the church of Jesus Christ made up of all believers around the world. For today, when I talk about the “Catholic Church”, I’m not going to be using the term correctly (technically), but I’m going to be using it the way that most of us do – in referring to the “Roman Catholic Church”.

Some of you are already very anti-Catholic, and you’ll be cheering me on.

Others of you won’t be happy that it will sound as if I’m picking on the poor Roman Catholic Church. I’m sorry for that. I didn’t write this chapter.

Earlier in 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:

(Re 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 passage.

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”.

I believe that with as many problems as the Roman Catholic Church has, there are true believers in the church.
If I meet a person who claims to be a Christian, and they go to the Roman Catholic Church, I don’t assume that they’re not a Christian.
When the Rapture takes place, those true believers within the Roman Catholic Church will be taken to heaven. But I think there will be a number of folks still left on the earth.
What’s left will become what we’ll look at today.

17:1-6 The Woman on the Beast

: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 angels

One of the fellows from the last chapter who had poured out a bowl full of the wrath of God upon the earth.

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 His wrath.
We will spend the couple of weeks looking at various aspects of this entity known as “Babylon”.

:1 harlotporne – 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 people.

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 Israel was not faithful to her husband.
The Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel are filled with these references:
(Eze 16:15 NKJV) “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.

The idea was that the Jewish people would make alliances with various nations and their gods, committing spiritual “adultery”.

The Old Testament prophets speak often in these terms. The prophet Hosea was asked by God to marry a prostitute to be a picture of the people of how He was married to unfaithful Israel:
(Ho 1:2 NKJV) —2 When the Lord began to speak by Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the Lord.”

This “woman” speaks of a spiritual entity. The “harlotry” we’re going to read about is spiritual harlotry – people abandoning the true God.

:1 sits upon many waters

Some of these pictures we’ll talk about later because they will be interpreted for John by the angel.

:2 fornicationporneuo – to prostitute one’s body to the lust of another; to give one’s self to unlawful sexual intercourse

:2 kings of the earth committed fornication

Rulers of nations will be connected to this “woman”.

: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 wildernesseremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness

:3 carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness

The language speaks of John having a “vision”, it’s being done “in the Spirit”.

:3 scarletkokkinos – crimson, scarlet coloured. A kernel, the grain or berry of the "ilex coccifera"; these berries are the clusters of the eggs of a female insect, the "kermes" (resembling the cochineal), and when collected and pulverised produces a red which was used in dyeing (Pliny); scarlet cloth or clothing

:3 beast … seven heads and ten horns

This “beast” is the antichrist and his kingdom (Rev. 13). We’ve seen this beast.

(Re 13:1 NKJV) 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 name.

The kingdom of the antichrist is a form of a revived Roman Empire.

We’ve already gone to great lengths to show this from Dan. 2,7.

Nebuchadnezzar had a vision of this empire, seen in his vision of the statue with various parts, with the legs and feet being the Roman Empire.

(Da 2:40–43 NKJV) —40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41 Whereas 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. 42 And 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 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.

Daniel had a vision of this empire, seen as a beast with ten horns.

(Da 7:7 NKJV) —7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

:3 a woman sitting on a scarlet beast

It’s the same woman we’ve just been talking about that’s on the 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 purpleporphura – the purple fish, a species of shell fish or mussel; a fabric coloured with purple dye, a garment made from purple cloth

:4 scarletkokkinos – crimson, scarlet coloured. A kernel, the grain or berry of the "ilex coccifera"; these berries are the clusters of the eggs of a female insect, the "kermes" (resembling the cochineal), and when collected and pulverised produces a red which was used in dyeing (Pliny); scarlet cloth or clothing

:4 adorned with goldchrusoo – to adorn with gold, to gild; of a woman ornamented with gold so profusely that she seems to be gilded

:4 arrayed in purple and scarlet

These are the colors of the robes of the bishops and cardinals.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that when it comes to the colors of the long robes worn by their clergy, that “purple” is the color for bishops, and “scarlet” is the color to be worn by cardinals.

:4 gold … precious stones … pearls

Speaks of wealth.

:4 golden cup full of abominations

Quite a few things within the Roman Catholic Church are detestable. Here’s two:

The Mass

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 teaches:
(Heb 10:10 NKJV) —10 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.

The Priesthood

We can fall into the trap of thinking that pastors and priests have special magical powers.
Trade Ya'
A priest happened upon a young boy, who was sitting on his front steps. “What are you playing with there, son?” asked the priest. “Just some turpentine, Father.” “That’s dangerous stuff to play with, son,” said the priest. “Tell you what: I’ll trade you the turpentine for some holy water.” “What does holy water do?” asked the boy. “Oh, lots of things!” the priest replied. “Just last week I put some holy water on a woman’s stomach and she passed a baby!” “That’s nuthin’.” the boy said. “Yesterday I put some turpentine on a cat’s bottom, and SHE passed a motorcycle!”
The RCC teaches we need priests with these spiritual powers to help us find God. Without a priest, you can’t get the bread and wine to change into the body and blood, and you can’t be saved.
The Bible teaches that ALL believers are priests.
(Re 1:6 NKJV) 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.
(Eph 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.

:4 abominationsbdelugma – a foul thing, a detestable thing

:4 filthinessakathartes – impurity, filthiness


:5 on her forehead a name was written

The 144,000 have God’s name on their foreheads.

Those who follow the antichrist will have his name or mark on their foreheads

:5 MYSTERYmusterion – secret; in rabbinic writings it denotes the hidden sense

Some think this might be a hint at the “mysteries” of the Catholic religion.

I think it’s referring to the idea that the name has a “mystical” or symbolic meaning.

Could refer to the “mysteries” of the Catholic religion.

Could mean that her name (Babylon) has a mystical meaning, something symbolic.

There are several ways of taking this “name” written on her head.

It could be that her name is “Mystery Babylon”.
It could be that her name is a mystery, the mystery is “Babylon”


It is not uncommon for the Bible to use the name of one city to describe another (like Sodom or Babylon)

The name “Babylon” might indeed be describing that ancient city that was in the process of being rebuilt by Sadam Hussein before his overthrow.

The name “Babylon”, as well as that of “Sodom”, are names that are also used to describe other cities known for their spiritual wickedness.

 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.


Well … it is “Mother’s Day” … let’s take a quick break from this and …

PlayAll Mom Wants” video ???

: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 drunkmethuo – to be drunken

:6 martyrsmartus – a witness; those who after his example have proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death

:6 marveledthaumazo – to wonder, wonder at, marvel

:6 amazementthauma – a wonderful thing, a marvel; wonder

John’s jaw dropped … his mouth was open …

:6 drunk with the blood of the saints

This is another way in which the Roman Catholic Church fits this passage.

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.

Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger – a 19th century Catholic priest and professor of church history wrote, “Since 1183, the view of the Church had been ... that every departure from the teaching of the Church ... must be punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire"

Groups like the Huguenots, Waldensians, and Hussites were hunted down and put to death.

Here’s an excerpt from a letter from Pope Martin V to the King of Poland in 1429: "Know that the interests of the Holy See, and those of your crown, make it a duty to exterminate the Hussites. Remember that these impious persons dare proclaim principles of equality ... that all Christians are brethren ... that Christ came on earth to abolish slavery; they call the people to liberty ... While there is still time, then turn your forces against Bohemia; burn, massacre, make deserts everywhere for nothing could be more agreeable to God or more useful to the cause of kings, than the extermination of the Hussites."

Historian Will Durant writes about these groups and says, “The Roman Church, they were sure, was the Whore of Babylon...”

Historian Will Durant writes,

“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

A husband, looking through the newspaper, came upon a study that said women use more words than men. Excited to prove to his wife his long-held contention that women in general, and his wife in particular, talked too much, he showed her the study results. The report stated: "Men use about 15,000 words per day, but women use 30,000." His wife thought awhile, then finally she said to her husband, "It's because we have to repeat everything we say." The husband said, "What?"

Sometimes we lowly men have a hard time understanding women.  We’ll get a little help from an angel with this woman…

:7 I will tell you the mystery

The angel will give an explanation to this vision that John has seen.

:7 mysterymusterion – hidden thing, secret, mystery; in rabbinic writings, it denotes the mystic or hidden sense

This is the same word as used in the “label” on the woman’s head.

:7 carriesbastazo – to take up with the hands; to bear what is burdensome; to sustain, i.e. uphold, support

:7 the beast that carries her

The “beast” (antichrist) is holding up the woman, propping her up, supporting her.

Is it too difficult to see the Roman Catholic Church sitting on the Revived Roman Empire?

: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. 13).

was … will –

We’ve talked about this back in chapter 13. It might refer to a kingdom that was, then isn’t, and comes back.
It could refer to a person who dies and comes back to life.

:8 whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world

:9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

:9 mindnous – the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining

:9 wisdomsophia – wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters

Similar phrase used in:

(Re 13:18 NKJV) 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.
ωδε η σοφια εστιν ο εχων τον νουν ψηφισατω
The word for “understanding” is the same word translated “mind” in our verse.

ωδε ο νους ο εχων σοφιαν

:9 the mind which has wisdom

The same language is used by John when he talked about the antichrist.

(Re 13:18 NKJV) 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.

The sense here as in the earlier passage is that we ought to think about what this might mean.

:9 mountainsoros – a mountain

Keep in mind that in Israel, what we call a “hill” is called a “mountain”.

:9 seven mountains

We will see at the end of the passage that the woman is also a “city” (vs. 18)

A city on seven mountains/hills? There are dozens of them, including

San Diego, Seattle, Tehran
And Rome.

The Catholic 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 kingsbasileus – leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king

:10 fallenpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon)

:10 continuemeno – to remain, abide

:10 There are also seven kings

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 John’s time.

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.

In the two visions in Daniel that concern world empires, there were always four empires listed, with the last one forming a sort of fifth.
Keep in mind that Daniel was looking forward, not backward. There were already two major world empires before Daniel’s time – Egypt and Assyria.
Since John looks backward and forward, I think these are the “heads” he’s talking about:
Past Empires: Egypt; Assyria; Babylon; Persia; Greece
Present Empire (in John’s day): Ancient Rome

When Jesus was tempted by Satan (during the time of the Roman Empire), Satan offered to …

(Mt 4:8–9 NKJV) Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Future Empire: Revived Rome

This is the one that will continue a “short” time.

:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

:11 perditionapoleia – destroying, utter destruction; the destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell

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 kingsbasileus – leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king

:12 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

:12 ten kings

One of the heads has ten horns.  The visions in Daniel spoke of ten divisions in this latter day revived Roman Empire.

Ten toes and Ten horns (Dan. 2 & 7) spoke of this empire.

These ten kings will be contemporaries of the antichrist.

We’ve thought 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.

PlayClub of Rome” promo.
They have 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”.

Perhaps it is just talking about a short period of time.

One of Daniel’s prophecies is called the “seventy weeks” of Daniel, and each week is a group of seven years. Perhaps this is a short period of an “hour” in comparison to a week of seven years.

:13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.

:13 haveecho – to have, i.e. to hold; to have i.e. own, possess

:13 mindgnome – the faculty of knowledge, mind, reason; that which is thought or known, one’s mind; view, judgment, opinion

:13 powerdunamis – strength, power, ability

:13 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

These ten kings join together to form a single government and give it to the antichrist.

: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 warpolemeo – to war, carry on war; to fight

:14 overcomenikao – to conquer; of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions

:14 make war with the Lamb

At Armageddon, the world’s armies will be waiting to fight with Jesus.

(Re 19:19 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

calledkletos – called, invited (to a banquet)

choseneklektos – picked out, chosen

That will be us with Jesus when He returns (more in Rev. 19). We’re returning with the One who wins the battle.


We win

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 with?
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.
faithfulpistos – that can be relied on; believing, confiding, trusting
The word might be talking about us being “reliable”, but it can also be talking about us simply being “believers”.
Jesus said,
(Jn 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.

(Re 17:1 NKJV) 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 peopleslaos – people group, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language

:15 multitudesochlos – a crowd; a casual collection of people; a multitude of men who have flocked together in some place

:15 nationsethnos – a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus; Paul uses the term for Gentile Christians

:15 tonguesglossa – a tongue; the language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations

:15 waters … where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes …

The angel is telling John about the beginning of the chapter where the harlot was described as sitting on many waters.

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 fulfilled.

This league of nations will turn on this false religion.

:16 hatemiseo – to hate, pursue with hatred, detest

:16 make her desolateeremoo – to make desolate, lay waste; to ruin, bring to desolation; to despoil one, strip her of her treasures

This is the noun form of the word translated “wilderness” (verse 3), where John was taken when he saw the woman riding the beast.

:16 burnkatakaio – to burn up, consume by fire

:17 putdidomi – to give; to give something to someone; to grant or permit one

:17 to fulfillpoieo – to make; to do

:17 purposegnome – the faculty of knowledge, mind, reason; that which is thought or known, one’s mind

“God has given into their hearts to do His mind”

:17 to bepoieo – to make; to do

:17 mindgnome – the faculty of knowledge, mind, reason; that which is thought or known, one’s mind

God will be working behind the scenes to make sure these ten nations are going to act in this way – destroying the “harlot” and giving the antichrist their kingdoms.

:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

:18 womangune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow

:18 reigns – two words combine to translate “reigns”

hasecho – to have, i.e. to hold

kingdombasileia – royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king

The woman “has royal power” 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.

(Re 2:24–25 NKJV) —24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come.

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 Bible.
You just get them into the Bible.