We are going to tackle a large portion of Revelation from chapter 17 through chapter 19, because it is all focused on God’s specific wrath against the Beast, apostate religion, and their partnership for global power, which we read about in the previous chapters.
If you remember, from Revelation 12 to Revelation 14 we have an overview of Satan’s end-time plan to war against Christ through the deception of the Beast and his image using wicked men to persecute the saints. From Revelation 15 to Revelation 16 we have God’s response to the wicked who have made their allegiance to Satan and rejected the Creator God, His Son, and have willfully pursued harm of His saints.
As we open from Revelation 17:1 to Revelation 19:10 we see God’s judgment against the Beast, those that go along with his mark, and the apostate religion fueled by Satan’s scheme.
I want to mention something about the term Babylon and the Euphrates from this section that is important to know as we consider this section of Revelation. To the Apostle John, Babylon was a great city that took God’s people captive and the river Euphrates which flowed through the walled city provided all it needed to for its own greatness. Without the Euphrates there would be no Babylon.
In Revelation 16:12 we have the Euphrates being dried up and Beast being referred to as Babylon in Revelation 17:5. What we really have here is this judgment wrath the end of the Beast’s supposed reign, just as the real Babylon fell when the Euphrates was dried up by the conquering Medes and the Persians.
Revelation 17:1-5 — Right away we are told that what is about to unfold is “the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.” As we’ve seen in our last few studies a “whore” would likely be the opposite of a pure bride or pure church so this is a prostituted apostate church. Remember, this Beast is different in that it is both a state and a religious head, and its religious characteristics are apostate, but its rule is said to be “upon many waters” which is to say many peoples and nations. It is also an organization of great wealth.
Revelation 17:6-18 — Much of the remainder of the chapter hearkens back to Revelation 13 with identifiers of the Beast. It speaks of the Beast’s wound which was healed, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire out of Pagan Rome. It may be a good time to mention that this prophecy does not speak to personalities but to organizations.
Revelation 18:1-4 — When we get to chapter 18 we have an appeal to apostate Protestantism to come out of Babylon. Verse 4 says, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
We have a warning to not associate ourselves with false religion and compromised churches. If we do we simply risk being tainted with their sins and receiving the wrath spoken of here in Revelation.
Revelation 18:5-24 — There is a sense in this section that the spiritual Babylon mentioned here may have some application to the great Vatican City in Rome. The “seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth” which is mentioned in Revelation 17:9 may just do that because it is considered the city of seven hills.
Throughout this section we have a reminder of the sins and atrocities for which judgment wrath is visited upon the Beast, like Revelation 18:24 that “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
Revelation 19:1-10 — We have the final triumph of God over Satan’s plan and rejoicing over the destruction of end-time Babylon. These first 10 verses set up a transition from the apostate religions effect on global rule judgment to how the King of Kings concludes sin and establishes His rule on earth.