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Exploring Revelation
“Revelation 17: 1”
by Art Sadlier   
April 25th, 2010

Introduction - The Judgment of the Great Harlot

We come now to chapters 17 and18 and we see the fall of Babylon. These two chapters are not a continuation of chapter 16, they are an amplification of two special judgments. Chapter 17 is the doom of the vast international system of error which is religious in character. It is a religious system which appears to be Christianity. In fact it is so similar that millions are deceived by it. Jesus warned of this last days deception in Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

This religious system is a combination of apostate Protestantism, Romanism and Atheism. It is the huge ecumenical church of the last days! Scripture calls this system the "great whore" and "the Mother of Harlots." This religious system is taking shape before our very eyes. It will not come to full bloom until after the virgin bride of Christ is raptured.

Today this false church is being proclaimed as a great step forward for unity and world peace. But because it is apostate it is doomed and must come under the judgment of God. Rick Warren has announced his own plan for world peace and is breaking the ground for evangelicals to enter this coming Harlot church.

This chapter reveals the judgment that is to come upon the Harlot. A wife who is unfaithful to her husband is an adulterous woman or a harlot. A church which calls itself Christian and courts false religion and compromises with a godless world system, that church commits spiritual fornication, and God calls her a harlot.

Professor Moorehead said, "The harlot is christendom estranged from God and become thoroughly secularized.

In revelation the figure of a woman is used symbolically of religion. Jezebel represents the pagan idolatry of the past. See Revelation 2:20. This Jezebel is symbollic of the woman Jezebel that king Ahab married and brought to Israel from Tyre. She came to Israel with her pagan gods and propigated their worship in Israel.

There are three women in Revelation representing religions.

1 - The Woman clothed with the sun.... in Revelation 12:1, she represents Israel and Judaism.

2 - The Bride of Christ....  In Ephesians 5:25-27, the true church is pictured as the bride of Christ.

3 - The Great Whore....Represents the apostate church. See revelation 19:2.  This judgment upon the Great Whore then is a judgment upon apostate religion.  "Apostasy" - means to turn away from something you once held to.

Three times John is bidden, "come hither", because there were three things God wanted John to examine closely.

1 - "Come hither"- Rev. 4:1  The vision in  heaven, to see the church assembled around the throne in heaven.

2 - "Come hither" - Rev. 17:1  The judgment of the great whore, which is apostate religion, she is utterly destroyed by the judgment of God.

3 - "Come hither" - Rev. 21:9  "I will shew thee the bride, the Lambs wife" John sees the church in its glorious eternal home.

As we make our way through the book of Revelation, before we can see the bride in all of her glory.....we must see the illigitimate woman who is a harlot!

The one who for many centuries has falsely claimed to be the bride of Christ, but is not. The woman and the beast must be judged before the Bride and the Lamb are presented.

The purpose then of chapter 17 is to show John and us the judgment of the Great Harlot.  She claims to be Christ's true church but she has apostasized from the truth and has allied herself with the corrupt world system of the last days. She is Satan's counterfeit religion, an imitation of the true church.

The judgments of 17 and 18 are not history, they are yet future. Chapter 17 takes place at the mid-tribulation point, or shortly after. Chapter 18 takes place near the end of the tribulation period. The true church is taken out of the world before the tribulation begins. It is found in heaven in chapter 4, and is not seen on earth until we see it coming out of heaven with Christ in Rev:19.

 In chapter 16:19, we have a forecast of the judgments of chapters 17 and 18.  "and great Babylon came in rememb0rance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."

Anyone who studies the Bible carefully can see that the Holy Spirit pictures the church of the last days in a state of corruption, degeneration and apostasy. The need of the hour is to separate from the apostasy as it is found in the Laodicean/ Evangelical church today.

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