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Exploring Revelation
“Revelation 17:15-17”
by Art Sadlier   
July 11th, 2010

“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

We have seen something of the power and influence of the harlot church. We saw in verse 3, the harlot church riding upon the beast (The Revived Roman Empire), apparently the church actually controlling the beast. The Antichrist used the church to gain control over the ten nations of the Revived Roman Empire. Here in verse 15, we see again the power and extent of the control the church has over the peoples and nations of the world. It was that far reaching influence that the beast harnessed to leverage himself gain stature in the whole world. `

"Where the whore (harlot) sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” The harlots influence is far reaching; it would seem to extend too much of the world. Herein lays the problem for the Antichrist. This false  church worships Christ, even though they are perhaps worshipping a false Christ of their own imagination, perhaps a new age Christ. The Church of Rome is clearly the headquarters of this monstrous false Church, we see this in the location of the Harlot Church in verse 18. It seems that other religious systems are also involved with the Harlot Church, Rome has always been able to accommodate false religions and to weave them into her theology. Antichrist`s problem is that they are worshipping something other than Antichrist. Satan`s end time program is to bring the world to worship his man, the Antichrist, and in so doing they are actually worshipping Satan who indwells Antichrist.

That sets the stage for verse 16; “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

As we come to verse 16, we are aware that the beast has become tired of the church controlling her, (see verse 3). “These shall hate the whore,” at the midpoint of the tribulation period Antichrist and his cohorts turn against the apostate church and proceed to destroy it. Notice the terminology used to describe what follows, “hate”- “make her desolate and naked”- “eat her flesh”- “burn her with fire”.

God uses Satan to bring judgment on counterfeit religion. Luther said, “Satan is God’s dog,” as Satan goes about seeking to defeat God and God’s purpose, God is overruling Satan’s actions and turning Satan`s devices to His own glory, (see Genesis 50:20). Over the long centuries the greatest attack on God`s people has been counterfeit religion, especially counterfeit Christianity. Here at this point God brings open destruction on false religion.

Remember God has a number of purposes for the tribulation period, here in our text God`s purpose is to judge false religion. He will also deal with the nations that forget God and He will deal with rebellious and unbelieving Israel.

“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,” verse 17.  Here we see the establishment of the world wide Kingdom of Antichrist.

There are in the prophetic scriptures eight dynasties, kingdoms or empires which God deals with in the unfolding drama of man’s story. In verse 10, we see seven of these dynasties referred to. In John’s  day five had come and gone. They were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. During John’s day Rome was the world power and the one that was mentioned as “yet to come” was the revived Empire, it was the seventh. In verse 11, John proceeds to tell us about an eighth dynasty, “And the beast......he is the eighth”. There would come after the revived Roman Empire another Empire, called the Beast, this is the eighth dynasty or empire.

Notice it says this empire of the beast “is of the seven” or is of the same essence, it is the same old business of man ruling without God. The scripture refers to them, “As the nations that forget God”.

In our text verse 17, we see it is a part of God’s purpose that this last dynasty should come on the scene. It says, “God hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will,” this is referring to the ten kings that ruled the revived Roman Empire. Notice what God has put into their hearts, “And to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast.” We have here at the transition that takes place at the mid-tribulation point. This is the transition, from the revived Roman Empire to the Kingdom of Antichrist, which lasts 3 1/2 years.

“Until the words of God shall be fulfilled,” God has an appointment with Antichrist and his Kingdom, He is going to judge this final expression of rebellious human government. It is as if this final kingdom is representative of all human government.

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