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  • Writer's pictureLou Hernández

WRAPPING UP - THE 'NECESSARY' FOR BEGINNING NEW Revelations 16 - 18 March 19, 2023.

Updated: Apr 16



Have you ever felt like taking the events of the day and ripping the page from the calendar as if it had never occurred? Where things seen or experienced were so disturbing they needed to be crumpled up and thrown away? Well, this morning this is where God takes us, when He finally crumples things up and begins throwing them away in preparation for something new. But first, disposal beginning by judgments delivered by angelic messengers in what we see in Rev 16.




1st Angel :2 Beast worshippers - #666 Harmful and painful sores

2nd Angel :3 Sea Blood – all die

3rd Angel :4 . Rivers & springs Blood THEY DESERVED IT :6

4th Angel :8 Sun and these who curse God. Scorch with fire and fierce heat THEY DID NOT REPENT :9

5th Angel :10 Throne & kingdom of the beast and Darkness. Excruciating sores. Gnawed

all those blaspheming God tongues in anguish but still THEY DID NOT REPENT : 11

6th Angel :12 Euphrates river dried up Preparatory for Armageddon demonic leading

people to destruction

7th Angel :17 Air Great earthquake, 100 lb hailstones Mountains and islands disappear


Chapter 16 begins the wrap up of world history, John leaving his readers with 2 pictures: the first of a world doomed to the destruction of God’s wrath for its rebellion against Him Rev 17, 18 and a far better picture of a newly created, everlasting world with God, Rev 21,22. In Rev 17 we have a picture of the rise then destruction of a worldwide religious system that’s deceived the world while in Rev 18 we witness God’s judgment on the city that drives the world’s economy, a ‘city’ that promotes everything evil, profits gained not caring who is hurt, who is stepped on, who is abused.

As we come into Rev 17, the 1st personality John is called to witness is the great prostitute who is stunning in appearance – her clothing and jewelry befitting the wealthiest on earth. She sits on a scarlet beast that has 7 heads & 10 horns :3. Emblazoned on her head is the descriptor, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of earth :5. This entity spewing out everything evil in and about her that commands attention – attention she both seeks and wins.

Before examining what she represents, we need to take a quick glance at the beast who is noted but not elaborated on in :3. Later we’ll return for a closer look because while he doesn’t dominate at the beginning of this chapter, he certainly will at the end. Of most importance is a depiction of his character – he is full of blasphemous names and his purpose which Daniel tells us is to magnify himself above all gods. And his appearance rather weird having 7 heads & 10 horns 17:9-14

The main point is the beast is the one on whose back the woman comes. He provides the means of her entry, positioning her for her place on the world stage, elevating her to world prominence. She will ride in perfect harmony with his intentions – which as we’ll come to see, is to consolidate religious and political power. He’ll do this in league with 10 kings who are represented by the 10 horns on the beast’s head. Her role is to capture people’s hearts through religious worship that appeals to people of all nations. We are given likely hints how she does this when we later unpack some understandings of her name.

Suffice it to say, she is a messenger riding on the delivery from hell. A blasphemous rider on a blasphemous steed - a perfect fit for the intentions of the one on whom she rides, the antichrist.

John observes at least four things about the prostitute. She is:

1. Incredibly Powerful :1-3,15,18

The great prostitute has enticed and controlled the most powerful and most common of earth, the kings of the earth and those who dwell on the earth. Her expanse will be worldwide - on many waters :1 and as :15 explains peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. There will be universal attraction for those opposed to God and great horror for worshippers of Jesus. She is said to be, drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus :6

Her appeal? – all will be drunk with the wine of her immorality. This isn’t religion of restraint or inhibition. This is religion of indulgence - all drink, no hangover. All drugs, no addiction. All sex, no sexually transmitted disease. All live for the moment, no tomorrow surprise. Throw off constraints – a philosophy very much in play in our world. Consider just 2 of last weeks’ headlines, Pretty Much Every Celebrity stepped Out in Naked Dress at Oscar After Party or Equal rights for all Berliners to now swim topless in public pools. They, typifying attitudes where what was once seen as morality is now seen as so prehistoric, so yesterday.

This has always been Satan’s message – Live your own life; be your own god. Because you only answer to you. Every wickedness pursued. His tentacles constricting as they control then destroy.

2. Alluring, Yet Disgusting :4-8

This woman is beautifully attired, adorned with gold and expensive jewellery – precious stones and pearls. There’s nothing about her that can be ignored. Her colours? - the colours of royalty and religious ceremony – purple and scarlet and in her hand, she holds a golden cup. Her influence, attractive; her addictions like Edmund and the White Witch – just Turkish delight.

With these, her invitation to come and drink to – enjoy perversion, get wealth, wear beauty, find fame not wanting to see what else is living inside the cup. But John does what others don’t. He looks inside and sees the cup offered is, full of abominations and impurities of sexual immorality

3. Deceiver who Intoxicates and Incapacitates

:5 identified as, “Babylon the great”, “mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth” - the one who births deceit, populates deceit and promotes deceit. Sin is birthed from here.

The Lord has taken two chapters to detail how Babylon the great will be destroyed. Let’s review some background to get an idea, ‘Why’. Babylon is the 2nd most mentioned city in the Bible after Jerusalem. It is believed to be around this area of the river Euphrates, that the Garden of Eden was located. It was where Satan first appeared and lied to man about God. And here under the leadership of Nimrod 'let us revolt', where Israel in rebellion builds the Tower of Babel, saying, “Let us build a name for ourselves” Gen 11. In this place mankind declaring he would live and be judged according to his own standards, not God’s. He would be his own god. And in judgment God cast them into confusion.


But so what? That was a long time ago – an ancient city in an ancient time. But the problem is that ancient message is still with us. Let’s unpack why? At its inception, Babel was ruled by 2 people: Nimrod and his wife Semiramis who became the high priestess of idolatry. Her son Tammuz was promised to be the deliverer of the earth but was killed by a wild boar. As legend went, Semiramis wept for 40 days and Tammuz came to life again. The power of the resurrection was attributed to his mother; so Semiramis began to be worshipped as the Queen of Heaven; her son worshipped as the resurrected deliverer.

This mother-son worship became reflected in other parts of the known world. In Phoenicia Canaanites, Ashtoreth and her son Baal. In Egypt, Isis and Osiris. In Greece, Aphrodite and Eros. The Romans, Venus and Cupid. And these foreign gods, adopted even by Israel. Listen to what Jeremiah says:

Queen Semiramis

Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly …. responded to Jeremiah, saying, “As for the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you! But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune. But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine.” Jer. 44:15-19

All pagan religions can be traced back to Nimrod and Semiramis and 260 times in Scripture, Babylon represents the system of false religions that spun off the first one in Genesis. Behind all false religion is the denial of God’s way to heaven and a trust in one’s own strength and abilities.

Hence in Rev 17 we see God pouring out His judgment. on Babylon the harlot”, the one who is responsible for the abominations of the earth. A literal city? perhaps because some would definitely fit the bill but definitely a world system that has deceived man to choose sin over obedience, self-worship over worship of God’s Son.

Worship that Timothy tells us, In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal without love of good … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God 2 Tim 3:1-4

Under this harlot’s lead, the world during the Tribulation will be drunk with religiosity. Whether it’s the attraction of spiritism and occult practices birthed and nurtured in Babylon; or a universalism that allows people to worship gods of their own creation; or violent fanaticism that forces people to unite under one god, this religiosity will be cast aside 3½ years into the Tribulation.

Which brings us to the last observation John gives us of the Great Harlot, she is:

4. Destined for Destruction :16,17

The great prostitute straddles the world with her seduction and power. She will lead people into a rejection of all that represents God and at the same time, set the stage cultivating a strong appetite to worship. As evil as the great harlot is, she will soon learn that there are those more evil than she, as the beast on whom she rides will rise up and do her in. Only when it is too late does the harlot understand that she has been used for the beast’s purposes. The antichrist will at a time that is right for him, destroy her and demand that he be worshipped as god alone. Verses 16 & 17 tell us that those with whom she is in alliance, will turn on her and, “Eat her flesh and burn her up with fire.” Like an animal eating her young, God allows evil to kill then feed on itself.

The thing about evil is that it doesn’t have any boundaries within which it must operate. Evil’s nature is self-serving, always seeking its own welfare. It feeds on what it is given to eat and when relationships have served their purpose, they are cast aside.

Sin never has our best interests at heart. Its signposts may point to fulfillment and happiness but the places those signs point only lead to death – a truth the Great Harlot found out.

So with her gone, let’s take a closer look at the beast. Here in 17:3 the antichrist is described a little differently than before – this time we see him with 7 heads and 10 horns. 17:9-14 helps us with this, where we’re told that these 7 heads are: 5 fallen, 1 present and 1 is to come. When John wrote, 5 world powers impacting Israel had already come and gone: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece; one was present, Rome and a 7th is still to come.

This 7th, still to come kingdom Daniel tells us, is of the same people of the one who would come and destroy Jerusalem. (the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city… 9:26) We know the one who destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple in 70AD was Rome.

So, now in Revelation we are told that there is yet to be some form of a Roman empire of the same people that will be comprised of 10 horns – 10 kings. Revelation told us this before, Then I stood on the sand of the sea. Revelation told us this before, Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a Beast rising up out of the sea having 7 heads and 10 horns and on his horns 10 crown, and on his heads a blasphemous name . . . The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Rev 13:1,2.

Daniel 7:24 tells us, The 10 horns are 10 kings who shall arise from this kingdom Roman Empire. And another shall rise after them; he Antichrist shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue 3 kings . . ." Unlike the kingdoms that have preceded it, we are told this kingdom will only last 1 hour :12, in other words a very short time, an hour being the smallest unit of time measured by the Greeks and Romans.

So it seems clear the antichrist will arise out of a country that in some form was once part of the Roman Empire. Is this Rome itself? It could be as :9 describes, the 7 heads are 7 mountains on which the woman sits. Rome is often described as a city of 7 hills but Scripture is no more definitive than that. But getting lost in guessing if this city is Rome – because of hills or a rebuilt Babylon or..? is irrelevant as is speculating that the harlot is the Roman Catholic church – because of purple, scarlet and never ending gold or Buddhism, Shiism, Marxism or some other ‘ism’.

What is relevant is that whomever this harlot may be, she denies Jesus declaration, I AM the Way, the Truth and Life, no man comes to the Father except by Me. The enemy doesn’t want. anyone to believe that - now or in any time to come. Instead he wants us to believe we can do life without Jesus. That we can live as we want, believe what we like, act as we choose and as long as we are sincere and for the most part, good – god, if it’s not us, whoever he or she may be, making it all work out in the end. His deceit that there are a myriad of ways of getting to God, all these are Satan’s lies in his war against the Lamb :13,14 and his war against us. But :14 also telling us, They make war but the Lamb will conquer for HE IS King of kings and Lord of lords.

God bringing an end to his lies, finally writing last word in what we are told in chapter 17 with the fall of religious Babylon, then in Rev 18 where we witness the demise of economic Babylon

The delivery of this judgment is brought by another angel allon – of same kind - not theophany coming down from heaven having great authority, the earth made bright with his glory. This angel announcing that the sentence has been passed and judgment will be rendered.


• You are a dwelling place of demons and prison of unclean spirits :2

• You have made all the nations drunk with your immorality :3

• You exploit and make yourself rich :3 by the wealth of your sensuality. :13 tells us that there is no limit to what they sell, be it fragrances, livestock or people. For this - the demonic and immoral and for - their arrogance and depravity, Babylon will fall.


Warning :4 Come out from among her my people that you may not: participate in her sin or receive of her plagues. The message, don’t flirt with sin. Don’t draw close or stay in the vicinity because it will ensnare and it will imprison. Flee!

Judgment :5 God has remembered her iniquities, none of her sin hidden, none of her sin overlooked. And God will judge sin. But IN Christ, our iniquities are remembered no more.

Then as :8 reminds, the LORD God who judges her is strong and His judgment will come quickly :17 1 hour it will be laid waste ie in a moment - her sensuousness, arrogance, wealth will be destroyed.

:9,10 kings and merchants will weep and lament over her, declaring :19 WOE, WOE. BUT in Heaven, great rejoicing :20 that the old has been done away so the new may come.

So as we near the end of what God has wanted us to know from the book of Revelation, what is it we are meant to see? Of most importance - that you know with full assurance that your name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life because without that, the Bible tells us we will be eternally separated from God. Our destiny will be everlasting torment in Hell. For our names to be written in the Book, we must accept Jesus as our personal Saviour, who has forgiven our sins by His blood and by that, been made a child of God. But what is the takeaway for the rest of us?

Well in the chapters we’ve looked at these last few weeks, understand, God is taking us nearer to the time when He will finally crumple up all the mess, all the wrong, all the evil and He will throw it all away as He gets ready to introduce His children to a world entirely new, entirely different.

While we thank God for that, we need our takeaways to be more than a better understanding of what will happen some time ahead – whether that up ahead is 10 minutes or 10 years from now.

The point? - taking us back to the early chapters in Revelation where Jesus’ challenge to us is – Who am I to you? Am I First love who you follow with a fully committed heart? Am I First love who you live to please? Or am I just One with whom you are going through the motions and in some cases, not even that? Wanting to live in both worlds – wearing the name but living by the values, actions and priorities of another team?

Because what Revelation really wants us see, is Jesus calling us to live in accordance with whom we are. Who Jesus has called us to be. A child of the King, a child being made ready for His new Kingdom that’s to come. Live for that. Live for Him.

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