Remember, all that has power & might now will fade away, but the King of kings and Lord of lords remains forever.
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Revelation 17 (ESV)
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute
who is seated on many waters,
2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality,
and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness,
and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast
full of blasphemous names,
and it had seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was
arrayed in purple and scarlet,
and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls,
holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality.
5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery:
“Babylon the great,
mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”
6 And I saw the woman,
the blood of the saints,
the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
When I saw her, I marveled greatly.
7 But the angel said to me, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.
8 The beast that you saw
and is not,
and is about to
rise from the bottomless pit
and go to destruction.
And the dwellers on earth
whose names have not been written
in the book of life
from the foundation of the world
will marvel to see the beast, because
and is not
and is to come.
9 This calls for a mind with wisdom:
the seven heads
are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;
10 they are also seven kings,
five of whom have fallen,
the otherhas not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while.
11 As for the beast that was and is not,
it is an eighth
but it belongs to the seven,
and it goes to destruction.
12 And the ten horns that you saw
are ten kings who have not yet received royal power,
but they are to receive authority as kings
for one hour,
together with the beast.
13 These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast.
14 They will make war on the Lamb,
and the Lamb will conquer them,
for he is Lord of lords and King of kings,
and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
15 And the angel said to me,
“The waters that you saw,
where the prostitute is seated,
are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.
16 And the ten horns that you saw,
they and the beast will hate the prostitute.
They will make her desolate and naked,
and devour her flesh
and burn her up with fire,
17 for God has put it into their hearts
to carry out his purpose
by being of one mind and handing over their royal power
to the beast,
until the words of God are fulfilled.
18 And the woman that you saw
is the great city
that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
Revelation 17 Summary
Once again the angel brings John (and us with him) back to the beginning of the story in chapter 17. This new perspective introduces another character: a harlot named Babylon. She is a seductive temptress, but she represents much more than just sexual sin. As her name infers, she represents the aspect of every society in history that has had its focus on the sensual pleasures of the world (not just the actual Babylon where Israel was exiled to).
Reformed commentator William Hendriksen explains what the woman has in her cup this way: The woman and her golden cup filled with abominable things represents:
whatever is used by the world in order to turn believers away from their God is in this cup: pornographic literature, sports in which one becomes completely absorbed, luxuries, worldly fame and power, the lusts of the flesh, and so on. Let everyone make his own list.
One of the key elements of Reformed theology is the doctrine of total depravity. By this we don't mean to say that the world is the worst it could possibly be, rather we mean that the effects of sin have totally affected all things. There is nothing untouched or uncontaminated by sin.
This woman we're introduced to in Revelation 17 consorts with the kings of the world throughout history who have poisoned every possible realm such as art, education, commerce, industry and so on by conscripting those otherwise good things and making them serve evil rather than glorifying the creator.
Knowing this helps you remember that no matter how hard you work to polish your world, it will always have the tarnish of sin upon it. Certainly continue your efforts to glorify God in all things, but remember that things will not be fully redeemed until Christ returns.
AAA Prayer :
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: King of kings and Lord of lords (v14)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that He has chosen you to be His own, and ask Him for strength to be His faithful follower (v14)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: