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Revelation 17 - Babylon & the Beast

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 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.

Dig Deeper

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)




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