The Angel’s First Visit

The Angel’s First Visit – Revelation 17:1-18

Summary:  Twice in the book of Revelation, God sends an angel to John to explain elements in the visions which John had seen.  (The same process took place in the book of Daniel.  Gabriel was sent to Daniel (see Daniel 9) to further explain what the prophet had previously seen in Daniel 8.)  John’s first visit from an angel is recorded in Revelation 17 and the second visit begins with Revelation 21:9.  After John viewed Prophecies 6 through 13, Jesus sent an angel to provide more information about the devil’s physical appearing and efforts.  Actually, Jesus sent the angel to John for the benefit of the final generation.  When the devil and his angels physically appear, no one will have an excuse for being deceived by the incredible glory and miracle working powers that Lucifer will exercise.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed

A Short Review on Trumpets Five and Six

Since Revelation 17 builds on the information provided earlier in this book, and since some people may skip around without reading all of the previous chapters, a short review of trumpets five and six is necessary.  If you have read all of the previous chapters in this book, you may want to skip to the section titled, “The Sequence.”

We learned in Prophecy 8 that Jesus will release Lucifer and his angels from the Abyss during the fifth trumpet.  Lucifer and his angels will physically appear before the people of Earth.  For five months, the devil and his angels will travel around the world so that everyone can see for themselves that “God” has come to live among men!  The devil will demonstrate supernatural powers and on the basis of marvelous signs and wonders, billions of people will conclude that he is Almighty God.  When he is released from the spirit realm, the devil will masquerade as a generous and benevolent God.  The devil will imitate Jesus’ actions when He was on Earth.  The devil will heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, cast out demons, multiply “the loaves and fishes,” and encourage suffering people with an inspiring message of hope and restoration.  The religious wicked will fall prostrate at his feet.  They will honor and worship the devil believing that Almighty God lives among men!  His wishes will be their commands.

While the devil is busy deceiving the world, some of his demons will go out on a search and destroy mission.  They will look for people who refuse to worship Lucifer as God.  These demons are not allowed to harm those who believe that Lucifer is God and they cannot hurt those who have received the seal of God.[1]  Instead, these demons will focus on a group of people described previously in this book as the “non-religious wicked,” since these people refuse to worship any God.  Lucifer focuses on this group and sends out his demons to eliminate them.  Jesus permits the devil to torture the non-religious wicked because spiritual indifference is no longer an option for anyone after the fifth trumpet.  Every human being will submit to a higher authority or suffer horribly.

When Lucifer’s demons find a person who refuses to worship the devil as Almighty God, they will inflict a horrible pain on that person.  The Bible says this pain is like the agonizing sting of a scorpion.  The victims will long to die, but death will elude them.[2]  The non-religious wicked (and their families) will quickly discover a startling fact.  All human beings are subject to a higher power.  By the fifth trumpet, independence from God or isolation from God will no longer be possible.  Millions of non-religious wicked people will be tortured for refusing to worship Lucifer, and soon, the non-religious wicked group disappears.  Most of the non-religious wicked will capitulate and worship the devil, but a few will choose to put their faith in Jesus and be saved.  They will gratefully obey the demands of the eternal gospel and worship the Creator.  By the end of the fifth trumpet, the non-religious group will be almost eliminated.

When the sixth trumpet sounds in Heaven’s temple, Lucifer will abruptly change character.  Because billions of people will believe that he is Almighty God, Lucifer will make unheard of demands and his followers would will have no choice but to obey.  For example, Lucifer will demand that the governments and religions of the world be destroyed.  He will claim there is no room for civil diversity or religious pluralism when God lives among men.  Lucifer’s solution to the onerous diversity of mankind will be to establish a counterfeit theocracy.  This theocracy will be a one world church state government where “God” rules as king of kings (the head of the state) and lord of lords (the head of the church).  Lucifer’s theocracy is described as “an image to the beast” in Revelation 13 because it will mirror the composite beast (the beast that looked like a leopard, had claws like a bear and a mouth like a lion) in several ways.

We learned in Prophecy 11 that a composite beast (also called Babylon[3] or Babylon – Phase I) will rise from the sea during the first four trumpets.[4]  For about two and a half years, Babylon will function as a global government; managing the crisis between God and mankind.  The religious and political leaders of the world will unite in a global effort to appease God’s wrath so that His judgments will cease.  When the survivors learn that 1.75 billion people died because of the first four trumpets, no one will want to offend an angry God any further.  Therefore, most of the world will be willing to do whatever Babylon requires because everyone will want to appease God so that His wrath will quickly subside.  The development of Babylon (during Phase I) and the implementation of its “sin-less” laws explains how the saints will be persecuted for forty-two months.  The laws of Babylon will stand in direct conflict with the laws of God and this conflict will force each person to show his true allegiance.  Babylon will persecute people who obey Jesus’ demands and people who obey Babylon’s laws will experience the seven bowls (the last plagues).  Sooner or later, everyone will suffer during the Great Tribulation; it will be a time of wrath for everyone.[5]

The composite beast will rule over the whole world and its government will be composed of seven different religions and many different governments.  As a result, Babylon will appear to be a united body having one objective, to appease God’s wrath, but the big question will become which is the right way to accomplish this objective.  Each religious system views God’s will (what is morally right and wrong) in a different way.  Similarly, each nation on Earth has its own culture and principles of law.  And, for all the good that Babylon vainly hopes to accomplish, it will only make matters worse.  Babylon’s Phase I will be internally conflicted because of religious and political diversity.  Nevertheless, a conflicted composite beast will function for 890 days, it will blaspheme the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and punish His saints.  Babylon will insult the sovereign authority of Jesus (blasphemy) by defying the laws of God.

When the devil physically appears, he will order the leaders of Babylon to divide the world into groups of 1,000 people for purposes of logistics and rations.  This was also done in ancient times for the same reasons.[6]   One person from each group of 1,000 will be selected to serve as captain of the group.  This will leave 999 people to a group.  When the sixth trumpet sounds, Jesus will permit the devil to kill one-third of mankind.  Because the devil knows that God will not stop him, he suddenly changes character and Babylon – Phase II begins.  The devil will demand that one-third of each group be put to death.  (His demand will be similar to God’s decree in Ezekiel 5:8-12.)  The first 666 people to receive a tattoo on their right hand showing “666” will be allowed to buy and sell, and ultimately, survive. Those who refuse to worship the devil will be killed.  Those who hesitate or show any reluctance for worshiping the devil will also be killed.  Of course, millions of saints will be killed, too.[7]  When the killing is completed, two-thirds of each group, 666 people will be left alive.  No one will be permitted to buy or sell without showing the mark of the beast (the Greek word charagma is translated as “mark,” but it means an engraving, as in a tattoo).

Jesus will permit Lucifer to kill a third of mankind for at least three reasons.  First, the additional death of 1.75 billion people will reduce demands for the world’s dwindling food supply by one-third.  This allows the remaining food supplies to sustain the wicked while the 144,000 continue to labor for the salvation of souls.  Even at this late hour, a few people will accept the offer of the eternal gospel during the sixth trumpet and be saved.  Second, when Jesus allows the devil to martyr the saints and slaughter the wicked, this will prove to be a great blessing.  By putting a third of mankind to death, millions will escape the last and most horrific ten months of the Great Tribulation.  Third, when God allows Lucifer to slaughter one-third of mankind (including the 144,000 and millions of saints), it will place Lucifer in an undisputed position of sovereign authority.  Simply put, all of his opposition will be dead or silenced!  (The few saints who remain alive during this time will be hiding in remote places and unable to offer any opposition.)

Jesus will give the world over to Lucifer for a short time to demonstrate what the carnal nature (perfectly illustrated by Lucifer) will do to others when given absolute authority.  This development will demonstrate a profound truth.  The universe would be a very dark and awful place to live if it was not ruled by a God who is love and subject to the laws of love.  The wonderful thing about God is that He only uses His mighty powers of omnipotence and omniscience to ensure the eternal rule of the laws of love.  His actions are always consistent with the two laws of love.  By allowing Lucifer to exercise absolute authority over this planet for a short period of time, an ever expanding universe will have a clear and powerful contrast between governments to study.

Lucifer’s theocracy is caricatured in Revelation 17 as a prostitute.  Most prostitutes have no morals and are willing to sell sexual favors for money.  Prostitution is an abomination in God’s eyes because it destroys both parties involved, ruins the lives of the unborn by producing unfit mothers and unwanted children, demeans women, and fosters predatory behavior on women.  No matter how glamorous and expensive her services may be, any woman selling sexual favors destroys her self-worth and self-respect and she violates her body and conscience for money.  The man who buys sexual favors has no love for the woman or love for the unborn that he may create.  Further, the man who buys the services of a prostitute has no concern for the well being of the prostitute.  He is only interested in using her body for sexual pleasure.  For him, a prostitute is nothing more than an object of temporal gratification.  There is nothing wholesome or ennobling that comes from prostitution.  It is soulless barter.  From the prostitutes point of view, it is money for sexual favor. From the buyer’s point of view, it is sexual favors for money.  Prostitution and its sister, pornography, denigrate womanhood, manhood, and ruin society.  When women are viewed as objects of sexual gratification, they become cheap and disposable in men’s eyes.

The most intimate and meaningful relationship that a man and a woman can have is destroyed by fornication and prostitution.  Lucifer’s theocracy is described in Revelation 17 as “a great prostitute” because the wicked will sell their souls to the devil and wear his dreaded tattoo in order to survive and the wicked will knowingly and willingly do this to save themselves from death.  Lucifer will not love those who worship him.  In his eyes, they are cheap, disposable tramps who sold their souls for survival.  Even though he will appear to be happy and pleased that the remaining two-thirds of the world worship him, he will actually loathe them for he knows that they do not love him.  Instead, they have done what they needed to do to stay alive.

The carnal nature loves life more that it loves God  – to the point that it will violate itself in order to save itself.  On the other hand, the born again nature exalts God and His righteousness to the point that it would rather die than to compromise with evil.  The words of Jesus are so true: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”[8]

The Sequence

Revelation 17:1

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
{1} After watching the seven angels pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath, one of the seven angels having the seven bowls approached me and said, “Come with me and I will show you God’s vengeance on the great whore, a global, church state government which Lucifer will establish during the sixth trumpet.  Lucifer’s theocracy wields control over every tribe, nation, language, and people.”

Revelation 17:2

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication
{2}  The angel carried me away to see Earth at the time of the sixth trumpet.  When the sixth trumpet sounded, the devil was permitted to murder a third of mankind.  The devil was very pleased.  Having absolute power to kill or spare people, he suddenly changed character and demeanor.  He demanded a one world church state government be formed (the formation of the prostitute), and by exercising his “divine authority,” he abolished the religions and governments of the world.  He divided the Earth into ten sectors[9] and appointed ten “puppet” kings to rule over mankind.  These kings “committed adultery” with the whore (they did whatever she wanted for her immoral favors).  Because of Lucifer’s miracle working powers, his eloquence and inspiring words, the wicked drank the devil’s lies and became intoxicated with his promise that “a better world is just around the corner.”

Revelation 17:3

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
{3} When the sixth trumpet sounded, Earth was ugly and disheveled, ravaged like a war zone. I saw destruction and death on every side.  Then, I saw a seductive woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns.  The scarlet colored beast was covered with blasphemous names, indicating this beast was a great insult to the God of Heaven.

The composite beast in Revelation 13:1-8 and the scarlet beast in this chapter are the same beast.  If you recall, the composite beast had the speed of a leopard, the ferocious claws of a bear and a powerful mouth like that of a lion.  When John sees the woman riding (controlling) the composite beast, there is one important change.  The composite beast is now scarlet in color because the great red dragon is the hand inside the composite beast; much like a red hand in a latex glove.  Remember, the devil gives the composite beast its power, throne, and great authority.[10]

Revelation 17:4

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
{4} The woman sitting on the composite beast was dressed in purple and scarlet.  Purple is the color of royalty or kings (the state) and scarlet is the color of clergy (the church).  This woman represents Lucifer’s theocracy and she controls the composite beast as she rides throughout the Earth.  She is wealthy, seductive, and she glitters with gold, precious stones, and pearls.  She holds a golden cup in her hand that is full of abominable things, the filth of her adulteries.  She is alluring, but demonic. She has everything the world can offer, but she is a whore, an empty shell having no virtue, no value, and no love.

Remember, the great red dragon had seven diadema (Greek: a diadema is a crown of authority) on his seven heads in Revelation 12:3 and the composite beast will have ten crowns on its ten horns when it rises from the sea in Revelation 13:1.  The relocation of the diadema from the heads to the crowns indicates a transition in persecuting authority.  When Jesus was on Earth, religious leaders persecuted Him for blasphemy.  When Babylon rises to power, civil authorities will persecute those who refuse to obey Babylon’s laws.  Nothing is said in Revelation 17 about the crowns because the whore represents a global consolidation of church and state.  In other words, the Bible traces the transition of persecuting authority from religious power (in Christ’s day), to civil power (when Babylon rises – Phase I), to the whore (Phase II) who kills people for religious or civil disobedience.

Revelation 17:5


This title indicates the whore is the personification of evil.  She is the greatest embodiment of evil the world has ever known.  There are two great powers on Earth.  Religion wields the higher power and civil authority is the lesser power.  When God called Israel out of Egypt, He kept these two powers separate.  Moses represented civil authority and Aaron represented religious authority.  False religion always unifies these two powers because the carnal nature is not satisfied until absolute power has been achieved.  Therefore, this woman is described as a whore because she is a global consolidation of church and state.  She will be a one world church state.  She is also described as a great city of wickedness; containing people who have no morals or interest in right doing.  She is the devil’s whore; a government having no virtue and respecting only power and wealth.  The devil will use her to torment mankind.  Her name is Babylon the Great.  Her lover’s name is Appolyon or Abbadon[11] which means, “the destroyer.”

Revelation 17:6

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
{6} Empowered by the great red dragon himself, the whore killed millions of God’s saints, even the 144,000.  She enjoyed killing; even those within her own family.  She considered death and persecution to be a sport and she used the blood of the saints to cower the wicked into submission.  The wicked acquiesced to her demands to save their miserable lives.  I saw the whore drunk and senseless with abuse of power.  As I watched her, I became overwhelmed.

Revelation 17:7

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
{7} The angel said to me: “Why are you overwhelmed?  I will explain the mystery of the whore to you and the composite beast she rides, which has seven heads and ten horns.  However, before I tell you about her, I need to explain the appearing of the lamblike beast, the beast that will arise out of the Earth.  Lucifer will be released from the Abyss and during the sixth trumpet, he will create this woman (Babylon – Phase II) and give her power over the composite beast (Babylon – Phase I).

Revelation 17:8

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
{8} “The great red dragon which you saw in Revelation 12 was once a covering cherub in Heaven.[12]  Because of rebellion, God cast him and his angels out of Heaven.[13]  When Lucifer and his angels were cast from Heaven, God made them invisible to mankind.  Later on, Adam and Eve sinned and Lucifer became the prince of this world.[14]  As a prince, God gave him a seat in Heaven’s government as Earth’s representative.[15]  About four thousand years later, Jesus came to Earth to redeem mankind.  When Jesus ascended to Heaven on Resurrection Sunday to take Lucifer’s place, Lucifer would not yield his seat (as prince of this world) to Jesus.  There was war in Heaven and Jesus cast Lucifer and his angels out of Heaven forever.[16]  The devil and his angels have been confined within the Abyss ever since.  Human beings cannot see them because God keeps Lucifer and his angels ‘locked’ in the spirit realm until the fifth trumpet.  At the fifth trumpet, Jesus will permit the devil and his angels to exit the spirit realm (the Abyss) and physically appear before mankind.   The wicked will be astonished when they actually see the devil.  They will be “blown away” by his incredible powers and radiant glory.

Because “seeing is believing,” most of the “religious wicked” will quickly fall in line and worship Lucifer, thinking that he is God.  When the Great Tribulation is over, God will destroy the physical bodies used by the devil and his angels and return them to the spirit realm (the Abyss).[17]

This text includes a powerful declaration that many people do not appreciate: “The inhabitants of the Earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was [visible], now is not [visible], and yet will come [out of the Abyss and be visible].”[18]

Before any life was created, the Father wrote a complete history of the world.  He included the thoughts, words, and actions of each person.  The Father then did something that confuses a lot of people.  He blotted out the names of wicked people, those who would someday live upon the Earth and would refuse His offer of salvation.  Keep in mind, the Father did not blot out the record of any life, He only blotted out the names of those who would defy the Holy Spirit and reject eternal life.  Then, the Father sealed the book with seven seals so that no one could see or know what He had written.  This book bothers many people.  They conclude that it proves predestination is true, that is, the Father predetermined who would be saved and who would be lost.  Actually, once you know the whole story, the Father’s actions prove the opposite.

The Father has perfect foreknowledge.  He foreknows who will be saved and who will not, but God wants to prove to the universe that His foreknowledge has no influence over the eternal destiny of any person.  (God could say in another way,“I know that you will get hungry if you go without food for two days, but this foreknowledge has no influence on your hunger pains.”)  God is love.  He has given each person the power of choice.  He allows each person to determine his eternal destiny.  Our destiny is determined by our response to the Holy Spirit.  If we reject the Holy Spirit (blaspheme the Holy Spirit), we commit the unpardonable sin and will be destroyed.[19]  If we obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, God will reward our faith with eternal life.  Eternal life and eternal death are determined by each person’s response to the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, salvation is a matter of choice and not predestination.

God wrote The Book of Life before the world was created and sealed the book with seven seals because at the appointed time, He will prove that even though He has perfect foreknowledge (He knew who would be saved and who would be lost), He did not use His foreknowledge to predetermine the eternal destiny of anyone.

Very important point:  The book sealed with seven seals (The Book of Life) has nothing to do with judging mankind.  Jesus determines the eternal destiny of all mankind prior to the Second Coming using books of record which angels recorded in real time (as events occurred).  The Book of Life is not opened until the 1,000 years have ended.[20] Therefore, keeping the books of record separate and distinct from The Book of Life is important because God did not predestined anyone to eternal life or death when He wrote The Book of Life.[21]

When The Book of Life is opened, everyone will learn three astonishing facts.  First, the Father foreknew that sin would arise (He knew when and through whom) and He did nothing to protect Himself from it.  Second, the Father foreknew the great price that sin would impose upon Jesus and the human race, and yet, He did nothing to prevent it.  Finally, the books recorded by the angels will be identical with the contents written in the Book of Life.  These three facts will prove that each person was free to determine his eternal destiny.  Even though the Father foreknew the outcome, He did nothing to influence the outcome except He gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to save us from sin.  Jesus came to Earth to tell us the truth about God and die in our place, and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world to lead us into all truth so that every sinner might escape the penalty for sin.

The angel’s declaration in Revelation 17:8 indicates the wicked will be astonished when they see the devil, but their astonishment and deception will be their own making.  The wicked refused to receive the truth and be saved, so God sent them a strong delusion to bring everyone into a firm decision![22]  Of course, the saints will not be surprised when the devil appears on Earth because they will already know the true identity of this glorious being.  The saints will not go out to see this beast and they certainly will not worship this grand illusion.  The devil’s appearing will catch the wicked by complete surprise because they refused to listen to the 144,000.  Ironically, prior to the fifth trumpet, God will do everything possible to save the wicked from this glorious deception, but choices made by the wicked will set them up for astonishment and destruction.

God permits the devil to appear during the Great Tribulation for two reasons:  First, corporately speaking, God releases the devil (the epitome of rebellion) from the Abyss so that wicked people can be gathered together under one banner.[23]  God keeps the devil in the Abyss until the gospel has won over as many people as possible (perhaps 890 days).  When most of the wicked have taken a position against the gospel, God will send a great delusion so that the wicked will discover a powerful fact.  Higher powers exist and all mankind will submit to one power or the other.  Second, on an individual level, God permits Lucifer to physically appear and masquerade as Almighty God so that the wicked can observe evil incarnate.  Lucifer will say and do horrible things that a righteous God would not say and do.[24]  Lucifer will oppose truth, honesty, and love.  The devil will malign the truth and tell lies.  The devil is all about himself and his hateful ways are extreme.  Hopefully, his demonic behavior will awaken even the hardest heart.  Every wicked person should be able to see that Lucifer cannot possibly be God and some of the wicked will discover during the fifth and sixth trumpets that man’s only refuge is in Jesus.[25]

Revelation 17:9

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
{9} “When the time comes for fulfillment, Revelation’s story will not be hard to understand.  However, understanding these matters beforehand requires considerable study and diligence.  Therefore, John, consider the composite beast which the great whore will control.  The seven heads on the composite beast are seven mountains (the Greek word oros means hills or mountains).”

The seven heads can be described as seven mountains because a mountain is changeless, unmovable, and steadfast like God.  A religious system can be compared to a mountain because people look up to their religious leaders much like ancient travelers looked up to the mountains for navigation.[26]  People want their religion to be changeless, unmovable and steadfast (that is, infallible, true and towering above all others) like a mountain.

From ancient times, mountains have been intimately involved with religious beliefs.  Before Vespasian’s army destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the city was called ‘Mount Zion’[27] for an important reason.  It was God’s dwelling place.  King Solomon’s temple was located on top of Mount Moriah, God’s holy hill.[28]  Pagan worshipers frequently ascended to mountain tops and high hills to meet with their gods because they believed their gods lived there.[29]  It is interesting that even today, the most important building in the United States is called “Capitol Hill” for in this building, the nation’s laws are created.

We already know two facts about the seven heads.  First, in Revelation 13:1 we find they have blasphemous names written on them.  This indicates they are religious in nature and they are anti-Christ.  Second, we know that one head was wounded, but the deadly wound was healed when the composite beast comes up from the sea.  The head (or hill) that was wounded is the papacy.  There are seven heads, that is, there are seven of the same thing.  Because the wounded/healed head represents a religious system (the papacy), the remaining six heads must also represent religious systems.

Revelation 17:10

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
{10} “The seven heads are also seven kings.  Each religious system is a kingdom having subjects (church members).  Each religious system has its own order and authority.  When a church member rebels against the system, he may be cast out of the system, excommunicated or killed depending upon the religious system that he belongs to.  The seven heads are described as seven mountains and seven kings because these definitions narrow the solution to one right answer.  Each blasphemous head/mountain/king is a religious system having its own hierarchy and laws.”  The angel continued, “Five religious systems have fallen (have been exposed as false) and one religious system exists which has not yet become false.  Later on, it will also be exposed as false and another religious system will appear, but it will only exist for a short time.”

When Jesus came to Earth, five religious systems fell.  In other words, Jesus declared five religious systems were false.  These five systems are: Atheism,  Heathenism, Judaism, Eastern Mysticism, and Islam.*  Atheism says there is no God.  Jesus says this is not true.[30]  Heathenism says there are many Gods, but Jesus says this is not true.[31]  Judaism and Islam teach that salvation comes through obedience to specific rules,[32] but Jesus says that salvation comes through faith in Him.[33]  Eastern Mysticism teaches that the soul is immortal, it lives forever.  After enough generations, man can become a divine being, but Jesus says none of this is true.[34]  Rather, a divine being became a man to save mankind from the penalty for sin.[35]

*Note: The title, Islam, as used here, refers to the ancient religion of Ishmael. Even though Mohammed lived during the sixth century A.D., Moslems hold that Ishmael, the first offspring of Abraham, is the founder of Islam.

The sixth head (Christianity) was just beginning in John’s day.  Eventually, this head was called the Roman Catholic Church.  John was a charter member of this religious system, but it followed in Israel’s footsteps.  It became a false religion and blasphemous over time.  The power of the Roman Catholic Church was severely wounded in 1798,[36] but the deadly wound will be healed[37] during the fourth trumpet.  The seventh head appeared on Earth around 1500 A.D. and it is called Protestantism.  When we consider that six of the seven religious systems have endured for 2,000 years or more, the life span of Protestantism is short.

Revelation 17:11

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
{11} “Lucifer is the lamblike beast described in Revelation 13:11.  He once was visible and now, he is not visible, but at the fifth trumpet he will become visible.  At first, the devil will masquerade as Almighty God.  He will be far superior to the seven religious systems of the world and his supernatural powers will eclipse the prowess of all mankind and naturally, he will become “an eighth king.”

The devil is described as an eighth king who belongs to the seven heads for an important reason.  In Prophecy 2, a little horn appeared and it grew in power and as it did, it uprooted three of the original ten horns.  This made the little horn an eighth king.  The eighth horn dominated the seven horns for 1,260 years.  Similarly, the devil will start small.[38]  He will physically appear and dominate the seven heads.  During the sixth trumpet, the devil will establish an eighth religious system (the whore, his great theocracy) and he will rule over the religious systems of the world.  Of course, the devil will be destroyed at the end, but not by human power.[39]

Revelation 17:12-13

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
{12} “The ten horns on the composite beast represent ten kings (the ten toes in Daniel 2) which Lucifer will appoint as agents of his government.  Presuming sovereign authority, the devil will dissolve the governments of the world and direct these ten kings to oversee his one world church state.
{13} These ten kings will have one purpose.  They will do everything the devil wishes.

Revelation 17:14

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
{14} “When Jesus appears in clouds of glory, these ten kings will unite with the devil in a violent attack on the Lamb, but the Lamb will destroy them because the Creator is Lord of lords and King of kings.  When Jesus returns, the wicked will see Jesus and they will also see His 144,000 prophets who were taken to Heaven at the seventh trumpet.”[40]

Revelation 17:15

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues
{15} Then the angel said to me, “The many waters upon which the whore sits represent peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.”

The wicked are described as many waters because water is a fluid.  Water has no backbone. Water conforms to whatever shape it is poured into.  Water always flows in the path of least resistance; a fitting description of the wicked.  When the devil abolishes the religions and governments of the world to set up his theocracy, he will kill a third of mankind and the survivors will be like water conforming to his evil desires.  For approximately nine months, the devil will rule over the world and mankind will be powerless to stop him from doing as he pleases.  His whore (his government) will sit as a queen and the devil will gleefully rule as a presumed king of kings and lord of lords.

Revelation 17:16

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
{16} During the seven last plagues, when the fifth bowl is poured out on the officials and employees of the devil’s government, the devil’s empire will crumble.  His servants will suddenly lose their eyesight and become dysfunctional.  The rest of the wicked will suddenly figure out who Lucifer really is because reason says that God would not destroy His own servants and government!  When this revelation occurs, the religious systems of the world will briefly revive and the ten kings will turn on the devil.  They will hate Lucifer’s theocracy (the whore).  A global rebellion will occur, but the revolt will be for nothing because the wicked are doomed.  The wicked will destroy Lucifer’s one world church state.  The kings of the Earth will be furious with the whore and they will strip her naked, “burn her with fire and eat her flesh.”

The phrase, “burn her with fire and eat her flesh” denotes loathing and desperation.  This parallels God’s promise to ancient Israel.  Consider God’s warning to Israel if Israel turned their backs on Him:  “The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand,  a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young.  They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined.  They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.  Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you.  Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children.”[41]

Revelation 17:17

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.
{17} From the sixth trumpet to the fifth bowl (a period of about nine months), the kings of the Earth will do whatever the devil demands because the Holy Spirit will have no influence within them.

After a person commits the unpardonable sin, God turns that person over to Lucifer so that Lucifer’s goals might be accomplished.  This is a profound point that every Christian should understand:  Whenever a person goes beyond the point of redemption by committing the unpardonable sin, that person forfeits God’s grace and the power of choice![42]  Lucifer is free to use the services of that person as he deems best for that person is a “whitewashed tomb,” a member of the living dead.[43]

Revelation 17:18

And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
{18} “Finally, John, the woman you saw will be a great city that will rule over the kings of the Earth.  For nine miserable months, Lucifer’s theocracy will serve as “a city of refuge” of sorts for the wicked, but she is a tomb, her day of doom will surely come and everyone within her will be destroyed.”

The Rules of Interpretation

Consider how the Rules of Interpretation (discussed in the Introduction of this book) are observed in this prophecy:

Rule One is not used in this portion of Scripture.  Revelation 17 is not an apocalyptic prophecy.  It is a commentary, an explanation of matters previously presented.

Rule Two says a fulfillment only occurs when all of the specifications are met, and this includes the order stated in the prophecy.  Since this portion of Scripture contains an explanation about several earlier visions, each element will be fulfilled in its declared order.  As fulfillment occurs, the angel’s explanation will make perfect sense just as it reads.

Rule Three says that apocalyptic language can be literal, analogous, or symbolic.  To reach the intended meaning of a prophecy, the reader must consider (a) the context, (b) the use of parallel language in the Bible, and (c) if an element is thought to be symbolic, the Bible must interpret the symbol with a relevant text.  All three types of language are used in this prophecy.  The beast from the Abyss refers to Lucifer, the lamblike beast, the angel king that will arise from the Earth at the fifth trumpet.  The composite beast having seven heads and ten horns represent the seven religious systems of Earth and ten kings which the devil will appoint.   The whore represents a global consolidation of church and state authority.  Lucifer’s theocracy will be a one world church state.  To the wicked, the great whore will appear to be a city of refuge at first, but she is a very seductive trap.  Jesus will destroy all who unite with her.

“My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways, for a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well.  Like a bandit she lies in wait, and multiplies the unfaithful among men.”[44]

Rule Four is not used in this prophecy.


  1. Revelation 9:4 Return
  2. Revelation 9:6 Return
  3. Revelation 14:8; 18:2-4,10,21 Return
  4. Revelation 13:1-8 Return
  5. Daniel 8:19; Joel 3:14,15 Return
  6. In Bible times, large groups of people were often divided into groups of a thousand.  See Exodus 18:21, 25; Numbers 31;14,48,52,54; Deuteronomy 1:15; 1 Samuel 8:12, 22:7; 1 Chronicles 13:1; 26:26; 27:1.  For further discussion on this topic, please see pages 220-227 in my book, A Study on the Seven Trumpets, Two Witnesses and Four Beasts or download this article: Return
  7. Revelation 6:9-11; 13:7; Daniel 8:24 Return
  8. Matthew 16;25 Return
  9. Daniel 11:39 Return
  10. Revelation 13:2 Return
  11. Revelation 9:11 Return
  12. Ezekiel 28:12-19 Return
  13. Isaiah 14:12-17 Return
  14. John 16:11 Return
  15. Job 1:6-12 Return
  16. John 12:31; Revelation 12:10-13 Return
  17. Revelation 20:1-3 Return
  18. Revelation 17:8, insertions mine Return
  19. Matthew 12:31,32 Return
  20. Revelation 20:7-12 Return
  21. Daniel 7:9,10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; 2 Corinthians 6:2,3 Return
  22. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Return
  23. Revelation 14:18-20; Daniel 8:23 Return
  24. Daniel 11:36-38 Return
  25. Revelation 9:4-6; 14:9-12 Return
  26. Isaiah 2:2; Daniel 9:16,20; Jeremiah 3:6; Psalm 2:6; 15:1; Hosea 4:13 Return
  27. Psalm 2:6; 48:2; 132:13 Return
  28. 2 Chronicles 3:1; Daniel 9:16,20; Zechariah 8:3 Return
  29. 1 Kings 14:22-24; Jeremiah 2:19,20; Ezekiel 6:13 Return
  30. Psalm 14:1,2; Isaiah 45:5,21,22 Return
  31. Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19; 1 Timothy 2:5 Return
  32. Matthew 5:20; 19:25,26; Romans 1:5 Return
  33. John 3:16 Return
  34. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 Return
  35. Luke 22:70 Return
  36. Daniel 7:21-26 Return
  37. Revelation 13:3 Return
  38. Daniel 8:9 Return
  39. Daniel 8:25 Return
  40. 1 Thessalonians 4:14  See also Prophecy 9 on the resurrection of the 144,000. Return
  41. Deuteronomy 28:49-54 Return
  42. Romans 1:28-2:9 Return
  43. Matthew 8:22; 23:27 Return
  44. Proverbs 23:26-28 Return
Larry W. Wilson

Larry Wilson, founder of WUAS, became a born-again Christian in 1972. His interest in the gospel led him on a 40+ year quest to learn more about what God has revealed to Earth’s final generation. The results of his research have been shared throughout the world in books, television & radio broadcasts, media interviews, and seminars that are publicly available on all different types of media (see our Christian Bookstore).

What is Wake Up America Seminars (WUAS)?
Wake Up America Seminars, Inc. is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization with a focus on the study of End-Time Prophecy. WUAS is not a church, nor does it endorse any denomination. Our focus is singular: We are dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and His imminent return. We are delighted that people of all faiths are diligently using the Bible study materials produced by WUAS. All study materials are based solely on the Bible alone.

Larry W. Wilson

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