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Updated: Feb 19, 2022

Revelation contains the story of two women. Revelation 12 describes the suffering of the true church whom the whore judged as worthy of death. Revelation 17 describes the destruction of the whore whom Heaven judged worthy of death.


  • A woman in Bible prophecy is symbolic of a church (Jer 6:2; Isa 51:16; 2 Cor 11:2). 

  • A virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.

  • Revelation depicts the struggle between two women.

  • These women profess not just any church or religion but the Christian religion.

  • One woman is the virgin of Revelation 12 symbolic of the true Christian church.

  • This woman keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Rev 12:17)

  • The other is the Whore of Revelation 17, the apostate Christian church system. 

  • This “whore” or corrupt woman represents a corrupt religion.

  • In Isa 47:1, 9 Babylon, the centre of pagan religion is depicted as a mother.

  • The pagan city of Nineveh was also likened to a whore and a witch (Nah 3:4). 

  • In Rev 17:5, Babylon is represented as a woman - her name is Babylon the Great. 

This woman - the “great whore” (Rev 17:1), or mystical “Babylon the great” (v 5) - is guilty of “the blood...of all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev 18:24). In the broadest sense she may be thought of as all false religion throughout all time. Her spirit is the same but the forms she takes may vary including pagan, papal, apostate protestantism and even atheism. “The great city,” Babylon is spiritually called “Sodom and Egypt” in Rev 11:8. Sodom is the home of whores and Egypt represents those who deny the existence of the living God (cf. Exo 5:2), i.e. atheists. Satan’s masterpiece has been the Papal Roman church and for this reason the symbolism fits that system perfectly.



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 shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

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.

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.

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:


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.

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.

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.

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.

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12 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.

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

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.

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

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.

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.

18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Like Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8 and 11, Revelation chapter 17 outlines the seven kingdoms of Bible prophecy which has and will affect God's people in the last days of earth's history. Whether we as individuals will be one of God's people remains to be be seen but the prophecy is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.

  • The final kingdom in Daniel chapter 2 was Papal Rome, a union of church and state.

  • This is represented by the feet of iron (Rome) and clay (Religion) of the great image.

  • The final kingdom in Daniel chapter 7 was Papal Rome, the little horn power.

  • The final kingdom in Daniel chapter 8 was Papal Rome, the little horn power.

  • This power arose in the territory of Rome.

  • The final kingdom of Daniel chapter 11 is Papal Rome, the King of the North

  • This power comes to his end and none shall help him in Daniel 11:45.

It is, therefore, not surprising that here in Revelation 17 we see laid bare before all the power of Papal Rome controlling the state powers of the world in the symbol of a harlot woman riding and controlling the beast - the church (woman) controlling the state (beast) with the state carrying out the whims of the church in legislating in her favour.  

Religious liberty contrary to the dictates of Papal Rome will come to an end. Even now "freedoms" are gradually being eroded on many fronts, whether it be freedom of speech, views contrary to conscience, the church or political correctness.

Daniel chapter 2
Feet of Iron & Clay
Iron = Rome
Clay = Religion
Papal Rome

Daniel chapter 7
The little Horn
Arose from Rome
See Daniel 7 study
The little horn is Papal Rome

Daniel chapter 8
The little Horn
Crucified Christ
See Daniel 8 study
Pagan & Papal Rome

Daniel chapter 11
The King of the North
See Daniel 11 study
Papal Rome


Revelation chapter 12
Great Red Dragon
7 heads & 10 horns
The devil or Satan -see Rev 12:9

Revelation chapter 13
Beast arises out of the sea
7 heads & 10 horns
Head with deadly wound Papal Rome beast

Revelation chapter 17
Woman rides beast with
7 heads & 10 horns
Papal Rome Union of church & state


NB: All the prophetic symbols except "ribs" representing a kingdom, power or nation meet in Revelation 17 including beasts, horns, heads, "king", mountain, city and waters or seas, 


In vision John was carried forward in time and saw a woman representing the Papal church, supported by a beast representing the Papal State. The angel told John that the beast WAS (the beast supporting the Papal State during the dark ages), and IS NOT (when the Papal State received a deadly wound and was abolished in 1798) and shall ascend from the bottomless pit (The beast supporting the Papal church will rise from the grave when the deadly wound is healed). The Papal State “will be,” that is it will arise again. Then all the corrupt powers which have apostatized from God will give their support to the Papacy for a prophetic hour in which she will attempt to eradicate all those who keep the commandments of God. However, when her triumph looks certain all her supporters will turn on her and destroy her. Her destruction is described in Revelation 18.

verse 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 shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

This whore is called Mystery Babylon (verse 5) and she is said to sit upon many waters. The ancient city of Babylon sat on, or was built over, the literal waters of the river Euphrates, which ran through and around the city in various water courses. Here the Euphrates is explained to be a symbol of the nations of the world (v 15). The Euphrates connects this vision with the Battle of Armageddon mentioned under the 6th plague which also mentions the waters of the Euphrates.


  • A woman is symbolic of a church. (Jer 6:2; 2Cor 11:2).

  • A pure woman represents a pure church (Rev 12:1)

  • The whore represents an apostate church (cf. Isa 1:21; Hos 4:11)

  • Idolatry & friendship of the world = spiritual adultery (Eze 16:17; Jer 3:6, 9; James 4:4).

  • Incidentally Rome calls herself the “Mother” Church. She is the mother of harlots.

  • This woman is the counterfeit  of the true church described in Revelation 12

  • The true church keeps the commandments of God (all 10) and the testimony of Jesus. 

  • This woman is riding a beast - a beast is a symbol of a kingdom (Daniel 7:23; 8:20-22).

  • The beast represents the civil / political powers which support her (See v 8).

  • Here we see the Roman Church 'controlling', manipulating the political powers.


This great whore sits on “many waters”.

Waters represent the peoples and nations of the world. (Rev 17:1, 15).

She is therefore a catholic (world-wide) church.

Incidentally Catholic means universal.

She is called Mystery Babylon representing the pagan practises of Babylon.

verse 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. 


  • This Church has turned from Christ to fornicate spiritually with the State powers.

  • She seduces the State powers to enforce her doctrines or edicts.

  • Instead of persuasion, the harlot uses the State to enforce or mandate her wishes. 

  • Spiritual fornication=idolatry / friendship the world (Eze 16:17; Jer 3:6, 9; James 4:4).  

  • Papal Rome unites with the State to enforce its doctrines (wine) whenever it can.  

verse 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.


The beast represents the civil political powers which support her (See v 8).

A woman in Bible prophecy represents a church. (Jer 6:2; 2Cor 11:2). As a pure woman represents a pure church, the whore of Revelation 17 represents an apostate church system that purports to follow the Bible (cf. Isa 1:21; Hos 4:11).  

It is interesting that Europe or the European union uses a similar symbol of a woman riding a beast, its bull god, but Europe is not a religion or church and is not the woman of Revelation 17.  Europe does  have a role in prophecy as the ten horns of the beast representing the original ten divisions of the Roman empire in Daniel 7

"Unity in diversity" - A confident Europe but the prophecy of Daniel 2 and Revelation said they would not unite but for a very short time.


Carried TO ANOTHER POINT IN TIME in vision. John was “carried away in the spirit [in vision]” in Rev 21:10, where he beheld events that were to occur AFTER his day. So here John is carried away into the future and sees a woman riding the beast, something that was to OCCUR AFTER John’s time.


  • A Beast = A KINGDOM or a nation, a CIVIL power (Dan 7:23; 8:20-22).

  • Scarlet = SIN = the transgression of God’s Law (1John 3:4; Rom 6:7, James 2:10-12).

  • This scarlet coloured (Isaiah 1:18) beast is sinful and represents Satan’s kingdom.

  • Satan's kingdom is represented by the seven heads (nations). 

  • The beast is set in distinction from the great whore.

  • The Beast represents the State or CIVIL power while the Whore represents the Church

  • Here is depicted a union of church & state which enforces the doctrines of the church.

  • Seven Heads = KINGDOMS.

  • Heads parallels horns and horns = KINGDOMS. (cf. Dan 7: 6; 8:22). 

  • The Heads = Mountains (Rev 17:9).

  • Mountains = KINGDOMS (cf. Dan 2:35, 44; Jer 51:24-25). 

  • The Heads are seven kings (Rev 17:10)

  • Kings = KINGDOMS (cf. Dan 7:17, 23; Dan 2:38-39). 

  • The heads are not various forms of government of one kingdom

  • The heads are not seven Popes or individual kings.

  • The Bible decodes the symbol of seven heads as seven KINGDOMS. 

  • The heads are successive as indicated by the term “five have fallen, one is, the other is yet to come. (v 10).

Rev 12 describes a scarlet coloured dragon with seven-headed 10 horns

Rev 13 describes a beast with seven heads and 10 horns

These two powers are combined in the description of the beast of Revelation 17: a scarlet coloured beast with seven heads and 10 horns.

In Rev 13 one of the beast's heads received a deadly wound which would heal. The Papal State was abolished in 1798 but the deadly wound is yet to fully heal. See on Rev 13. The Papal State is therefore one of the heads.


Seven = COMPLETE. Seven days in a complete week, seven churches, seven seals, seven angels, seven trumpets, seven last plagues.) Here then is described a complete set of kingdoms that have opposed God and His people.


1. Babylon (Lion)

2. Medo-Persia (Bear)

3. Greece (Leopard)

4. Rome (Terrible beast of Daniel 7)

5. Beast with seven heads and 10 horns (Rev 13:1-10)

6. Beasts from the bottomless pit (Rev 11)

7. Beast with two lamblike horns (Rev 13:11-17).

Note: The two horned beast is distinct from the seven headed beast in Rev 13 but it makes an image of the beast’s Papal phase.


Horns = KINGDOMS. (Four horns = four KINGDOMS (Dan 8:8, 22)

King and KINGDOM are used interchangeably in prophecy (Dan 2:38-39; Dan 7:17, 23).

TEN often represents ALL. Christ is chiefest among TEN thousand (among all). All the angels are described as Ten thousand times TEN thousand etc.

New member states being welcomed by the European union - handshake

verse 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:


The whore is dressed similar to the High Priest with precious stones and a name on her forehead (cf. Exo 28:5, 15-22 36-38) but unlike the High priest she has no BLUE. Blue was to remind God’s people to keep “ALL the commandments of the Lord” (Num 15:37-39). The lack of blue indicates that this church does not keep ALL of God’s commandments. Indeed Roman Catholicism openly admits that it does not keep the seventh day Sabbath but claims to have changed the day to Sunday (see on Dan 7:25).

“she [The church of Rome]... substituted the observance of SUNDAY the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is NO SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY.” A Doctrinal Catechism, (3rd US ed.) S. Keenan, p 174.


Purple is the colour of kings. (Matt 5:17-18). The purple indicates that this Church is also a kingdom. The Papacy (Papal Rome or Roman Catholicism) is a kingdom as well as a church. (See any Encyclopedia). 

Incidentally Papal priest actually wear purple & scarlet robes!


This church looks glorious with outward splendor. However Gods people do not wear such jewelry but are rather shamefaced or sober (cf. 1Tim 2:9). Incidentally the Papacy has much gold, pearls etc.

“In 1512A.D., a book was compiled by Archbishop Marcellus of Rome and dedicated to Pope Leo X. It enumerates five different articles of dress of SCARLET colour that only Popes and cardinals can wear. A vest is mentioned studded with PEARLS. The Pope’s mitre is GOLD and precious STONES. These are the very characteristics...Revelation thrice ascribes to Babylon.” Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Commentary, 1953, p1414.

“Pope Paul II wore vestments decorated with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, chrysolithes, jaspers... and all manner of precious STONES.” B. Platina (Roman Catholic authority), Lives of the Popes.

Golden cup full of abominations This cup contains intoxicating wine with which the kings of the earth were made drunk (verse 2). The word wine in Scripture can refer to fermented OR unfermented grape juice. In place of “the cup of salvation” (Ps 116:13) containing unfermented “wine,” the symbol of Christ’s uncorrupted doctrine, (Mark 14:24), the whore’s cup is full of fermented alcoholic intoxicating wine a symbol of her corrupted doctrine. The cup is full of abominations. Included among Biblical abominations are unclean food (Lev 11), Idolatry & Sun worship (Eze 8:9-17). Indeed this system allows men to drink alcohol, eat unclean foods, bow before idols, and worship on the Sunday. Incidentally the Papacy literally uses alcoholic wine in its communion services in a golden cup or chalice!

verse 5  And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.


The High priest had “Holiness to the Lord” on his forehead (Exo 28:36-38; Exo 39:30-31). The whore has “Mystery Babylon, Mother of Harlots.” This church has daughters, that is others churches, which came out of her yet tragically follow their Mother Church in sacrificing truth in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world.

The Catholic Church openly claims to be the Mother:

“That observance [of Sunday instead of Saturday] remains a reminder of the MOTHER CHURCH from which the non-Catholic sects broke away.” ‘Father’ James O’Brien, The Faith of Millions (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, (Roman Catholic) Inc., 1974), p401.

In 1725A.D. Pope Benedict XIII, in his declaration of a jubilee, described the church of Rome as, “...the MOTHER of all believers and the MISTRESS of all churches.” Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Commentary, 1953, p1415


Babylon originally meant “Gate to God.” In the Bible Babylon means confusion (Gen 11:9). The Papacy claims to hold the keys of heaven and hell and to be the only way to God and salvation. The Papacy effectively claims to be the gate to God.

verse 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.

Burning heretics i.e. Bible believing Christians

This church martyred Christians during her period of supremacy. See on Daniel 7:25. The Catholic Church had countless souls martyred as heretics in the periods known as the Dark Ages and the Inquisition.

verse 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.

A Beast in prophecy refers to a kingdom, nation, State power. The beast here represents Satan’s kingdom which supports the whore - Satan’s religious power. (See Daniel 7:23; 8:20-22).

verse 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 [will be].

The angel explained that the beast John saw WAS, IS NOT and SHALL ASCEND. The angel also explained that five heads are FALLEN, ONE IS, the other is not yet come. Evidently the angel must mean that the beast John saw (that is the beast when it was supporting the Mother of harlots) WAS, and is not, while the beast still IS in ANOTHER form at the time of the 6th head.


To understand this passage we must identify from what point in time the description was given. Evidence to shows that the explanation was given from OUR TIME: John was “carried away in the spirit” to see the vision (Rev 17:3). The only other time John was carried in vision he was carried to a time long after his own time to see events that were to happen long after John’s day (Rev 21:10).


John was told that the beast which he saw, that is the beast supporting the Mother Church that was drunk with the blood of the saints, “WAS” (past tense), “IS NOT” (present tense)” and “SHALL ASCEND” (Future tense). Evidently the explanation is from a time AFTER the period of Papal supremacy; AFTER the Dark Ages; AFTER the harlot daughter churches had come out from her; In the understanding of the vision we are told “here is the mind that

hath wisdom...” (Rev 17:9). King Solomon was known for his great wisdom (1Kings 10:23). The wisdom of Solomon is seen in the book of Ecclesiastes where he wrote: “The thing that HATH BEEN, it is that which SHALL BE; and that which IS DONE is that which SHALL BE DONE: and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecc 1:9).

The description John is given is from a time AFTER all these things. Furthermore the explanation was given from the time of the 6th head when it could be said that FIVE HAD FALLEN, ONE IS, the other IS NOT YET COME: The books of Daniel and Revelation explain each other. In harmony with the outline prophecies of Daniel chapters 2 and 7, the first head (kingdom) is Babylon. The first five that are fallen would, therefore, be:

1. Babylon

2. Medo-Persia

3. Greece

4. Pagan Rome

5. The Papal State

  • The beast that thou sawest was, and is not...

  • The beast which supported the Papal Church WAS but it does not now exist.

  • The beast which supported the Papal Church IS NOT

  • The beast supporting the Papacy SHALL ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT.

The explanation is given from the time of the sixth head. ...and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (Gr. abussos) As that which was and “IS NOT” is to ascend out of the bottomless pit, the bottomless pit is evidently the place of things which are not, a place of lifelessness, the place of the dead, the GRAVE.

The grave is called a “PIT” which CANNOT BE FILLED, (Isa 38:18; Isa 14:19; Hab 2:5; Prov 30:16). The grave is therefore a bottomless pit. The word “bottomless pit” is from the Greek word “Abussos” and is translated “deep,” in Rom 10:7 where it actually refers to THE GRAVE. 

The beast which supported the whore “IS NOT” but it is to return from the dead. The deadly wound the Papal State suffered is to heal (compare Revelation 13).

...and go into perdition:

This word perdition brings to mind Judas and the man of sin. Judas was called the “son of PERDITION.” He appeared to be a follower of Christ but betrayed the Lord. So the Papacy appears as Christian but will betray the faithful unto death. Paul also foretold that there would be a falling away from the truth that would result in the development of the man of sin, who would go into PERDITION. (2Thess 2).

The 7 beasts of Daniel & Revelation representing the 7 world powers to affect God's people.

1. Babylon (Lion - Daniel 7)

2. Medo-Persia (Bear - Daniel 7)

3. Greece (Leopard - Daniel 7)

4. Rome (Terrible beast of Daniel 7)

5. Papal Rome Beast (Rev 13:1-10)

6. Atheism: Beast from bottomless pit (Rev 11)

7. Protestant Rome Beast (USA) (Rev 13:11-18).

verse 9 And here [is] the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Heads represent kingdoms or nations as they did on the four-headed leopard of Dan 7:6. Mountains = Kingdoms or Nations (Dan 2:35, 44; Jer 51:24-25).

The seven heads therefore symbolize seven successive KINGDOMS or NATIONS that Satan has and will use to oppose God’s work on earth.

Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome (pagan), Papal Rome, the Atheistic State (See on Rev 11) and the Apostate protestant State. (the image of the papal beast).

Incidentally Rome is known as the seven hilled city. While the biblical definition of a mountain is a kingdom it is interesting to note that Rome was known as the seven hilled city. Webster’s large unabridged dictionary says this under the entry “seven-hilled”: “as, the SEVEN-HILLED CITY, that is, ROME, Italy.”

verse 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.

Or “THEY ARE seven kings.” Kings = kingdoms (cf. Dan 7:17, 23).


The heads come to power through conquest. For example the second head came to power by conquering the first head. This 6th head would therefore be that power which "killed" the 5th head, the Papal State. What power killed the Papal State? The Atheistic State killed the Papal State giving it a deadly wound in 1798 (Rev 13:3).

All heads rule successively and come to power by conquering the previous head. Thus Babylon (head 1) is conquered by Medo-Persia (head 2) which is conquered by Greece (head 3) which is followed by Rome (head 4) which is succeeded by Papal Rome (head 5) which receives a deadly wound from the Atheistic State (head 6) which will be conquered by the Apostate Protestant State (head 7) which exists at the end with the head that was and is not (the Papal State, head number 5, returned to life and called the 8th head in Revelation 17).

As one head is taken away (conquered or killed) another comes to life. The ‘living’ head at any time is said to be the beast for that time (cf. Rev 13:3, 14; Rev 17:11).

The ‘live’ head, when John saw the beast carrying the whore was the Papal State or Papal Rome.

Though the beast has 7 heads, and presumably 7 mouths, only one head reigns at any one time and thus only only ONE mouth speaks for the beast at a time (Rev 12:15).

The same beast is described in Rev 11, 12, 13. The correct view will harmonize all three chapters. Rev 11 describes this beast as “THE beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.

The beast from the bottomless pit of Revelation 11:7,8 is the same as the King of the South of Daniel 11:40 (Daniel 11 study to be posted)

In Revelation 12 the seven heads are crowned confirming that the seven heads represent seven distinct KINGDOMS/NATIONS.

In Revelation 13 ONE of the 7 heads was wounded and this head eventually heals. ONE of the heads was the Papal State so the other heads represent other States. Each head comes to power by conquering the previous head. The heads appear in order. The principle of repeat & enlarge indicates that Revelation 17 builds on earlier prophecies in which Babylon was the first. The 7 headed beast of Rev 17 is the 7 headed beast of Rev 13 which

obviously draws its symbolism from Daniel 7 where the first nation was Babylon. Babylon was also the first kingdom in Daniel 2.

Seven represents completeness - 7 days in a week; 7 times the priest sprinkled blood before the vail; 7 times a day David praised the Lord; 7 spirits; 7 golden candlesticks; 7 stars; 7 churches; 7 seals; 7 trumpets; 7 headed beast of Rev 12, 13, 17; 7 last plagues, etc etc.

The heads form a COMPLETE set:

A COMPLETE set of corrupt forms of government from monarchy to republic. A complete set of the major persecuting nations. A COMPLETE set of governments that have supported Paganism, Papalism, Atheism, and Apostate Protestantism.

All the state powers represented by beasts in Daniel & Revelation are here included. There are seven state powers represented by beasts in

Daniel and the Revelation:

1. Babylon

2. Medo-Persia

3. Greece

4. Rome

5. the Papal State

6. the Atheistic State

7. The Apostate Protestant State.

The seven heads fit the Bible pattern of sevens being made of a first set of four, followed by a second set of three.

In the Bible sevens are divided into 4-3:

4 Spring feasts - 3 Autumn feasts. (Lev 23)

4 horsemen - 3 non horsemen. (Rev 6)

4 Trumpets - 3 Woe trumpets. (Rev 8-9)

The 7 heads of Rev 17 follow this pattern: 4 are Old Testament localized powers and 3 are New Testament global powers.

The 6th head - the atheistic State, which conquered the Papal State, now “IS” while the beast that supported the Papal church “is not.” This is the point in time from which John viewed the vision. Atheism arose in response to years of Papal oppression in France. (See on Revelation 11). Rome had misrepresented the character of God, and the French people, thinking Romanism was Christianity, rejected both the Bible and its Author. In rejecting Roman Catholicism as a deception the French were led by Satan to regard all religion as a deception. The masses, long trampled on by Rome, rose up against the oppressor with fury. The God defying spirit of Pharaoh was seen again in France. As the atheistic state arose FROM THE PIT (Rev 11:7) it sent the Papal State INTO THE PIT, abolishing it, in 1798. (See Rev 13:3).

The French Revolution is recognized as the birthplace of the Communist State. Time magazine, Dec. 11, 1989, stated that the communist party is “formally pledged to ATHEISM...”

In this period the world’s dominant nations (European, American) act as essentially atheistic democracies or republics. Evolution, Abortion, no absolute truth and man deciding what is right & wrong, are all outgrowths of atheistic thinking.

The head on the beast today is the Atheistic State (Atheism), which is as much a religion as Paganism or Papalism. Papalism is anti-Christ. Atheism is anti-god. Both are manifestations of the continual spirit of self-exaltation. In Rev 11:8 the “great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth” was called the “Egypt [Atheism. cf. Exo 5:2] where also our Lord was crucified” - in the person of His saints. In Rev 17:6 the “great city” (Rev 17:18) is called “Babylon [Catholicism] drunken with the blood of the saints.” Atheism and Catholicism, and indeed all false religions, are the one city, the one woman. These are manifestations of the same “continual” spirit of antichrist.

And the other [the 7th head] is not yet come. As apostate Christianity bred atheism so atheism breeds apostate Christianity. The apostate Christian world is rising to overthrow atheism. In response to years of atheistic legislation, societal moral decay, etc. Protestant groups are today influencing the State to enforce Christian legislation. When Protestantism unites with the state to enforce its ideas it will have become an “image” of the Papal system - the union of church & state, the image of the Papal beast. (See Rev 13). The 7th head - The Apostate Protestant state, is to take away the power of the 6th head - the atheistic state, enforce the worship of the beast (Rev 13:15), and “continue a short space” (v 10) compared to all the previous heads (nations).

verse 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Assisted by the 7th head the Papal State will be brought back to life as the so-called 8th head. Why is it called the eighth? Because the number eight indicates resurrection and is appropriate for a head that was, is not, and shall be.

(a) 8 souls passed through Noah’s Flood, a kind of RESURRECTION into the new world.

(b) The first day of the week, the day Christ was RESURRECTED, is mentioned 8 times in the N.T.

(c) The feast of booths (tabernacles) when the people lived away from home lasted 8 days. It prefigured the saints living in heaven following the first RESURRECTION. Leviticus 23:39-43.

(d) Circumcision, done the 8th day after birth, is likened to baptism where the old man is buried in the watery ‘grave’ and RESURRECTED to newness of life. Luke 2:21; Col 2:11–12.

...and is of the seven

The eighth head is of the seven. The Papal power was indeed one of the seven. The 5th head, the Papal head, will return to life. The deadly wound will be healed (Rev 13). In the end the Papal head and the Apostate Protestant head (the image of the papacy) will exist together: “If any man worship the beast AND his image...” (Rev 14:9) and under ONE HEAD - the papal power - the people will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses.” 

“Protestants will throw their whole influence and strength on the side of the Papacy; by a national act enforcing the false Sabbath, they WILL GIVE LIFE and vigor to the corrupt faith of Rome, reviving her tyranny and oppression of conscience.” E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 12 June, 1893.

In a secondary sense the 8th may also refer to Satan himself who was behind all seven heads. At the time of the 8th head, just prior to Christ’s return, Satan will personate Christ in a counterfeit Second Coming in a last desperate attempt to deceive the faithful (See Matt 24:23-26).

...and goeth into perdition.

This word perdition brings to mind Judas. Judas was a professed follower of Christ who betrayed Him. He is called “the son of perdition.” The 8th head is a professedly Christian power and will go into perdition. Describing the falling away from the truth that would result in the development of the the Papal power we read “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that MAN OF SIN be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION.” 2Thess 2:3.

Verses 12, 13  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.

The 10 horns of Daniel 7 = division of the Roman empire into the territory of present day Europe.

The principle that understanding comes by comparing “line upon line” (Isa 28:10) and the principle of repeat and enlarge indicate that these ten horns are those described in Daniel 7:7; Rev 12:3; 13:1 - the nations of Europe.

All ten are still described though some no longer exist (Dan 7:8), in the same way that all seven heads are described though several of the heads no longer exist. The 10 horns will receive a “kingdom” (singular) with the beast for “one hour.” 10 symbolizes all (Exo 20; Sol 5:10).

These have one mind

There will be a universal bond of union, one great harmony, a confederacy of Satan’s forces. “And shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Out of the territory of Rome arose the little horn power, a symbol of Papal Rome. See Daniel 7 study.

Power as kings one hour

For one prophetic “hour” (possibly 15 literal days. See Appendix) all the corrupt powers will unite in purpose. This “hour” occurs during the “short space” the 7th head exists. They make war against Christ by condemning His people to death. Surrounded by enemies on all sides it will appear that the saints are to perish but God will cut short this

time of trouble (cf. Matt 24:21-22; Dan 12:1). As the voice of God through the Protestant Reformation cut short the Papacy’s ability to persecute in the past, so the Voice of God from heaven will cut short the coming time of trouble.

See on Matt 24.

verse 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.

They make war with the Lamb by making war upon the Lamb’s people.

verse 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Literal Babylon was supported by the literal waters of the literal Euphrates. This whore is symbolic of Spiritual Babylon and sits on the symbolic waters of the symbolic Euphrates which represents people’s nation which support the system of Babylon.

verses 16, 17 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. 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.

Europe will give / lend her power to Papal Rome for the final inquisition and persecution of Bible believing Christians but the Papacy will come to his end and none shall help him (see Daniel 11.45) Catholicism in the old world (Europe) and Protestantism in the new (the Americas) will be instrumental in carrying out the wishes of Papal Rome.

Under the 6th plague the Euphrates (Babylon’s supporters) will withdraw their support. See Rev 16:12). Realizing that they have been deceived into supporting the corrupt church and realizing that they are eternally lost, her former supporters will turn on the whore and destroy her. As they supported her for “one hour” so they will destroy her in “one hour.” (See Rev 18).

Make her desolate and naked

Her lovers, the kings of the earth, expose & reject her.

“Burn her with fire.”

The daughter of any priest which became a whore was to be burned. (Lev 21:9).

eat her flesh

As the dogs ate Jezebel so the wicked ten horns “Shall eat her flesh.” (2Kings 9:35,36).

As France, 1/10 of spiritual Babylon (Rev 11:13) turned on the corrupt church in Europe in 1798, so 10/10ths will turn against the corrupt church worldwide in the future.

verse 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The immoral woman is called “that great city,” “Babylon,” - confusion. She is spiritual Babylon mixing Biblical words and terms with her pagan practises but under the veneer of Christianity she is the Dragon's "henchman" (Rev 13.3) and the Babylon of Bible prophecy (Revelation 14 & 18).



Could the woman be the literal city of Babylon?

(a) This woman sat on 7 mountains (v 9) but literal Babylon did not.

(b) Literal Babylon is a ruin never to be inhabited (Isa 13:19-20).

(c) Literal Babylon sat on the literal waters of the literal river

Euphrates. The waters upon which this whore sits are symbolic and are

said to represent nations in v 15.

Is the two horned beast (the USA) one of the seven heads?

(a) The two horned beast (USA) is seen distinct from the 7 headed beast in Rev 13.

(b) The 7 heads are persecuting powers whereas the lamb-like USA has long been a defender of religious liberty.

The USA will form an image of the Papal headed beast and I suggest that this image is the 7th head which will exist a short space relative to all the previous heads.

How can one of the heads on the 7 headed beast of Rev 17 be an image of the beast?

It will be an image of the beast during it’s Papal phases. The head that reigns at a particular time is said to be the beast. The image of the beast is an image of the beast in its papal phase.

Is it incompatible with the prophecies of Daniel to include the atheistic State and the Apostate Protestant State?

Daniel does refer to the Atheistic State the “King of the South” in Daniel 11 where it is described as inflicting the deadly wound on the Papacy in Daniel 11:40. Daniel refers to the Apostate Protestant State in Dan 11 as the chariots and horsemen (military power) with many ships (economic

power). This is the Apostate Protestant state. Daniel also mentions the feet of iron and clay in Daniel chapter 2 representing the union of church & state, the Papacy but the USA will also make an image of the Papacy and is represented in the feet of iron and clay as well.

Could the heads 1-4 be Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome and heads 5, 6, 7 and 8 be Papal Rome? - the 5th Papal Rome when it was dominant in the past; the 6th when it is dead; the 7th when it’s deadly wound is healed and the 8th when it goes forth to kill God’s people?

(a) This view makes 7 heads = 5 kingdoms. Wouldn’t seven heads represent seven kingdoms?

(b) In Rev 12 the seven heads are crowned. Wouldn’t this indicate that they are seven distinct kingdoms?

(c) On what basis would ONE Papal State constitute four heads?

(d) In Revelation 13 ONE of the beast’s seven heads is wounded to death. This ONE head being killed represented the abolishing of the

Papal State. This ONE head is to return to life. This ONE head represented the Papal State while alive and this same head when dead, represented the Papal State when abolished.

(e) Wouldn’t the 5th head when killed represent the abolished Papal State? Would it not be redundant and pointless to have a 6th, and dead

head, to represent a dead kingdom?

(f) A crown represents a reigning power. If the seven heads parallel the seven heads of Rev 12 then the 6th head cannot represent the abolished powerless Papacy because all heads are crowned.

(g) The heads come to power by successive conquest. For example Babylon (head 1) was conquered by Medo-Persia (head 2). How could the

5th, 6th, 7th and 8th heads come to power by conquest if they are all the Papacy? The Papal State never conquered the Papal State.

(h) Seven represents completeness so we would expect these seven heads to represent the complete set of prophetic powers that have especially

attacked God and His people. This view that has the Papacy being 4 heads gives an incomplete set of powers.

(i) There are seven heads. There are seven distinct powers presented in Revelation as beasts. This view mentions only five of them.

(j) Sevens in Scripture come in a first set of four followed by a second set of three. (e.g. 4 Spring feasts 3 Autumn feasts; 4 Seals use the horse symbol 3 do not; The first 4 Trumpets are followed by 3 woe trumpets). To make the Papacy heads 5-8 does not follow this principle.

(k) The 8th head is the beast that was (See v 8-11). The so-called 8th head is therefore the resurrected Papal State. As the 8th head is the resurrected Papal State the 7th cannot be the resurrected Papal State.

(l) The term, “five are fallen, one is and the other [the 7th head] is NOT YET come,” is spoken from the time of the 6th head. The 7th head cannot therefore be 5th or 6th heads.

Isn’t Protestantism described as the 10 horns of Revelation 17 rather than one of the heads?

The heads are state or civil powers.

The prophecy states: Rev 17:12  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.

Rev 17:13  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Inspiration states:

“What is it that gives its kingdom to this power? PROTESTANTISM, a power which, while professing to have the temper and spirit of a lamb and to be allied to Heaven, speaks with the voice of a dragon. It is moved by a power from beneath (Letter 232, 1899).

Are we to take this to mean that the 10 horns are the Lamb-like beast?

Referring to the 10 horns in Rev 17 inspiration states: "These have one mind." There will be a UNIVERSAL bond of union, one great harmony, a confederacy of Satan's forces. "And shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Thus is manifested the same arbitrary, oppressive power against religious liberty, freedom to worship God according to the dictates of conscience, as was manifested by the papacy, when in the past it persecuted those who dared to refuse to conform with the religious rites and ceremonies of Romanism. {7BC 983.6}

Are we to take this to mean that the 10 horns are all the world?

In the warfare to be waged in the last days there will be united, in opposition to God's people, all the corrupt powers that have apostatised from allegiance to the law of Jehovah. In this warfare the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will be the great point at issue; for in the Sabbath commandment the great Lawgiver identifies Himself as the Creator of the heavens and the earth (MS 24, 1891).

A prophetic hour

The ten horns give their support to the beast for “one hour.” This “hour” apparently begins when the nations of the world agree to enforce the mark of the beast under the penalty of death. As it is unlikely that the nations give their power for just 60 literal minutes, the “hour” is evidently symbolic. As a symbolic day represents a year (Eze 4:6; Num 14:34) a symbolic hour (1/24th of a day) would be 1/24th of a year, i.e. about 15 literal days. As the last test will be over which day of the week we observe 15 days would include two Sundays. Thus, as the three Hebrews in Daniel 3 were given 2 chances to worship the image, so the end time saints may well be given 2 chances to worship the symbolic image under the penalty of death!

Only if the “hour” is understood as a symbol do we have every measure of time used symbolically in prophecy:

Year (Dan 7:25); Month (Rev 13:5); Week (Dan 9:24-27); Day (Rev 12:6); Hour (Rev 17:12; 9:13).

Is the 6th head Rome because 6 is Babylon’s number?

(a) There is no precedent that Rome is always 6th. Rome is the 4th kingdom in Dan 2. Rome is the 4th kingdom in Dan 7.

(b) 666, a trinity of sixes, is the number of the beast as a whole, not just Rome.

(c) The 6th head “is” when the beast “is not.” When the beast “is not” parallels the Papal head wounded to death in Rev 13. The 6th head cannot therefore be Rome.

(d) If the 6th head were Rome then one needs to find five heads prior to Rome. This leads to the inclusion of powers not figuring in the foundational prophecies of Daniel 2, 7 (i.e. Egypt, Assyria) violating the repeat and enlarge principle.

(e) If Rome were the 6th head the 7 heads would not appear to follow the 4-3 pattern in which the first 4 of any 7 form a set and the last 3 form another set. See on v 9-10.

(f) The first heads certainly came to power by conquering their predecessors. If the 6th head were Rome existing today who could be the 7th head which conquers it?

Seven indicates completeness. Could the heads represent ALL evil nations?

(a) The head that was wounded in Rev 13 was the Papal State. This suggests that the other heads are identifiable powers.

(b) The angel describes events specifically from the time of the sixth head saying five are fallen. What would 5 symbolize?

Should Pagan and Papal Rome be one head as they are one metal in Daniel 2 and one horn in Daniel 8?

(a) They are sufficiently different that a change in symbol from dragon to beast is given between Rev 12 and 13. The dragon (focus on Pagan Rome) gave the beast (focus on Papal Rome) his power, seat, and great authority.”

(b) Pagan Rome had to be “taken out of the way” to allow the rise of Papal Rome in 2Thess 2.

Could the 7 heads be 7 Popes?

(a) Heads on prophetic beasts represent kingdoms not popes.

(b) One head represents the Papal State which was wounded to death (abolished) in 1798. The heads therefore represent State powers not Popes.

One of the heads returns from the dead to be the called the 8th head. No pope is to be resurrected from the dead by God to become the 8th pope.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. . . .And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Rev. 11:3, 7)

Notice the future tenses. The one speaking to John places both the preaching and the slaying of the two witnesses into the future. Thus the time context of the conversation with John is prior to those events. And yet: And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (Rev. 11:11, 12). Notice the past tenses. Now John is describing what he actually saw in

the vision, not a conversation with some heavenly being. He describes scenes he saw of the future as if they were already past. When John describes scenes of the future that he saw, he describes them as being past. When John records a conversation explaining future events, he describes those events as if they are yet future. We may safely conclude that the time context of such a conversation is John's day. Thus, when the angel speaks to John in Revelation 17 about the five kings being already fallen, he is speaking of them already being fallen in John's day, not at the end of time.

Time frame question

The vision of Rev 11 John saw was FUTURE of his day. The vision of the woman on the beast in Rev 17 was FUTURE of his day. The explanation that the beast John saw, that is the beast ridden by the woman, WAS and IS NOT cannot be from John’s point in time because from John’s point of time the beast carrying the woman had not yet existed.

Could Assyria, and Egypt be two of the heads?

These powers do not appear in Dan 2 and Dan 7 which are the outline basis of prophecy.  Adding these powers desroys the pattern of 4, 2, 1 seen in the sevens of Revelation. Also Daniel 7 mentions the 4th beast being the fourth kingdom, obviously referring to the kingdoms of Daniel 2

Are there differences between the beasts of Rev 13 and Rev 17?

Crowns on its horns (Rev 13:1), the beast of Rev 17 does not have any crowns. A change in state, not a change in beast. The color of the sea beast is not mentioned.

Additional material indicating an increase in sinfulness. Not a difference.

Out of the sea (Rev 13:1) out of the abyss (Rev 17:8). A clarification rather than a difference. The Sea is often the Abyss.

The Testimony of History:

  •   “It has often been charged... that Catholicism is overlaid with many pagan incrustations. Catholicism is ready to accept that accusation and even to make it her boast... the great god Pan is not really dead, he is baptized” — The Story of Catholicism p 37.

  • “The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” — An Essay on the The Development of the Christian Doctrine John Henry “Cardinal Newman” p.373.

  • “It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans ... Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those of pagan creeds...” — (The Externals of the Catholic Church, Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacramentals and Devotions, by John F. Sullivan, p 156, published by P.J. Kennedy, NY, 1942).

  • “The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom. ... The sun has worshippers at this hour in Persia and other lands. ... The PAGAN Sunday dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” — Catholic William Gildea, Doctor of Divinity, wrote in The Catholic World, March, 1894, page 809.

  • Doctor Alexander Hislop, in his classic work, The Two Babylon’s, page 105, says this: “To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals [that’s the Sabbath and Sunday] amalgamated, and ... to get Paganism and Christianity now far sunk in idolatry in this as in so many other things, to shake hands.” He says further: “A glance at the main pillars of the Papal system will sufficiently prove that its doctrine and discipline in all essential respects have been derived from BABYLON.”

  • “In ancient Babylonia the SUN was WORSHIPPED from immemorial antiquity.” — Sir James G. Frazer, an authoritative scholar, makes this statement in his book The Worship of Nature, Volume 1, page 529.

  • “The doctrine of natural, as distinguished from Christian, immortality ... crept into the Church, by a BACK DOOR. ... When arguments are offered for the purely natural immortality of the soul, they are rarely, if ever, derived from Scripture. ... The natural immortality of the soul is a doctrine wholly unknown to the Holy Scriptures, and standing on no higher plane than that of ... PHILOSOPHICAL OPINION ... of philosophical speculations DISGUISED as truths of Divine Revelation.” — William E. Gladstone, four-time Prime Minister of Great Britain and a theologian in his own right, wrote in Studies Subsidiary to the Works of Bishop Butler, pp. 195-198.

  • “The adoration of idols that is in Babylon was succeeded by the adoration of saints.” — Henry Thomas Buckle, a world-famous historian, says in his book The History of Civilization, Volume 1, page 188.

  • The book Catholic Belief, by Roman Catholic scholar Father Joseph Faà di Bruno, page 45, states this: “Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible AND divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truths. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of EQUAL sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, Tradition is to us MORE clear and safe.” Are the traditions, customs and practices of man safer than the Bible? Rome baptizes tradition with the word “divine” and dares to hold it above the Bible.

  • “Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is IMPOSSIBLE.” — Cardinal James Gibbons, archbishop of Baltimore and noted writer, said in The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

  • “One cannot well refer to those cults of Babylon and Egypt and the rest as DEAD religions. For the echo of their ancient thunder is still to be heard reverberating in almost every form of faith existing today. Ancient Babylonian image worship is in the church today. Ancient Babylonian sun worship is there. Ancient Babylonian belief in the immortality of the soul is there. Yes, the echo of that thunder is still heard in the church today!” — Lewis Brown says this in The Believing World, page 112.

  • “His coins bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ; on the other, the figure of the SUN GOD, as if he could not bear to relinquish the patronage of the bright luminary.” — Historian Arthur P. Stanley in his book, The History of the Eastern Church, page 184, says this about the Roman Emperor Constantine.

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