MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 17
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Scarlet Beast
Vic Batista: Revelation 17:3 refers back to a familiar character from Revelation 13:
“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”
Nathan Jones: We have another symbolic character in Revelation 17. Mystery Babylon, the Harlot who is drunk on the blood of the Saints, meaning she oppresses and kills Christ’s followers, well she rides a monstrous beast that has seven heads and ten horns. We can indeed look back to Revelation 13 which uses the same imagery to describe the Antichrist. It’s an obvious parallel description to chapter 13. This beast she rides is the actual Antichrist. In other words, this religious system is controlled and run by the Antichrist, but she actually believes she holds a superior position to the Antichrist. The one who is the rider feels superior to the creature that is being ridden! The one-world religion will ride in on the back of the Antichrist’s ascendancy, but we will later read how the Antichrist hates and wants the Harlot dead.The one-world #religion will ride in on the back of the #Antichrist's ascendancy. #Revelation Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: The Scarlet Beast is often depicted as some kind of Godzilla-like dragon. I’d be curious to see the Scarlet Beast as John witnessed and as the Bowl Judgment Angel showed because there are just so many different depictions artists have drawn over the years.
Nathan Jones: All sorts of fantastic artists have drawn this great imagery, but we have to remember that the Scarlet Beast is actually an imagery of the Antichrist and his system, and not an actual animal.
We should always interpret the Bible literally, but when it is clear that the Bible is describing a symbol, then we have to let the Scriptures interpret the symbols for us. Let the Bible speak for itself. If we’re patient, the Bowl Judgment Angle in verse 7 will tell the reader what these symbols mean.
Vic Batista: In Matthew 24, Jesus revealed that in the Last Days there are going to be a proliferation of false prophets and false teachers. What people need to understand is that when we talk about false religious systems we are battling against spiritual deception. So, don’t go out looking for an actual beast, or even the living image of the Antichrist that we read about in Revelation 13. People often ask where the Antichrist’s image is going to be placed, such as in New York City or the Temple in Jerusalem. People need to understand that these symbols are talking about spiritual deception and are not actual beasts and women.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! At least in Revelation 17, the Mystery Harlot Babylon is a religious system. She represents a religion whom the people will commit spiritual adultery. This is different imagery than what Revelation 18 will reveal, where we’ll read about a different version of Mystery Babylon that is more governmental in origin. So, getting a little ahead of ourselves, Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17 is the Antichrist’s first religious system and in Revelation 18 she’s his political kingdom.
Mystery Babylon Adorned
Vic Batista: Revelation 17:4 describes how this Harlot woman is arrayed: “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.”
Nathan Jones: The Woman is arrayed in purple and scarlet, meaning at the time of John’s writing, royalty. She is adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, meaning she has great riches. She has a golden cup filled with the abominations and filthiness of her fornications. The Harlot is horrifically evil, for she is drunk on the blood of the Saints martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. The Harlot Babylon lives to oppress the true followers of Jesus Christ.The Harlot #Babylon lives to oppress the true followers of #JesusChrist. #Revelation Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: We know from other Scriptures that the victims of false religions often are those who truly believe and have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. We see her attacking the Tribulation Saints with such ferocity and reveling in their martyrdom.
Nathan Jones: The Harlot hails back to the Fifth Seal Judgment where she’s involved in the great martyrdom of the Tribulation Saints, meaning those who got saved after the Rapture of the Church. We read throughout Revelation how often those who accept Jesus as Savior during the Tribulation will be killed for their faith, and not just by the Antichrist, but by this Harlot religious system as well.
Vic Batista: Exactly! I do not believe that the Church is going to have to live during the Tribulation. Those of us who hold to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture view believe that Christians are going to be taken up to Heaven before the Harlot religious system is instituted. There will be millions upon millions of people coming know the Lord during the Tribulation, but they will have to endure its horrors because they waited too long to put their faith in Jesus Christ.Vic Batista: The #Church is not going to have to live during the #Tribulation. #Revelation Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Yes, I believe the Tribulation will witness the greatest soul harvest ever made in human history! After the last 2,000 years or so of Church history, millions have accepted Christ as Savior, and I believe we will be the ones who will be alive to see the Church raptured away, as 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 tell us. What follows is the Tribulation when seven years of God’s judgment will be poured out on the earth through His mighty angels. But, and this is wonderful, even though it’ll be horrible to exist during the Tribulation, multitudes from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people will come to accept Jesus as their Savior during that difficult time.
Unfortunately, the Antichrist can’t have the competition, and so he joins the Harlot and also tries to kill as many of these Tribulation Saints as he can. The Mystery Babylon religion partners with the Antichrist in trying to kill off all the Tribulation Saints. Many saints will be ushered into Heaven by God’s mighty angels.
In the forty-seventh segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” we’ll attempt to identify Mystery Babylon.