Revelation Chapter 17: The Great Whore’s Judgment
The Antichrist Ends Religion and Murders Its Followers
In the end times, the Great Whore sits upon the Beast-joined to his Kingdom-and later the Antichrist and his federation of kings destroy her.
They carry her off, leaving her naked and burned. Her presence indicates political influence. Her destruction by the Beast reveals that she exercises limited power over the Antichrist and his federation of kings. Though present in the kingdom’s early stages, she does not remain long after the entity becomes powerful. Her destruction occurs when the Antichrist claims to be god and demands worship of him alone. His ideology diametrically opposes her precepts. All religions threaten his imposed laws.
Revelation 17 and Isaiah 47 describe the Great Whore’s judgment by God. In verse 6, the Scriptures describe her as “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs.” Verse 7 describes the Beast “carrying her.” Initially the Bible pictures the woman sitting on the Beast-joined to his kingdom-which reveals that she has influence over the Beast. Later they carry her, indicating that she grows into a burden, and in verses 16 and 17 the Bible tells us: “And the ten horns which you saw on he beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”
The Whore’s judgment comes from God. Making her desolate and naked, eating her flesh, and burning her with fire indicate that violence will be committed against her-such as spoiling the treasures of her churches, taking possession of her land, burning her Bibles, religious literature, statues, religious paraphernalia, and buildings, and persecuting her followers so that the Antichrist alone can be the sole object of worship. While she initially has influence over the Beast’s kingdom, she does not remain long after his government becomes powerful. Her destruction occurs when the Antichrist claims to be a god and demands worship of him alone. All religions then become a threat to him, and he sets out to remove them from the face of the earth.
In the past century many dictatorships arose and each of them eliminated freedom of religion and speech as the state and the dictator act as the objects of one’s sole dedication. The Antichrist will limit these freedoms on a worldwide scale and the nations which do not willingly go along he will conquer.
Several Bible scholars teach that “the Whore” represents a one-world religion, which operates along with a one-world government. These writers cite the ecumenical movement that embraced many religions and supported left wing revolutionary groups as the forecasted one world religion. The movement endorsed liberation theology, which taught that Jesus was the first Marxist. Liberation theology used the Scripture to prove that the Bible provided the basis for Communism. The Catholic Church, one of the largest churches in the world, refused to join the Ecumenical Church.
Some expositors teach that the Antichrist heads the one world religion which launches the False Prophet. This author holds the view that the Whore of Babylon and the Beast operate separately and the Whore’s location, religious teachings and influence over the area of the Beast intertwines them. Revelation 17:7 states that the beast “carries” the woman. The verse uses bastazo, the Greek word for carries which according to Strong’s Lexicon means: 1) to take up with the hands, 2) to take up in order to carry or bear, to put upon one’s self (something) to be carried, a) to bear what is burdensome, 3) to bear, to carry, a) to carry on one’s person, b) to sustain, i.e. uphold, support, 4) to bear away, carry off.
This woman clearly becomes a burden to these kings and the Scripture tells us “these shall hate the Whore .” Verse 17 explains that they give their allegiance to the Beast who deifies himself and establishes his own religion (Dan. 11:39). The Revelation chapter specifies that the woman sits on the Beast because she shares the same location. Her teachings influence the leaders and people of the land.
The Antichrist will end world religion and persecute its followers.
He will particularly murder any followers of Jesus Christ. The martyrdom of believers during the Tribulation is mentioned in the Revelation. While it is typical of dictators to make war with religion, the Antichrist will launch his attack on a worldwide scale and succeed at his aims.