The Harlot of Babylon

Revelation 17 The Great Harlot of Babylon
The Scarlet Woman and the Scarlet Beast

17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me,“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

3 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. 4 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. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:


John saw the nature, the history, and the ultimate judgment of the harlot. He saw the harlot religion and the harlot economic power. John saw the nature and the history of it. Its nature is evil, its history is linked to the tower of Babel, and he sees its inevitable judgment in the end times. Revelation 17 is a fantastic chapter in terms of relevant for us to be equipping the Church. The harlot will have such power; the harlot will seduce the kings of the earth. Imagine 210 kings, or presidents of the earth right now. The kings of the earth: these powerful leaders who are cautious and really guarded. They only want to do something that is going to help them. They buy into this system completely.

There will be kings, multibillionaires, and even those who in the next decade, or two will have trillions. There will also be powerful, political leaders like kings, prime ministers, and presidents; they are going to come into unity. The masses are going to see the rich and the famous say, “These things are good.” This is going to actually help the deception, as these famous people will endorse the harlot Babylon, and they are men and women who appear to have wisdom and a history of success.

2 TIMOTHY 4:3-5

It says in 2 Timothy 4:3-5: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they having itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” For the time will come, when the people will not endure sound doctrine. Meaning, they will not be able to endure..—that word endure is an important word. Sound doctrine requires endurance because our flesh resists it. The Sermon on the Mount takes endurance. I, like most, have a natural tendency to want to reduce it and dismiss it. By the grace of God, we hear it, and we respond to it. However, Paul said it really requires endurance to receive the real message of the truth. Many believers are not aware of that. They think that truth is just exciting because it is truth. They do not know that there is an endurance dimension to hearing it.

The main and most repeated exhortation by Jesus in the Bible is “he who has ears, let him hear” (Mt. 13:43). He says that more than any other phrase in the Word of God. It is talking about the effort, and the intentionality that is required to hear truth. Truth does not just automatically land in our being. Even as believers, we have to be intentional about setting ourselves to go after truth and to hear it. We cannot just feed our spirit on it, but this requires us to encounter truth in our personal life agendas.

How many people have I heard through the years say, ‘I do not like all this end times stuff?’”  I mean it is pretty obvious, but I ask them why anyways. One of the honest reasons is because it disrupts their life plan and their agenda. They have an agenda that these ideas mess with. So they would rather get rid of the ideas and hold onto the agenda, as though God could be manipulated that way. You know: it is the ostrich effect. They think, “Let’s put our head in the ground, and then the trouble goes away.” A diminished view of the Word of God, and the God of the Word, sincerely imagines that re-interpreting what Jesus prophesied will make it happen or make it true.  Also many give mental ascent to doctrine and attend church but conveniently forget or diminish the reality of God when considering their lifestyles and decision-making.


In this passage, an angel revealed to John a significant insight to Satan’s strategy is to seduce the Church, Israel, and the nations.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Knowing this gives us a significant advantage in not being seduced by it. The problem is that we have to take time to know it. I do believe, though I could be off on this, but I do believe that we have some decades before the Lord returns. We have time for the Church to get familiar with these chapters. A number of you reading this are forerunners. You are called to be just a short step ahead of what the Lord is going to emphasize.

The Holy Spirit is not really pressing these points right now, but he is stirring up some thousands, or maybe some millions right now. He is going to emphasize these subjects to hundreds of millions in the next decade, or two. He is stirring up some ahead of time to get clarity on it, so they can make sense of it, before when the Spirit begins to emphasize it in a major way.
This is what a forerunner is: a forerunner is a minister who is feeding their spirit and getting clarity on what the Holy Spirit is not yet emphasizing universally. He is going to, in a short amount of time, in maybe a decade or two. So, I want to really challenge you to go deep in Revelation 17-18. I want you to understand that this is, especially chapter 17, a difficult chapter. It will challenge you, but it is really worth it. It really is worth it because there is so much insight about the great falling away.


A harlot is going to be raised up across the earth. It is going to have two powerful expressions that are going to operate simultaneously. Expression one: it is going to be a religious network. Expression two: it is going to be an economic network. These two are going to have a complex interaction together. There is going to be a distinction, yet there is going to be an overlap of these two global institutions and networks.
Revelation 17-18 is the longest prophecy in the book of Revelation. Just to give you a sense of it; the second longest one is the New Jerusalem. You would think that the New Jerusalem would be the most emphasized. The deception that keeps us from the New Jerusalem is actually the longest, and the most emphasized prophecy in the book of Revelation. It is like the Father’s heart is crying out, “If you get trapped and deceived by the false, you will not enter into the true Bride, the New Jerusalem.” Interesting, not only is it the longest prophecy in the book of Revelation, which therefore makes it the longest prophecy in the New Testament by far. It is also the longest prophecy in the Old Testament. I find this more than coincidental. This is significant. The longest prophecy in the Old Testament is the prophecy of the end-time harlot Babylon.

It is the most difficult chapter in the whole book of Revelation. I believe Revelation 17 is most difficult chapter in the Bible to understand its fine details. Its main message is clear. Anybody can get the main message if they want to. The Lord, in His mercy, made the main message clear. Its fine details are very complex and intricate. The Bible interprets the Bible; the symbolism is all interpreted in the book of Revelation and the book of Daniel. It takes some real attentiveness to distinguish the intricate detail and nuances that are in this chapter. We want to as we want to understand these nuances, and these totally distinct details because each one of them will help the Church to stand strong. As shepherds or people with a forerunner spirit who care deeply about the welfare of others, we must prepare now to prepare others. I am very energized about these little details. These details are not insignificant. They will help; they will help forewarn and forearm the Church to not be deceived. Even the little details will.

Why is Revelation 17 the longest prophecy and the most important one in terms of length? It is about the whole end-time Church not being deceived in the heart of this prophecy. It is as if God is telling us, “Do not be tricked. I am allowing a great deception to happen. I want the Church purified but not deceived by it. Many will not obey Me; they will not pay attention. They will be swept away by their lusts and swept into this darkness. They will deny their faith.”

I respond, “Lord, why is this most important? Why is this the longest chapter, or prophecy in the Old and New Testament? Why is it veiled with such cryptic language? There is this cryptic language in terms of the details.”
  I believe most of Scripture is intended for hungry believers to press into God for revelation, that He doesn’t want us to be able to do this without Him.  He so values our partnership.

Its good for small groups to diligently pour over the text line-by-line. To discuss it, and debate it.  These little phrases because they are difficult it takes time and prayer, that we would be a prophetic witness rooted in the Word.
All of the themes of Revelation 17 concerning the coming worldwide religion, and it’s power to seduce and deceive are crucial to understand. The people who get deceived by it are going to end up in the lake of fire. If they get fully deceived, people can get deceived for a short time, and then they repent of their deception. If people get fully deceived, they can end up in the lake of fire. This is really worth understanding this chapter—really these two chapters. It deserves careful study. It deserves energetic dialogue. We need to be very familiar with its truth and its principles.


This is important. The first surprise in this mystery is that her roots are established in what happened at the tower of Babel. It is as if John is saying, “You mean the thing at the end of the age that is going to seduce part of the Church is what happened in the tower of Babel back in Genesis 11?”

It is as if the angel responds to John, “Yes, John. You know, that tower back in Genesis 11 is going to reemerge again. I do not necessarily mean that specific tower, but more the reality that the tower represented. The tower is Babylon.” He identifies it with Genesis 11, and that surprises John. John responds, “I did not really know that. Now, the tower of Babel was the city in which they established the first organized religion in history. It was the first organized religion. It was the first organized rebellion against God where people organized themselves with a clear mission statement to declare war on God.

A very interesting passage is Genesis 11:3-8: “Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from they’re over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.’ Then they said these are the citizens of Babel. ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city’—here is the key phrase—‘and a tower whose top is in the heavens’ (Gen. 11:4). This phrase is very important because the top in the heavens are not talking about how high the building is.

We get the idea that they have this five-story, mud brick building, and with technology, they pushed it to seven stories. They almost reached heaven—that is not what it is talking about. Its top is in the heavens. They are basically saying, “Let’s make a name for ourselves.”

Of course, that is the same spirit that Lucifer had, to make a name for himself; he warned to make a tower lest they be scattered abroad over the face of the earth. The Lord told them to go forth across the earth, to multiply, to replenish the earth, and to have dominion over it. They were in defiance against the mandate to go forth. It is as if they said, “No, we are going to cluster here and build something that does not have divine blessing on it. It is against the will of God. We will do this lest we be scattered, even though this was in defiance to God’s commandment.” God had told them to go forth to the nations. Then, the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the men had build. Here is what the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one.” (Gen 11:6). That is very dangerous that they were one at this time. We will look at that in a minute.

They all have one language. This is what they begin to do. Nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them. The New International Version and the New American Standard say “nothing will be impossible for them” (Gen. 11:6). Nothing will be withheld from them. So God confuses their language that they may not understand one another’s speech. Then, the Lord scattered them abroad and forces them to do the thing He commanded them. Now, God scatters them abroad over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Its name was called Babel because the Lord confused the languages of the earth, and the Lord scattered them abroad.


Now, in Genesis 11:6: “The LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” Do you see this promise? Nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them. Now, what the Lord is talking about specifically in this passage is not technology. The Lord is not threatened by a five-story, mud building. He is not afraid it the building will rise to ten stories. That is even close to His throne. That is not what God is talking about. He is talking about the unity that they had, and the promise that nothing will be impossible in terms of them reaching the human potential of sin ahead of time. It is as if God says, “If they unify, there is no expression of sin. They will not be able to enter into Babylon.” They would try to build ahead of time—before the Lord’s sovereign purposes of human history are ready for this to happen. They were building, and their top was in the heaven. Their top being in the heaven did not talk about the type of building. It is spiritual, meaning they were gaining access to the heavenly realm, and to the demonic realm. This is a parallel like Babylon will be at the end of the age. They were interacting in the demonic realm, and they were having this synergism between demons and humans. That was going to bring sin in the human race to its all time high.

The Lord does not want the human potential for sin to reach its ultimate high until the generation of the second coming of the Lord. The Lord scattered them to stop this momentum. What they were doing was the counterfeit of Genesis 28 where Jacob has a dream, and the ladder come down. Jacob has a dream, and the ladder comes down, and the angels are going up and down on the ladder. It’s top reached into heaven. He had access into the angelic realm is what happened. Then Jesus comes in John 1. He talks to the apostles about Jacob’s ladder and about the Church having access to the spirit realm but under the lordship of Jesus.

Now, remember Revelation 18:23 which foretells how Babylon is going to deceive the nations by sorcery. Babylon is going to enter into a dynamic, negative interaction with demons (1 Tim. 4:1). They will have the doctrines of demons; they will be paying attention to demon spirits. Revelation 9:21: “And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” Sorcery will fill the earth. They are going to build an organization, which will reach into the heavenly realm in an illegal way and will bring an interaction between demons and humans. Sin will reach heights before the Lord returns. Sin will reach a level never seen in history, surpassing even the heights of sin at the time of the flood. It is going to create the contrast because the Church who will walk in righteousness, holiness, and meekness. Babylon, which will be the counterfeit, will have realms of darkness never ever known in human history. That is what Daniel prophesies.


Daniel 8:23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes.” It says latter in this passage that this is the Antichrist kingdom. When transgressions have reached their fullness, their kingdom, or the ten kings who each have a kingdom will give their authority to the Antichrist, and they will unite. Then a king is going to arise who understands sinister schemes. Now, Daniel describes these sinister schemes—that is a very interesting Hebrew phrase—“sinister schemes” (Dan. 8:23). The Antichrist is not just going to understand riddles. He can do the Rubik’s cube every time. It is far more important than that. This king is going to understand demonic secrets and access to the spirit realm.

The part I want you to understand here is that there is an hour in history where transgression will reach its fullness. It says this same thing in the book of Revelation four or five times: sin will reach its fullness in that hour. We are in a time. I believe that there are people alive today who are going to see this. We are going to see this in our lifetime where sin will reach heights of perversion never known in history because there will have an accessibility to the demonic realm.

The part that is critical is in Revelation. I do not have this verse down, but you need to write this verse down: Revelation 12:7-9: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

What happens in Revelation 12:7-9, Michael the Archangel is warring with Satan; then, Satan and all of his angels are cast down to the earth. There is going to be demonic movement and involvement on the earth. Every demon will be dislodged from its supernatural place in the heavens to the earth. All the demons, I am assuming there are billions of them, which will be thrown down to the earth. They will be invisible; they will be appearing in occult settings. Billions of demons, all the principalities, and powers on the earth will be interacting with men.


Right before the flood, Noah gets picked in Genesis 6:8. What happens in Genesis 6:1-7 is Noah gets picked in Genesis 6:8 by the Lord. Noah is chosen to be a vessel to bring worldwide destruction. The second coming judgments of the book of Revelation are always likened to the judgments of Noah; the second coming judgments will also be global in impact. In Genesis 6:1- 7, the sons of God—that is talking about angels— interacted with humans in an illegal way. It brought a connection of the two realms, the natural and the spirit realm in an illegal way. It brought such violence, murder, and evil on the earth that it mandated the flood of Noah. The tower of Babel people were trying to reach the heavens. It is as if they said, “Hey, that Noah thing has been gone a long time, but we have a new start. We have a new wind, or a new breath here. Let’s get back into the interaction with the demonic realm, the spirit realm, like back in Genesis 6.” So God confuses them. Instead of sending a flood, he confused them.

When the angel looks at John, he says, “This is Babylon. I have no question. I understand what that means. This time, I am not going to scatter them until they first enter into the fullness of the global dimension of sin.” The potential of the human spirit for righteousness, and the potential of the human spirit for sin is going to reach its all time high in the generation that the Lord returns.

It is critical what we do with our inner man right now. It is not OK that we are living in bitterness, a little bit of pornography, adultery, lying, or stealing. We cannot open our inner man to demons. The demonic activity is going to be so intense. It is already building. There is only one safe place: it is on the narrow road with our eyes locked forward on the Son of Man. It is really intense what is going to happen. Babylon is coming. This amazed John because he understood some of it. He understood it. I can just picture John saying, “Oh my goodness! Her name is Babylon.” Genesis 11 is intense!


Daniel saw two things. It is interesting: the two things Daniel saw in Daniel 12 are the reversals of the dispersion that happened in Babylon when Babylon dispersed men. Why did Babylon disperse men? So they could not build a momentum with demons and darkness; so they would crescendo in darkness ahead of time. That is why God dispersed them. Now, Daniel sees this in Daniel 12. It is as if Daniel says, “This is communication, travel, and technology.”

The angel says, “Daniel seal the book.” In other words, the prophecies are not going to be understood clearly until the end times. You know, Daniel was 2,500 years ago; for 2,500 years, the scholars have been reading Daniel, and they hit a wall. They get so far, and they cannot go further. Those books are sealed spiritually. The angel said, “The book is going to be sealed in the spirit.” In the end times, God is going to open up understanding of those books. I am not for anybody who has their own unique version. I do not believe the person who says, “You know, me, and the angel figured it out: we are the only two who know.” If someone is doing that, forget it.

The Lord is going to give this to His prophets around the earth. There is not going to be some little secret interpretation that only Brother Bill and Sister Sue understand. God cares about His whole Church. I do not mean millions will get the same thing at the same time, but prophets all over will confirm it. I am not interested in secret information, where I am the only one who has it. If the Lord visits me and gives me something, or visits you and gives you something, hold it privately. Hold it quietly, and be reserved with it until the Lord confirms it supernaturally by other prophets, other lands, and other nations. The Lord will confirm it in his Church worldwide. I do not mean new truth: that is not what I am talking about. I do not believe that there is new truth. I am talking about understanding some of the things that have been restrained in the book of Daniel.

the book being unsealed at the end of the time. Here is the point: I want to give you the two prophecies. Here is what the angel told Daniel. The angel basically warned Daniel that in the end times, people shall run to and fro. They shall travel across the nations, to and fro. Knowledge is going to increase, and of course the explosion of knowledge is in technology. There is one generation in which the people in Asia, African, North and South America, and in Europe can all be together in a couple hours. By technology, all their information will be shared instantaneously. Knowledge and the ability to get back together will be beyond anything you can imagine.

In the positive sense, we can do great things with that. In the negative sense, we are watching it just in the perversion industry of technology. Perversion is escalating so rapidly. That is what was happening in the days of the tower of Babel in a much more limited sense. The momentum was going outside of the Lord’s timing. That momentum is coming back right now because travel and information will create a global community, both positive and negative. With a negative global community, men will enter into interaction with demons. They will share their experiences, and they will bring millions into it. The compound result of millions and billions of people interacting with demons and the increase of sin will cause a domino effect. The dominos will go down so quickly. So it is as if Daniel said, “Watch, there is going to be the ability for the men and the women of the earth to connect instantaneously in person, through travel or through technology. They can pick up on their spread and increase of evil. That is exactly what is going to happen.”

Revelation 18:23: For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery, all the nations were deceived.” It is the merchants, or the great men of the earth. For by your sorcery—that is Babylon’s sorcery—all the nations are going to be deceived by the sorcery. By the demonic: sorcery is occult power. Demons are going to be very, very involved in this religion and this world economic system. Demons are going to be moving things around and opening and shutting doors. Demons are going to be doing this. God is going to bring forth finances to the Lord’s true Church, which is the prophetic Church. God will be opening doors. Angels will be doing this. However, demons will be doing this on the other side. There is a great collision in the spirit realm related to truth, economics, and political power of the kings of the earth. Great conflict because demons are going to be really involved in a far more dramatic way, as we get closer to the end.


I like this logic: before the angel shows John the wealth and the false beauty of this harlot, he shows John her inevitable defeat and destruction. It is as if the angel says, “Here, I am going to show you the harlot. I am going to show you that she is defeated before I show you how much power she has.” John already knows she is going to lose before he sees her beauty that she is arrayed in scarlet and purple. She looks like a queen, she has gold and power. The kings and the economic leaders of the earth are endorsing her with unity, as there seems to be this momentum. There is a momentum, and it seems to be too good to be true. It is as if the angel says in Revelation 17:1 (paraphrased): “John, I want you to know that she is going to lose really soon. She only exists for a short amount of time—some small amount of years. I mean she will be emerging for a few years before she is fully mature. But her time will be very short; it is a very short time of prominence on the earth, and she will lose.” Why are we saying that? When we feel the seduction of this network;  know that for certainty, she will be utterly destroyed in a short amount of time. Do not invest your life in that system. Do not do it. She is coming down soon.

She will be arrayed in purple and adorned with gold. In other words, she will have prominence. She will have vast wealth that is going to help her gain respect of the masses. She will have great respect of the political and economic leaders. To the kings, she will be like a king. She will have royal status in their eyes. To the economic leaders, she will have more money than they have. Collectively, she will have more. The kings want her influence, as do the merchants.


The paradox of this harlot is that she will be lovely but very dark. The bride is dark in her heart, but she is very lovely to God (SOS. 1:5). The harlot is opposite. She will appear to be very lovely, but she is totally dark in her heart. She is completely evil. It is a complete reversal. The golden cup that is in her hand will appear as something very valuable and good. She will appear on the world scene offering a golden cup to meet the needs of the people of the nations. She will have a humanitarian face. She will be the main champion fighting for the good of mankind. Undoubtedly, she will have some breakthrough in helping the poor of the earth, the AIDS crisis of the earth, and some famine zones. She will undoubtedly have breakthroughs in technology. She will be leading at the forefront as the one who does well—the champion for the good of man. I already see that spirit happening.

There are more and more believers who are so easily seduced because an organization is meeting humanitarian needs. That is important; that is part of the gospel to meet humanitarian needs, but they get so capture by people who are meeting humanitarian needs. As long as the person says, “Jesus, every now and again, they throw away their discernment and just follow the harlot Babylon with great enthusiasm.”  The harlot is going to offer a golden cup to meet the needs of the earth. I am not interested in how much she accomplishes in the humanitarian area. She will have more money; she will have more favor of kings and open doors. She will accomplish great things. I am interested in where her heart is, and where she is going.

You see it already. There is this momentum of organizations—some religious, some not religious—all coming together to solve the problems of the world. Lots of Christians are just applauding it. Though I applaud meeting needs, which is good, my concern is the spirit behind much of what is going on is clearly Revelation 17. Not that we have to go expose it at all. That is not our number one thing to find every organization, expose it, and say how bad they are.

Our number one thing is to have discernment in our spirit, so that we are not celebrating it, promoting it, and joining it. That is the big issue. I do not feel a mandate to find every organization that exists that has a wrong spirit and make sure everyone knows that they have it. I just want to make sure the people who I am related to are not celebrating it and deceived by it. I want to make sure that we stay steady. We are people of the kingdom; we are on the narrow path. We are lovers of Jesus. We love the Word of God. If it is not in the Word of God, we are not interested in its truth. If it is not absolutely established in the written Word of God, we are not interested. I do not care what angel appeared from heaven; I have no interest in information from angels that do not honor the written Word of God in 100 percent of everything that they say. More angels are going to be appearing—good ones, false ones, angels of light, and demons. I am not interested in supernatural things in and of themselves. I am interested in Jesus and His kingdom. That is what we are interested in. We are not just suckers for something just because it is supernatural, and it helps people. Is not that right. We are lovesick worshippers of Jesus. We honor the supremacy of His Word. We have chosen the narrow path of holiness. We have rejected the broad road that leads to destruction.

Her name will be a mystery. The angel was giving John new information. It is as if Jesus is saying to John, “John, I am telling you her name is a mystery. This is a new thing. John, Isaiah did not grasp this. Isaiah touched a little bit of it in Isaiah 13-14 about Babylon and the end of the age. He did not understand near the complexities of it. Jeremiah touched a little bit of it in Jeremiah 50-51. Daniel touched a little bit of it.” But none of the prophets had the clarity that John sees. It is as if the angel says, “John, this is new information, and this is mystery. This is information not yet given to the human race. If you are perplexed and a bit overwhelmed, it is understandable because the Father has not made it known clearly until now.” This was surprising information to John. On her forehead was written: “MYSTERY, BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND THE MOTHER OF ABOMINATIONS” (Rev. 17:5).


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