Many of us who study Bible prophecy have heard a multitude of professors, pastors and church members say that the book of Revelation is nothing more than a book of symbols and allegories that no one can understand.
I don’t believe God would say all Scripture is profitable (II Tim. 3:16), if the book of Revelation is nothing more than a book of symbols and allegories that no one can understand.
I don’t believe God would promise to bless all who read, hear and keep the things in the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:3), if it is nothing more than a book of symbols and allegories that no one can understand.
I do believe that the book of Revelation is a wonderful book that God knows is hard to understand. So He has explained many of the symbols and given us stories in the Bible to help us understand what He wants us to know.
Revelation chapter 17 is one of the most difficult chapters in the book. It is about a woman called “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.”
She is called the great whore, with whom the kings of the earth (world leaders) have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (they been corrupted or deceived by what she is doing).
She is arrayed in purple and scarlet (expensive clothes). She is decked with gold and precious stones and pearls (expensive jewelry). She is holding a golden cup in her hand (perhaps a communion cup or the Holy Grail).
She is drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus (she has persecuted and killed many true believers).
She is riding upon a beast with seven heads (identified as a Satan worshiper in Revelation chapter 13 that people call the Antichrist) and ten horns (identified as ten world leaders that will rule with the Antichrist; Rev. 17:12, 3:10).
Her lovers (the Antichrist and ten world leaders) will make war with the Lamb (Jesus; the Lord of lords, and King of kings) and He will defeat them.
But before Jesus deals with her lovers God will put in their hearts to hate her, turn on her, make her naked and burn her with fire.
Now, instead of dismissing this story as nothing more than an allegory and symbols that no one can understand, we should look in the Bible for a something that will help us interpret it.
We find that in an Old Testament parable about Jerusalem (Ezekiel 16:1-43).
On the day that Jerusalem was born her parents abandoned her in a field. They didn’t cut her naval, wash, salt or swaddle her. And there was no one to pity or help her.
God passed by and saw that she was bloody and filthy. He picked her up and said, “Live.” He took her to His house cleaned her up, put clothes on her, loved her and raised her.
Time passed and Jerusalem grew into a beautiful young woman. God asked her to make a covenant with Him (marry Him) and she did.
He washed her (perhaps with the water of the Word), got rid of her filthiness (forgave her), anointed her with oil (perhaps the Holy Spirit), dressed her in expensive clothes, jewels, silver and gold (perhaps His righteousness), and He put a crown upon her head.
Jerusalem’s beauty derived from God and she became world famous. But it went to her head.
She became a flirt and committed adultery. She put her expensive clothes on idols (false gods). She used God’s jewels, gold and silver to make idols. She set God’s oil and incense in front of her idols. Jerusalem was a harlot.
Even worse, she took the children that she had bore unto God, killed some and made harlots out of the others. Yes, she was a mother of harlots (like Mystery Babylon) and she provoked God to anger.
So He decided to make her naked before her lovers, judge her as harlots and killers are judged, let her lovers destroy her and burn her houses in the sight of many people (like Mystery Babylon).
There is a lot more (such as the church is a mystery, she is the Bride of Christ not a harlot, clothed in linen clean and bright, etc.).
Just know that “harlot” and “prostitute” are words that God uses to describe spiritual adultery or false religion. And Mystery Babylon the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the earth is a false religion that began at Babylon.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck