Revelation 17

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by th1bill, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Revelation 17:1:
    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:
    Revelation 17:2:
    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.
    Revelation 17:3:
    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.

    One of the single most important points to remember and yet the most difficult to grasp is the illustration given in scripture that there is no relevance to earth time in Heaven. (2Pet. 3:8, Psa. 90:4) For this reason we can nad should understand, in my opinion, that John saw these things happening, first hand. I know that it is difficult to support but it is my position that the Glorified Body that Jesus now has and we will have is not at all like the body we now have in composition.

    If we can get past the natural (what we are familiar with) arguments and learn to accept the teaching of the Holy Spirit, on it's face value, it is easier to grasp what is told here. This angel did not, again, in my opinion, deliver a vision to John but rather, with the consent of God, allowed John the use of one of the normal functions of the Glorified Body and John, in this passage, is actually viewing the judgment of Babylon.

    Revelation 17:4:
    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:
    Revelation 17:5:

    So it is that here we find one of the passages, that without the Holy Spirit's input, can be extremely confusing. Remembering that we take the Bible in the Literal manor, here is a metaphor. We know from the archaeologists that Babylon is not some fable dreamed of but rather is a historical fact and if we are up on current affairs, we know that Saddam Hussein was busy rebuilding that old city again. Now we find it here in the pages of this prophecy, some 2,000 years old, represented by a whore. It is a matter worthy of prayer for understanding, meditation and study.

    Revelation 17:6:
    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.
    Revelation 17:7:
    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.

    It would seem certain that John was just as normal as the rest of us, he was impressed by what he saw. The angel, much like the Holy Spirit, in us, corrects and begins to instruct however.

    Revelation 17:8:
    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.
    Revelation 17:9:
    And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
    Revelation 17:10:
    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.
    Revelation of John 17:11:
    And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
    Revelation of John 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.
    Revelation of John 17:13:
    These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
    Revelation of John 17:14:
    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.

    7-14 The beast on which the woman sat was, and is not, and yet is. It was a seat of idolatry and persecution, and is not; not in the ancient form, which was pagan: yet it is; it is truly the seat of idolatry and tyranny, though of another sort and form. It would deceive into stupid and blind submission all the inhabitants of the earth within its influence, except the remnant of the elect. This beast was seven heads, seven mountains, the seven hills on which Rome stands; and seven kings, seven sorts of government. Five were gone by when this prophecy was written; one was then in being; the other was yet to come. This beast, directed by the papacy, makes an eighth governor, and sets up idolatry again. It had ten horns, which are said to be ten kings who had as yet no kingdoms; they should not rise up till the Roman empire was broken; but should for a time be very zealous in her interest. Christ must reign till all enemies be put under his feet. The reason of the victory is, that he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has supreme dominion and power over all things; all the powers of earth and hell are subject to his control. His followers are called to this warfare, are fitted for it, and will be faithful in it.(MHCC)

    Revelation of John 17:15:
    And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
    Revelation of John 17:16:
    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.
    Revelation of John 17:17:
    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.
    Revelation of John 17:18:
    And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

    These last four verses give us the playbook to work from when dealing with this chapter so that we can take the meaning of this chapter and some others as literal. The Book of the Revelation is recorded in the same manor and style as the Bible, the books now called the Old Testament. The first thing we learn is that warters, plural, is often used to represent peoples of different nations and tongues or languages.

    Here, we also learn that God does exercise His sovereign will to the point that even the lost and going to Hell will do His will. This is one of the points that the Five Point Calvinist loves to use to prove their erroneous theory of Predestination. Predestination is a fact because it is taught in the Revealed Word of God. The problem enters when men take the Bible out of context.

    When we allow the scriptures to interpret themselves, the way Father God intended it becomes imperative to, as scripture teaches, understand that the wisdom of God is limitless. Then we must learn one very vital lesson from the Bible, there is no relationship with time in Heaven! (2Pet. 3:8 and Psa. 90:4) It is my opinion from the study I did, some years ago, that God is. To explain; As demonstrated by these scriptures and a book I read recently, ¨Heaven Is For Real,¨ God is, simultaneously in the present, the past and the future. So it is that God knows the future.

    I´m not saying that God that God will not, has not nor that He will not force His will on the lost. Clearly, He has and from the prophetic readings, he will. But, before He created the universes, He knew the names in the Book of Life. From our reading, meditating and praying over the scriptures, we know that our God is not a cruel God, He is Just! It is the Calvinist´s view that God creates a few to go to Heaven and all the rest to spend eternity in Hell, NOT! If a man has read the scriptures, he or she knows that God loves all of His creation but He is also a Just God and will serve justice.
  2. Well, well, well Bill. We share a common opinion of John Calvin's ideas on predestination. They make the Lord out to be a 'tyrannical ogre'.
  3. Here's a twister that should spark a debate - Babylon (Rev. 17) has been for the last few centuries been seen as metaphorical for a society or organisation which controls the worlds finances - the guys like Martin Luther presumed (rightly or wrongly) that it was the Roman Catholic Church.

    Modern theologians have started to think that maybe, just maybe this could be in fact the actual city of Babylon which is rebuilt in our time. After the Iraq war there is a definate will amongst the nations of the world to rebuild Babylon as a cultural centre in Iraq. We all saw the massive rise in cities like Dubai in a few short years so maybe, just maybe John was referring to the actual city.

    BTW John Calvin was not such a tyranical teacher - he had more good points than bad. I have not yet met a theologian who has got it all right - including myself.
  4. G'day Kevin, I'm not debating John Calvin, just noting that finally there is something to agree with Bill about.:cool:
    As for Babylon, ref verse 5 being Iraq rebuilt, Who knows? I'm thinking that MYSTERY points to something that is not immediately overt about this woman. That she is the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth, suggests to me that she is the source of these things, rather than the final expression of them. Consider Rev 11:8 Last time I checked Jesus was crucified just outside the city limits of Jerusalem, not in Egypt. So if that geographic location where our Lord was crucified is spiritually Sodom and Egypt, what of MYSTERY BABYLON? might that not be spiritually any and all of the cities/civilizations of man who have actively paid homage to Satan's lies and deceit? see Matt 4:8 'all the kingdoms of the world and their glory' perhaps could be collectively called Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations. just a thought.
    calvin................not John C:)
  5. I agree with / can accept most of calvanism, just not 'unconditional election'. Which I assume is the 'tyrannical ogre'.

    I don't think the Bill believes that either, would be interesting to know :).

    Unconditional election": This doctrine asserts that God has chosen from eternity those whom he will bring to himself not based on foreseen virtue, merit, or faith in those people; rather, it is unconditionally grounded in God's mercy alone. God has chosen from eternity to extend mercy to those He has chosen and to withhold mercy from those not chosen. Those chosen receive salvation through Christ alone. Those not chosen receive the just wrath that is warranted for their sins against God[9]
  6. Yep.
    That is what I understood from his post.
    Well I'm not sure I would state it that way, I'm not sure I have clearly understood what you are saying, but I guess I might agree in part at least.:cool:
    The way I understand pre-election , pre-ordination, predestination is that at the beginning of the beginning, God determined that there would be a royal priesthood etc. He determined that those who answered the call to turn to Christ Jesus in repentance would be treated a certain way, and those who reject Christ would be treated a certain other way. In other words, He predestines those who turn to Christ to eternal life and predestines those who reject Christ to eternal damnation. (It wasn't a snap decision made about 2000 years or so ago.) I see no compelling reason to believe that He sat down with pen and paper and made up a list of individual persons who could receive Christ as their personal Saviour, and a list of individual persons who would not be allowed to receive Christ as their Saviour. This, as I see it, is where the major difference comes in between understanding that a person as an individual was either chosen for life or sentenced to death before the world was even created, and understanding that Salvation is by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.
  7. Calvin,
    I would say that the doctrine of Election/Predestination is one of if not the hardest of all doctrines to grasp, so do not think you are alone.

    Now as for sitting down with pen and paper and keeping a list, I would call your attention to Revelation 20:12-13 and verse 15.....
    "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
    And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

    Do not ask me how, I have no clue, but according to what is found in the Scriptures, SOMEONE is keeping a record somehow.

    Then for Election/Predestination:
    God chose believers in Christ before the foundation of the world was laid. He did not choose us because we were good or because we would do something good, BUT BECAUSE WE could DO SOME GOOD.

    The entire choice is thrown back upon the sovereignty of the wisdom and goodness of God alone. Spurgeon once said........."God chose me before I came into existance because if He had waited until I was in the world, He never would have chosen me" It is God who has chosen us in the Beloved (Christ).

    God has chosen us who believe in order that He might make us holy and in oeder that He might make us without blame. That means our life has been changed. If there is no evidence of change, then you are not one of the Elect.

    The Lord gives us a wonderful picture of a great big wide highway. Then off of that highway is a little narrow entrance. Over that entrance it says....................
    "I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes unto the Father except by me". (John 14:6).

    Now the interesting thing is the the broad highway on which most people travel leads down and gets narrower and narrower until finally it ends in destruction. Anyone can stay on that highway if they choose, but you can also TURN off it if you choose to. Anyone can turn off at the invitation of.......

    "Him that comes to me I will in now wise cast out". (John 6:37).

    Anyone can enter in at the narrow way and the interesting thing is that the entrance is narrow, but then the road widens out.........

    "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abuntantly" (John 10:10).

    We can talk about the broad way! The broad way comes after you get through the narrow gate, but you must MAKE THE CHOICE!

    Whosoverwill may come........IS A LEGITMATE INVITATION.
    D.L. Moody wrote that "The whosoeverwills are the elect and the whosoeverwon'ts are the non-elect.
    God extends the invitation to the whole world and whosover includes everyone.

    Now the key to understanding is this.........God knows tomarrow just like He knew yesterday. That is the "FOREKNOWLEDGE of God. Because of that fact, He knew in eternity past who the people were who would accept His invitation of salvation.

    Predestination/Election is never used in referance to un-saved people. God never predestinated anybody to be lost. If a man is lost, it is because he has rejected the cure for his sickness which is sin. Predestination only refers to the saved. It means that in eternity past, that when God started out with 100 sheep, He knew He would come home with 100 sheep.
    KingJ and th1bill say Amen and like this.
  8. I am a member of neither of the main camps. Like Richard Clark, my former pastor, I have never belonged to either because of my, and is, position that scripture is self interpreting when, and it must be, one holds the position that none of scripture can be understood without the light of all scripture shinning on it.

    KingJ, I require none to agree with that point because it is not a Salvation issue. On the other hand if one cannot agree or at least agree to disagree in a Christ like manor, it does tend to cause arguments and Iĺl back out and let be.
  9. Major posted:
    Major, I don't want to drag this thread off topic any more than it already is.
    May I call your attention to what I actually posted, and that I believe you are referring to: I posted,"I see no compelling reason to believe that He sat down with pen and paper and made up a list of individual persons who could receive Christ as their personal Saviour, and a list of individual persons who would not be allowed to receive Christ as their Saviour." (highlights added).

    There is a difference, to my mind at least, between "keeping a list" of things as they occur, probably as per your ref to Rev 20, and compiling a list prior to the event.

    On the one hand we have the idea of writing the script for a play in which all actors must perform according to that script. (hard core predestination)
    On the other hand we have the idea of writing a detailed synopsis of a play that merely has a story line laid out. The actors being free to interpret their individual parts as they saw/see fit. (with consequences)

    There is nothing in what I have posted that contradicts the written word of God, it only contradicts the interpretations of some people.
    Eze 18:23 The Bible says it; I believe it. It is a peculiar understanding indeed that God would predestine specific individuals to destruction when He plainly tells us that He has no pleasure in it.

    But what say we drop this line of debate and keep focused on Rev 17. If you want to pursue this matter you might like to open a new topic thread.
  10. I got it from wikipedia. I prefer your explanation though.
  11. Major has shed the light on it nicely :).

    I see the whole discussion boiling down to ONE core issue. Namely, the existence of true free will.

    There are three views on free will imo. 1) No true free will (which I see as 'hardcore' calvinism) 2) Free will inasmuch as it is possible (God can't help the fact that He is God who knows the beginning and the end, so He keeps His physical presence and election confirmation from us to allow us the space / room / time to be / feel free) 3) True free will (God can do anything, even make a creation over which He has no control over their choices).

    I can believe 2 and 3 not 1. 1 Implies that God is unjust and a respecter of persons and the word clearly says He is not. (To add to Major's verses: Acts 10:34; Rom 2:9-11; Eph 6:8,9; Col 3:25; 1 Pet 1:17).
    Major likes this.
  12. Okay, then you will fall into the same position as myself. The aggressive and often self centered, calling themselves Christian, oft inform me that my teaching is not teaching at all because unlike themselves I refuse to lock God into one position on the basis of one section or verse of scripture and by doing so, ignore other passages. It is always my position that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and of the infinite while man is neither and therefore it is impossible to know more about God than what he has positively revealed of Himself and His plans and to pretend to be able to is sacrilegious.

    Holding these things to be true, and they are, it is difficult for me to ever be dogmatic about unfulfilled prophesy.
    KingJ and Major say Amen and like this.
  13. Calvin.........I probably didnt say it correctly, and if so I do apolgize. I was not trying to debate your comment.

    I was just applying the analogy of Rev. 20 where someone is actually keeping a written record to your thought of...........
    "I see no compelling reason to believe that He sat down with pen and paper and made up a list of individual persons who could receive Christ as their personal Saviour, and a list of individual persons who would not be allowed to receive Christ as their Saviour."
    You may be correct, I do not know....I was only drawing attention to the Biblical statement there is someone who IS using pen and paper and making a list. I was not trying to contradict you or infer anything else, and again, I am sorry if it was taken that way.
  14. I believe that makes you, Bill and me a 4.5 on the TULIP scale.
  15. I posted:
    Major posted:
    Then it is a mystery why you cited the passage you did: it has no relevance to the discussion. Notice the tense that I used...'sat' notice the tense that you emphasized 'IS' It is your emphasis of the present tense that rightly or wrongly sets the tone of what you are seen to really mean.

    Rev 3:5

    Rev 22:19
    As I said Major: "There is nothing in what I have posted that contradicts the written word of God"
    These two witnesses to the truth cf 2 Cor 13:1 show us that entries in the book of life are not 'set in stone.'
    And yes, those entries are either being continuously updated, or more likely will be edited at the time the other books are opened based on what is written in those other books. Rev 20:12
    Ample justification IMO to reject the idea of predestination as taught by John Calvin.

    But why are we still discussing this? KingJ , Bill and I are agreed on this matter.

    Major you posted:
    You don't seem to have an idea on it yourself, but I'm sure with more study and prayer you will come to understand these matters.
  16. I posted:
    I should qualify that a bit better. Although Rev 20:12 does refute John Calvin's doctrine of predestination, and therefore would be relevant, however, that is not the context in which it was cited especially in view of the earlier comment you made in post # 7.
    The contrast between tenses would require consideration. However that was not addressed until I addressed it in my last can we move on?
  17. I refuse to be drawn into a confrontation over such matters. This is not the way Christians should act and I am disturbed that such a level has been achieved here.

    Titus 3:2
    "Speak evil of no man, be no brawlers, but be gentle, showing all meekness unto all men".

    (p.s.....You may want to re-read comment #13)
  18. Once saved always saved = Calvanism
    One can lose their salvation = Armenianism.

    These two theologoes have been debated for centuries - lets leave it as one of the unsolved debates. One which we for sure will not resolve here on this forum. I am in agreement with Bill on this one, it is not a salvation issue. There are considerable scirptures which support both views.
  19. Major I am about to click on the report link on your post #17 of this thread. But before I do so, I wish to draw all readers' attention to the way in which you are misquoting, specifically in this thread but also in other topics. It would be interesting indeed if one had the time to audit all of your posts for the false quoting of others.

    I draw attention of all to the last paragraph within the supposed quote of my post #15. So thanks Major for helping out in this difficult situation. I have no need to indulge in accusations Major, with your last allowed post in the now locked thread 'Theology is not faith' as a clear witness to your fruit....... I could not do it any better than you.

    "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Nkjv Matt 7:16 -20
  20. Calvin..
    I agree totally with your comment and posting of Matt. 7:16-20.

    Your comment in the paragraph listed was.......
    I would say that the doctrine of Election/Predestination is one of if not the hardest of all doctrines to grasp.​
    You don't seem to have an idea on it yourself, but I'm sure with more study and prayer you will come to understand these matters. "

    I believe the words and motivation behind your comments do infact speak to your fruit for all to see.

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