Revelation 17:1, 5-6, 15-18 (ESV), “… Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, … 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: ‘Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.’ 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…. 15 And the angel said to me, ‘The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns (powers) that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose…18 And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
Revelation 17 refers to Babylon – not the literal city of Babylon, but to the symbolic city. The so-called “Christian” world is called Babylon (confusion) because it supports a mix of blasphemous errors and actions of the apostate church systems. In Revelation, these systems are personified as mother and daughters. “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots,” is the name given to the original system. Therefore, all of her daughters are illegitimate also.
Why is the woman called a Harlot (whore, prostitute)? Because Papacy, the Orthodox church and Papacy’s daughters united with (married) civil powers to establish Christ’s kingdom on earth. They used fear, brutal force, persecution, torture, and “holy” wars in an attempt to convert the world.
The True Church is always identified as a Virgin. She waits for her marriage to Her Heavenly Bridegroom (Jesus) at His second advent. At that time, The Christ, Head (Jesus) and Body (Church) will establish Christ’s Kingdom on Earth. Revelation 11:15 (ESV), “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
The Harlot was unfaithful to her Heavenly Bridegroom. She mingled in her “cup” a stupefying potion (of intoxicating doctrines). One such doctrine was that the Pope reigned on earth. At a new pope’s coronation, the man was crowned with the following words: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns, and know that you are Father of princes and kings, guide of the world, vicar of our Savior Jesus Christ.” The popes’ powers did indeed rule secular kingdoms.
So, why do the ten horns or powerful nations ultimately hate the whore? For a short period (one symbolic hour, verse 12), they unite with the Harlot, probably to calm the growing world-wide anarchy. Psalm 2:2-3 (NLT), “The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, ‘and free ourselves from slavery to God.’”
However, information and knowledge about the “Christian” churches and their doctrines (verse 16, “will make her naked”) will awaken the world to her sins. When these facts come to full light, it will cause the world to turn on the whore. They will destroy her (verse 16, “devour her flesh and burn her up with fire”).
But that’s not the end of the story. Then Christ establishes His true kingdom. He will reign with peace, justice, righteousness, and prosperity on earth.
For a more detailed study on current and future prophecies, download the free PDF:: "What is This World Coming To?"