The Woman of Revelation 17 (Part 1 of 2)

The study of the Revelation is both fascinating and very complex. This book truly must have the Lord’s “Spirit of Truth” to correctly interpret it. In 2 Peter 1:20 we read.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20)

Thankfully our all-seeing Lord sent us an end time prophet, the promised “Elijah” spoken of in Mal. 4:5. He knew that the mysteries of this deep book would have to be unlocked and so it is today. What we will see is the true interpretation of this woman and who/what she is.

There are two SOP quotes that specifically apply concerning our study this week, let us read.

“We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.30)

“When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.

The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those “that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.”

Result of True Study

One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided.” (TM p. 114)

So we see that once we understand the books of Daniel and Revelation we will have “entirely different religious experience.” In other words we will shift into a higher gear spiritually speaking. This truly is what the Lord was talking about when he admonished us as Laodiceans to stop thinking we are “rich and increased with goods”–have all the truth, because Revelation truth (along with other end time prophecies) is needed so that we can “buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich.” (Rev. 3:17-18)

The verses we shall go over in part one are Rev. 17:1-6, 9–

“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: 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.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

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….And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

Ok let us look at this woman of Rev. 17. Before we do it’s helpful to know what we as SDA have been generally taught about this, our historical understanding.

As with many of our standard SDA teaching, one of the leaders in this department is pastor Doug Batchelor. Recently we watched one of his YouTube videos entitled ,”Revelation 17 and Protestant Reformation.”

In agreement with the typical well-known SDA belief, his presentation proclaimed that this woman is symbolic of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). A few clues presented were —

  1. The seven heads represent the seven mountains, which is then interpreted to mean the seven hills of Rome. Because Rome has sometimes been referred as “the city of seven hills” DB connects Rev. 17:9’s  mountains to Rome’s hills. In other words he promotes a literal application in regards to what the mountains mean.
  2. The woman has the colors purple and scarlet and is symbolically meant to mean the RCC because these two colors are historically prominent in Catholicism.
  3. The woman has precious adornment of gold and precious stones and shows that this woman is fabulously rich just as the RCC is known to be. DB points out that the RCC has the most silver in the world and owns some of the world’s most priceless relics.
  4. The golden cup is indicative of the priest’s mass cup.
  5. The woman therefore is symbolical of the RCC solely.

As widely distributed and proclaimed by our leaders, this warning of the woman being the RCC is promulgated to have us focus on it exclusively instead of knowing the whole picture and the forecast. All parts of this Revelation puzzle must fit, there can be no dis-jointed piece forced into the picture.

You see brethren, this is Satan’s ploy similar to the “Sunday Law” hoodwink. Having us look for the implementation of this law, while not getting ready for the Lord’s “suddenly” coming to His temple to begin the judgment for the living (Mal. 3:1-5).  Satan has the SDA’s leading teachers right where he want’s them–mis-understanding the prophecies, looking left when they should be looking right. He wants us to focus on the RCC instead of the real culprit–apostate Protestantism.

“..I saw the Mother of Harlots; that the mother was not the daughters, but separate and distinct from them. She has had her day, and it is past, and her daughters, the Protestant sects, were the next to come on the stage and act out the same mind that the mother had when she persecuted the saints. I saw that as the mother has been declining in power, the daughters had been growing, and soon they will exercise the power once exercised by the mother.” (Spalding/Magan Collection, p.1) 

What we’ll be presenting is a  different understanding of this woman provided by the Lord’s Elijah message, another restoration of truth promised by the Word (Matt. 17:11) . Carefully study all aspects of this and then decide whether our historical SDA understanding is correct or whether the following part two presentation is based on  a “more sure word of prophesy.”

What do we find a  “woman” means symbolically in Scripture?

“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.(Jer. 6:2)

“In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman—a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.”(GC, p.381)

We see that both Scripture and SOP say that a woman, and particularly the Rev. 17 woman,  represents a church , which is an apostate and impure people  –false religion. Contrarily, for example, we see that Rev. 12’s woman is a pure church, and true religion.

So on this point our historical understanding that the woman is impure and is of a false faith is correct. Being a “whore” she obviously cannot represent purity.

In our part one we see that the historical understanding is that the woman represents the RCC  and that this is based on the afore-mentioned clues (among others). In our part two we’ll bring evidence that this woman cannot be the RCC solely for solid Biblical reasons. Stay tuned, you’ll be blessed and enlightened.

 

 

 

 

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