They Will Make War Against the Lamb,

But the Lamb Will Overcome Them

17: 6b-14

   DIG: What do the seven heads and ten horns represent? Why does the beast kill three kings? Why do the remainder of the kings and the beast join forces? What will be the result? What is the mind of wisdom and how can it be obtained?

   REFLECT: There are many problems with man made false religion in this life that we need a mind with wisdom. Religious busy work that feels full and alive but is, in truth, empty and dead? Satanic strategy appears impressive and effective but is, in reality, impotent and deceptive? What wisdom do you need to ask God for right now?

    Satan chose Babylon, the second most mentioned city in the Bible, to control the world. It will be the center of worldwide religion, worldwide government and worldwide commerce during the last days. When John saw the woman, he was greatly astonished by the horrifying vision (17:6b). The woman looked so magnificent dressed in purple, but her intent was so evil as she was filled with abominable things (17:4). Then the angel said to me: Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman (one world religion) and of the beast she rides (one world government), which has the seven heads (see below) and ten horns (17:7). The angel revealed that the ten horns was a part of the Fourth Beast (see Av – The Ten Division Stage: The Ten Kingdoms).

    Then the angel gives a lengthy description of the beast that John saw. He will be the antichrist, who once was alive, then seemed to die. Up until that point, the beast’s political and economic empire will coexist with the false religious system headed by the false prophet. After his counterfeit resurrection, however, and being indwelt by a powerful demon out of the Abyss (9:1-2, 9:11, 11:7-8, 20:1-3), the beast will turn on the false religious system and destroy it. He will allow only one religion – the worship of himself (Dani'el 9:27b).

    At that point the antichrist will be the acknowledged ruler of the world. He will appear to have reached the climax of his power and ready to prevent the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom. Yet, in reality he will be one of the first to die in the seventh stage of the Campaign of Armageddon (Habakkuk 3:13-14a; Second Thessalonians 2:8), . Instead of ruling the earth, he will be the main prisoner in hell, going to his eternal destruction (19:20) in the lake of burning sulfur (20:10).

    The beast’s counterfeit resurrection and swift destruction of the false religious system will shock unbelievers, those inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world (17:8). Only believers in Jesus Christ will not fall for the antichrist’s deception (Matthew 24:24).

    When the angel says: This calls for a mind with wisdom, he invites John and his readers to pay close attention to what comes next. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits (17:9 NKJ). Unfortunately, too many people stop here and ignore the following verse, and consequently conclude that the seven mountains represent Rome, for Rome is a city sitting on seven mountains. However, a number of cities in the Near East also claim to sit upon seven mountains. So this is not enough to identify Rome as the place to which this passage refers. But the identification of Rome becomes totally unwarranted if the verse is seen in its complete context. The fact that the seven heads are said to be seven mountains shows that these mountains are to be taken symbolically. As mentioned before, whenever the word mountain is used symbolically, it is always a symbol of a king, kingdom, or throne. This is the case here. Thus, the very next verse interprets the meaning of the seven mountains. The train of thought continues on.

    The seven mountains represent something other than real mountains, they are also seven kings. The city of Rome is not in view here, the seven kings are. Five of the kings had already fallen by John’s day, one was still present at that time, and one more was yet to come (17:10a). If this refers to the city of Rome, then five of the mountains should no longer be in existence, one should be there now, with another to rise in the future! The context makes this an impossible interpretation to be mountains.

    While both the ten horns and the seven mountains are representative of kings, there is a difference between them. The ten horns are kings that are contemporary with each other. They all rise and reign at the same time. But the seven heads are different, they follow one another in a chronological sequence. With this information, we can figure out what the seven heads represent. As previously stated, the Roman Empire of John’s day was very imperialistic (see Ab – The Outline of the Book of Revelation). When we look at Roman history we see that Rome went through five types of governments before it developed into the imperialism that will continue until the middle of the Great Tribulation. They are:

     The Tarquin Kings         735-510 BC           The First Head

     The Counselors             510-494 BC            The Second Head

     The Dictators               494-390 BC           The Third Head

     The Republicans           390-59 BC             The Fourth Head

     The Triumvirate           59-27 BC              The Fifth Head

    These represent the five heads that had already fallen when John wrote the Revelation. Before the sixth head could be developed, the Balance of Power Stage, these five types of governments preceded it. But there is one head still to come, that is, the seventh head, which is the Antichrist Stage. Once the seventh head is established, he must remain for a little while, namely three-and-a-half years (17:10b). Thus, the seven heads represent a chronological sequence from the Tarquin Kings to the Antichrist Stage. Five heads have fallen, the sixth head of the Balance of Power (see At ) now exists, and after the Ten Kingdom Stage (see Av), there will be an eighth king, the antichrist himself.

    After describing the beast’s apparent death and resurrection (17:8), John tells us that the beast is also an eighth king. Yet he belongs to the seven because chronologically he is the last of the seven heads to appear in history and is going to his destruction (17:11). However, he is also an eighth king in his relationship to the ten horns. The ten horns represent ten kingdoms that come out of the One World Government Stage. These ten are contemporary and rule together. But as the antichrist consolidates his power he kills three of the ten kings, with the other seven submitting to his authority. The beast is contemporary with those seven, making him an eighth.379

    Then ten horns you saw will be ten kings. We cannot know them because they have not yet received a kingdom, since they are a part of the beast’s future world empire. But during the Great Tribulation will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They will have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast (17:12-13). But Christ, with the aide of the sheep Gentiles (see Fc – The Sheep and the Goats) will destroy Babylon, the capital city of the antichrist, during the Great Tribulation (see my commentary on Isaiah Di – I Have Commanded My Holy Ones).

    The Bible refers to Yeshua Messiah as the eternal King. This section speaks of the end times when earthly kings will fight to establish their own authority during the Great Tribulation. We don’t know who they are, but we do know the One they cannot overcome: They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is LORD of lords and KING of kings – and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers (17:14). The Lord Jesus Christ is Adonai Ha’Adomim, KING of kings and LORD of lords, and He will reign forever and ever. Our God is LORD of lords; there is no other master. His grace continues forever. He has come and He will come again.

    Nothing that happens on earth is outside God’s control. This message must have been a great comfort to believers who were being forced to witness the martyrdom of their fellow believers. Through the different circumstances of successive emperors and military commanders, they might have to lay their lives on the line, but they could be confident that ADONAI was in charge.

    From the fact that Messiah is KING of kings and LORD of lords, His followers also receive their unchanging identity: Those with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers. As the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3), we are called to follow Him wherever He goes (Mark 8:34), united with Him in love, beloved sons and daughters who are filled with the Holy Spirit.

    We are chosen to receive the revelation of who God is and how He made us to live in a community of believers with Him and each other. We have been set apart for His loving purpose, hand-selected and formed through the experiences and relationships of our lives to worship Him.

    We are faithful in response to the trustworthiness of the One who is incapable of being faithless. If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself (Second Tim 2:13).

    More important, however, than being called, chosen and faithful is what comes first: Those with Him. We are united with the KING of kings and LORD of lords (John 6:56, 17:21-23; Romans 7:4, 12:5; Ephesians 4:25, 5:30; 1 John 4:15; Jude 1)! What more could we ask, imagine or hope for?

    KING of kings and LORD of lords, at all times and events are in Your hands. Thank You for uniting Yourself to me through faith. Let Your courage and Your love, live in me.380

 

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