The Seductive Harlot / Revelation 17:7-18

Posted on April 14, 2016

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This is the Forty-fourth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on April 10, 2016. This message looks at the rise of the antichrist and the victory of Christ. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.
SERMON AUDIO:

Rev 17:7-18

SERMON NOTES:

V.7:

After seeing the vision of this judgment, John’s mind must be running 100 mph. Undoubtedly, he is trying to make sense of it all. Then the Angel speaks up. He tells John that there is no need to wonder, that he will tell him the meaning of the vision.

V.8:
Was, is not, and is about to rise” – this is a reference to the false resurrection of the antichrist.

  • Revelation 13:3

People in the world will be amazed when the antichrist appears to rise from the dead. His charisma and illusory powers will cause the world to follow him.

  • Revelation 13:14
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

V.9:
Most likely, the seven mountains refer to the kingdoms of the seven kings referred to in verse 10.

Vv.10-11:
These seven kings, five of which had already fallen at the time of the writhing of this prophecy, coincide with what Daniel had prophesied nearly 700 years earlier.

  • Daniel 2:37-45

The dream which Daniel interprets begins with his present time, at Babylon, and goes forward. It shows us the the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. . . But that’s only four. The other great world empires are the Egyptian, Assyrian and the empire of the antichrist.

By the time of John’s writing, the Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires had already fallen. Rome was still in power, and the kingdom of the antichrist had not yet come. When the empire of the antichrist does come, it will be short-lived, and end in perdition.

This kingdom of the antichrist is referred to as both the seventh and the eighth, because of his supposed death and resurrection.
Vv.12-13:
The ten horns refer to ten rulers who will, after a short time, cede their authority to the antichrist. But the Antichrist will have to overcome three other rulers to be able to exercise his will and Satan’s plan.

  • Daniel 7:7-8
  • Daniel 7:24

The fact that the “horn” in question is referred to as a little horn, signifies that this will be someone who is generally considered insignificant. This horn has eyes like a man, and in fact it is a man, a man who will rule the most frightful kingdom ever to exist. This is a kingdom that will only fall by the hand of Christ Himself.

Given certain clues and battles that are described elsewhere in Scripture, this will be some sort of European confederation. This is why it is often referred to as the revived Roman Empire. We need to understand that neither the European Union nor the United Nations can fit the description which Scripture gives us. First and foremost, they both have way too many members. This confederation of nations does not yet exist today. While it is very possible that we may see it come together in our lifetime, the Antichrist will not be revealed until after the rapture of the church.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8

It is out of this confederation that the kingdom of the Antichrist will arise (the final world kingdom), and actively oppose God.
V.14:
This will be a time of great persecution against God’s people, and the Antichrist will appear to prevail. God will only allow a temporary victory. The final victory belongs to Christ. In the end, the saints will receive the kingdom.

  • Daniel 7:18

The saints will not have to take the kingdom, it will be given to them.

  • Daniel 7:27

The victory belongs to Christ, we are just along for the ride.

  • Revelation 19:11-15

V.15:
This verse serves as a reminder of how serious an issue this is. The influence of this idolatrous and satanic influence will be universal. It will snare people of all beliefs and nationalities. Indeed, we see hearts and minds being prepared for this even today, and so many people of this wold are already strolling along this very path.

Vv.16-18:
The antichrist is ruthless. He had once aligned with the major political powers of the world, and used their influence to hook the people. After his false resurrection, he will destroy the harlot’s religious empire and demands exclusive worship of himself. Yet, through all this, God is still working His will.

It can be very difficult to comprehend how this is all part of God’s plan, yet it is, and He will see to it that it is fulfilled. We need to remember that we live in a world that is stained by sin, and sin has consequences. This cancerous sin is rotted very deeply. Therefore, the removal of it requires the most radical of treatments. But we must trust the Master Physician. No matter what Satan and the Antichrist do, God is still on the throne, and He is still in control.

The church today looks for our Savior to return, when we will be caught up to meet Him in the air. After which, we will return with Him and serve Him.
Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons