Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”
 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
 and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
 “Here is the mind which has wisdom The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Revelation Chapter 17 reveals the identity of the forces that have seized the authority of the world during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Revelation 17:1 mentions “the great harlot who sits on many waters.”
I explained that the “great harlot” refers to Lucifer, the head of the evil spirits.
During the 7 Year Great Tribulation, Lucifer manages the forces of the antichrist and sees that the works of darkness in the world get done.
Therefore, the one who is to become the head of the Unified Government and principal leader of the forces of the antichrist can be referred to as the “great harlot.”
I also explained that all the forces of the darkness that are controlled by the will of Lucifer are (collectively) called the “great harlot”.
The scripture says this great harlot is sitting on many waters.
Spiritually, ‘water’ means ‘word.’ But here, it refers to ‘the world of the darkness’ that is controlled by the forces of the antichrist.
The forces of the antichrist control the world through the Unified Government, and exercise control over the unified government.
They will have taken a seat on the throne of the world of the darkness.
This is how the great harlot ‘sits on the world’ and controls the works of the darkness in the world.
It incites people to commit sin by thoughts and actions.
Revelation 17:2 says that those who are allied with the evil spirits and the forces of the antichrist to commit sin “commit acts of immorality” with them.
‘Acts of immorality’ doesn’t only mean physical acts of immorality in a fleshly sense, but also refers to spiritual immorality in a broader sense.
‘Spiritual acts of immorality’ refers to unchangingly befriending the world even though professing to believe the Lord.
To be more specific, it includes: seeking personal benefits out of greed and selfish desire; pursuing only wealth, honor, and authority; not believing in God and the Lord; not possessing true faith even though professing faith; acting against the will of God; and following the forces of the antichrist.
When the scripture says, “those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality,” it has a similar meaning.
‘Those who dwell on the earth’ refer to those who belong to the world.
The fact that ‘they were made drunk with the wine of her immorality’ means that they live in the darkness and all kinds of evil and sin.
Revelation 17:3 mentions about the beast that is controlled by the great harlot.
The Unified Government is only a fa?ade for the forces of the antichrist that are totally controlled and manipulated by Lucifer.
I already told you that this unified government is ‘the beast’, and that the computer system that this government uses to control the world is also ‘the beast’.
To describe that the forces of the antichrist control the beast, the scripture says, ‘a woman sits on a beast.’
This beast’s body is full of blasphemous names.
These are the names of those who are heads of the unified government, those who support and cooperate with the beast, and those who become the slayers for the beast.
Those who follow the beast and stand against God are committing blasphemous sin.
By the way, there are core forces that form the beast, the Unified Government.
They are the seven heads and the ten horns.
And among them are some who are working in key roles and those who are not.
They comprise, maintain and cooperate in the unified government to seek for mutual benefits and advantages.
Revelation 17:4 says, “The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.”
In the last lecture, I told you that the purple clothes symbolizes the clothing worn by kings and governing royalty, and that it represents the men of power, high position and rank.
The scarlet clothes mean that the woman is full of fleshly wisdom in her evil.
But now, there is another spiritual meaning in the scarlet clothes and the purple clothes.
It refers to the authority over the darkness that this woman possesses.
By the way, she was able to possess this authority of the darkness as a result of the blood that was shed by the people of God.
Her authority of the darkness has piled up as a result of the shedding of blood of the countless numbers of God’s people.
However, it doesn’t mean that the people of God who were killed resulted from the will of the great harlot being greater than the power of God.
All these things are possible because God allows them to happen within justice.
The situation of the people of God being made to shed blood and be killed also takes place within Justice to accomplish the will and the providence of God.
If God does not allow it to take place, Lucifer and the evil spirits would never be able to touch the people of God.
There is a reason why God allows the people of God to be given to Lucifer and the evil spirits and their blood to be shed.
That reason is because more souls will be able to reach salvation and the kingdom of God will be enlarged thanks to their blood.
And those who shed blood can be given glory and blessing that cannot be compared with anything.
The enemy devil and Satan think they are getting greater authority while killing the people of God.
However as the end result of it the kingdom of God is enlarged more greatly.
Therefore, it is actually a blessing for the people of God to suffer from unjust persecution.
The great harlot persecutes and kills the people of God and wears the purple and scarlet clothes like a man of power, but what awaits her is eternal destruction.
On the other hand, the deaths of those who stand against the forces of the antichrist and shedding the blood of martyrdom are not just miserable deaths.
(Through the blood of martyrdom) they can reach salvation and enter a glorious position in heaven.
The scripture says the great harlot is adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, and it means that she has wealth, honor, and authority.
She also has in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.
‘A gold cup’ also refers to authority and wealth.
But this cup is full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality.
The forces of the antichrist appear to have authority and wealth outwardly, but inwardly they are full of abominable and unclean sin and evil.
However, people who are blinded by the desire for wealth and authority cannot see what is on the inside.
They follow the forces of the antichrist for the immediate benefit, and together with them they fall into evil, sin, and abominations.
It happened in the past and it still is happening now.
It may all look plausible and acceptable outwardly, but the truth is that on the inside it is full of darkness.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”
As the end of the world approaches, there are more forces that deteriorate the truth and deceive people.
Therefore, you should arm yourself with the word to discern the truth.
And you must also remain awake through prayer.
Now, Revelation 17:5 says, “and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.””
On her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT.”
Until the time comes, the identity of the antichrist is hidden.
Outwardly, they give the pretense of worshipping God and serving the Lord.
And, when the decisive moment arrives, they reveal their true identity.
However, those who are blinded still believe that the forces of the antichrist will save them.
But all is revealed when the Final Day comes.
It is clearly revealed that to ally with the antichrist and to follow the forces of the antichrist is to stand against God.
It has been possible to hide it, but when the time comes, the true identity of the antichrist and the forces of darkness that have covertly controlled it are clearly revealed.
It says it is ‘Babylon the Great’. Spiritually speaking, Babylon refers to the world, and Babylon refers to all the untruth that stands against God, and becomes arrogant.
Babylon symbolically expresses the forces that stand against God.
Then, it is Babylon the Great, and it means that the great harlot is the head of the forces that stand against God.
Just as it says, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH,” Lucifer and the forces of the antichrist is the mother of all the uncleanliness and filthiness of evil.
That’s because all the sins and evil have been committed by Lucifer and the forces of the antichrist.
Dear brothers and sisters.
If you read Revelation, you may find similar terms such as the beast, the image of the beast, a woman, the great harlot, Babylon the Great, and Babylon the Great City.
And sometimes I explained the two-fold meanings of those terms.
That’s because they contain both spiritual and fleshly meanings.
For example, the head that controls the works of the darkness on this earth is Lucifer.
But actually, it is the dragon and the lower level evil spirits that accomplish the works of the darkness.
Especially during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, it is the forces of the antichrist that play the role of their slayers.
In addition, during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the antichrist doesn’t necessarily refer to a certain individual, but it rather refers to all the forces that stand against God.
The core of the forces of the antichrist is the Unified Government.
Therefore, the leader of the Unified Government becomes the head of the forces of the antichrist.
Also, the power of the super computer that is used by the Unified Government plays the leading role in support of the forces of the antichrist.
In addition, for the mental unification of the forces of the antichrist, a certain religious group becomes a central figure.
This religion is also one with the antichrist, and the head of this religion is also a leader of the forces of the antichrist.
In this way, with Lucifer as their top head, underneath are many groups and units that are all connected.
For this reason, when a certain term is used, it may not have only a single meaning.
Actually there is only one leader when referring to the forces of darkness and the antichrist, but depending on the conditions, the time and the place that is involved, it may appear in various forms and forces.
Therefore, the meanings of the terms are important, but you should also understand its general concept.
You can grasp the whole concept of Revelation if you understand how the world of the evil spirits is organized and what kind of forces stand against God during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
Whether it is the great harlot, Lucifer, the head of the Unified Government, or the head of the religion, even though their outlook may seem different, their goal is the same.
Their goal is to stand against God, interfere with the kingdom of God, persecute and kill the people of God, and deceive people into destruction.
Revelation 17:6 says, “And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.”
“Drunk with the blood of the saints” means that the great harlot made the saints and the witnesses of Jesus bleed.
Killing the saints and witnesses is an attempt to cause them to depart from the faith and destroy the kingdom of God.
As I explained before, however, the result is the opposite.
The more the saints and the witnesses are persecuted, the more widely the gospel is preached.
By the way, you should correctly understand the meaning of the saints in this verse.
Just because they go to church is not sufficient to label everyone as a ‘saint’.
They are called saints only when they keep the word of God and live by the truth.
It is these saints that the enemy devil and Satan persecute.
If they are just ‘church-goers,’ it is not necessary for the enemy devil and Satan to persecute them.
That’s because they will eventually become their prey.
On the other hand, the enemy devil and Satan persecute the saints who try to keep the word of God and live in the truth.
The enemy devil and Satan try to make them depart from faith by any means possible.
They also persecute the witnesses of Jesus. The witnesses of Jesus are, simply speaking, those who preach the gospel.
The saints diligently spread the news of Jesus Christ because they are thankful for the grace of God and they have pity on the dying souls.
While talking about Jesus Christ, they receive all kinds of persecution and mockery.
There is a verse that all should be reminded of when you are persecuted because you are a saint and Jesus’ witness.
It is what the Lord says in Matthew 5:11-12, which reads, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
If you live a diligent Christian life and preach gospel as a saint, it is true that persecution follows.
Sometimes you bring persecution upon yourself because you are lacking in the wisdom of goodness, but you should be thankful for all the persecution and suffering as a saint and witness of Jesus.
By the way, during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the persecution is beyond your imagination.
Those who believe in the Lord but fall, remaining on the earth without being caught up in the air will have to overcome this persecution.
It is not a matter of choice any more, but it is a necessity for salvation.
Only when they overcome the persecution by faith can they gain salvation.
However, the persecution is so terrible that not many people can overcome it.
But still, there are people who overcome and die in martyrdom, and the Great Harlot is drunk with the blood of these martyrs
Then, why did Apostle John wonder greatly when he saw the woman?
‘He wondered greatly’ means that he was astonished.
Since the persecution by the antichrist was so cruel that it was beyond Apostle John’s imagination, he was astonished to see it.
Revelation 17:7 says, “And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. “”
Now, the angel was about to explain why these things should take place at the end time of the world.
Once you realize the justice and love of God from the sin of Adam until the 7 Year Great Tribulation, you won’t be astonished or wonder at all these things.
If you realize the justice and love of God, you may also understand the law of the spiritual realm.
Then, you don’t wonder any more about the phenomena that take place according to the law of the spiritual realm.
If you understand the law of the spiritual realm, you may even predict the result of a certain incident.
Just this world has rules and order, the law of the spiritual realm is the law that exists in the spiritual world.
This law of the spiritual realm operates precisely according to Justice.
Sometimes, exceptions may seem to exist because of the love that transcends the Justice.
But, it is also the work that takes place in the Love and Justice of God.
Therefore, the more you understand the love in your heart, the better you can understand the law of the spiritual realm that operates by the Love that transcends the Justice.
All the things happening during the 7 Year Great Tribulation can be explained by the terms of the love and justice of God.
The love of God who gives an opportunity till the last moment, those who forsake the last chance and bring the destruction upon themselves, and the strict judgment of justice that will come upon them;
You can understand all of these.
From Revelation 17:8, there is more detailed explanation about the identity of the beast.
Revelation 17:8-10 says, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Here is the mind which has wisdom The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.”
Here, the beast refers to all the evil spirits and the forces of the antichrist who are controlled by them with Lucifer in their center.
The scripture says, “The beast that you saw was, and is not.”
From the beginning of human cultivation till the last moment of the 7 Year Great tribulation, they have seized the authority over the darkness in the earth.
But, when the time that God has allotted is over, they are about to lose that authority.
It’s because the forces of the antichrist that has practiced the authority of the darkness in the earth are to disappear.
At the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the Unified Government faces its collapse, and as the Tribulation ends, it disappears from the earth.
The Lord who comes to the earth confines all of them to the abyss.
For this, the scripture says, “The beast that you saw was, and is not.”
Now, the evil spirits that have been confined in the abyss are released at the end of the Millennium Kingdom and they once again tempt people of the earth.
This will be explained in great detail later, but most of the people who live through the Millennium Kingdom are tempted and fall into destruction.
Likewise, the beast makes frantic attempts until the last moment of the 7 Year Great tribulation, and they once again tempt the whole world to fall into destruction at the end of the Millennium Kingdom.
We will look into this in the next lecture.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The spiritual world truly exists.
The spiritual world acts behind all the things that take place in this visible world.
For example, when a man commits sin, it is he who actually does it, but there is surely evil spirit behind him.
The dragons, Satan, the devil, and demons, all the works of the darkness are controlled by these evil spirits.
Therefore, you should clearly understand the evil spirits and discern their wicked schemes.
As the end time approaches closer and closer, the evil spirits moves more and more actively.
Since they know that their time is up, they try to tempt just one more soul to fall into destruction.
Therefore, the children of God should be awake all the more as the end time comes closer.
And they should prepare for everything in readiness.
That’s why Ephesians 6:13-18 says, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
Please, look upon yourself reflecting on these verses.
How well are you armed with the full armor of God?
May you become a warrior of the Light who can win victory in any spiritual battle field where the Lord commands, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!