1. Through whom did Jesus reveal this vision to John the revelator?
“And there came one of the seven angels, which had the seven vials, and talked with me saying unto me, Come hither,” verse 1, first part.
2. After instructing him to come hither, what did the angel say he would reveal?
“I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore, that sitteth upon many waters,” verse 1, last part of verse.
3. When he was carried away in vision, what was seen?
“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,” verse 3.
4. What was the character and apparel of this woman?
“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,” verse 4.
5. What inscription was written upon the forehead of the woman?
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON, THE GREAT; THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS; AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
NOTE: As this woman is contrasted with the woman of chapter twelve, we can easily recognize the symbolical application. The woman described in the lesson a few pages back symbolized the pure and Holy church, so in like comparison a vile and corrupt woman represents an apostate church.
As the beast brought to view in this chapter upon which this woman was riding, represents Papal Rome, as has already been shown, then to identify this church symbolized by the woman, we would be obliged to inquire after some church which had ridden upon the Roman Empire, controlling and forcing it into subjection. Only a very short research into history will reveal the fact that the Roman Catholic church is the only one mentioned, which has been thus united with the state and ruled the world. And it truly sat upon the affairs of the fourth universal kingdom which was Rome, and ruling her, caused to come to pass all that is spoken in the prophet’s words related in the forepart of this chapter.
In the last part of verse 1, it is said that this “woman was riding upon many waters.” Then in verse 15 we are told as follows, “The waters which thou sawest where the whore sitteth, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues,” So the woman ruled great multitudes, nations and tongues.
6. Was this woman or church guilty of the blood of the saints, and what is said in this connection?
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus,” verse 6.
NOTE: In the lesson preceding this one it was noted that the beast having the characteristics of the four beasts of Daniel 7th chapter, arose in the earth, made war with the saints and prevailed against them for 1260 years. And notice in particular that the dragon gave this beast his seat and authority. Going back to the lesson on chapter twelve of the woman which is a representative of the true church, we locate the great red dragon. This dragon attempted to destroy Christ as soon as He was born, but failed to accomplish his desire, and later gave up his seat and power and great authority to the beast brought to view in the next chapter (13). The dragon, and the beast here mentioned represent Pagan Rome and Papal Rome, and history records the transaction here referred to by the dragon giving up its power to the beast, as Pagan Rome surrendered and united fully with Papal Rome. Constantine with his many thousands of Pagan followers united with the Papal system. After this transaction was made, we have the same beast brought to view, with only minor changes, save that his color had changed from that of a leopard to scarlet or red. The amalgamation of Pagan Rome into Papal Rome changed the color to that of Pagan Rome, and likewise were false doctrines brought over from Paganism and thoroughly grafted into the practices of the Papal system, which at this time was beginning to enforce her power universally. Then the vision could be properly given of this time 538 A.D., represented by the corrupt woman riding upon this Papal Beast, or the Catholic church riding and controlling the Roman world, which is a stern fact of history that cannot be dispensed.
Time and space forbids the balance of this chapter to be handled here, but in it are set forth some solemn facts of past history as well as signal warnings for the future. Truly, prophecy is a light that shines in a dark place, radiating the pathway of the Christian as nothing else can do outside of the assurance that he is firmly grounded on the Rock of His salvation, patiently awaiting the fulfillment of all that is promised. By Him shall we forever enjoy a haven of rest beyond the trials and turmoils of the present age.
Not by one portal, or one path alone,
God’s holy message to man is known,
The storms beneath and the rainbow hues above.
Herald His anger and proclaim His love,
The still small voice of the summer day,
The red sirocco, and the breath of May,
The rolling thunder and the raging sea,
Speak the stern purpose of the Deity.