The Great Harlot and the Scarlet Beast

(Revelation 17:1-6)

In Revelation 17, we meet the great harlot, the most obvious portrayal of the Catholic Church. The angel who guided John said, “Come and I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters.”1Rev 17:1 By the late 15th century, European missionaries and explorers had spread their teachings to the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The angel described the harlot:

“With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication”2Rev 17:2 — The Church compromised its teachings to appease those with political power.

“All those who dwell on the earth are made drunk with her immorality”3Rev 17:2 — Isaiah called them “the drunkards of Ephraim.”4Isa 28:1

John described the harlot, he saw:

Sitting on a scarlet beast5Rev 17:3— In the Basilica of St. Paul, there are the portraits of 109 popes, all in scarlet.

Full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns6Rev 17:3 — This was the same beast described in Revelation 13.

Clothed in purple and scarlet7Rev 17:4 — The bishops wore purple, and the cardinals and the pope wore scarlet.

Adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls8Rev 17:4 — The churches were adorned with precious stones and had magnificent architecture.

Having in her hand a golden cup9Rev 17:4 — Jeremiah wrote, “Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunk.”10Jer 51:7

Full of abominations11Rev 17:4 — The apostle Paul said, “Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.”121Co 11:27

On her forehead was the name—Mystery Babylon13Rev 17:5 — This was the spiritual kingdom of those who worshiped the beast.

The mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth14Rev 17:5 — She was the mother of denominations that mixed pagan religious practices with Christianity.

And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints15Rev 17:6 — The Church was responsible for the death of thousands of saints.