Today’s passage: Revelation 17
- The beast of chapter 17 and chapter 13 are the same, likely the one who is called the Antichrist.
- First century Christians referred to Rome as “Babylon” symbolically. Rome is a city set on seven hills. The original audience of this letter certainly would have understood this chapter to be referring to Rome.
- What is depicted in this chapter is a world that is drawn to earthly pleasures and treasures (a wealthy economy and the pursuit of lustful passions), powers/governments that are devoted to providing those things over and above (even in opposition to) God, and those desires and powers combining to persecute those who appear to get in the way of their desires, namely Christians.
Questions to consider:
- What are the pictures or allegories that are clearly explained in this chapter? (Who is the woman? Who are the many waters?, etc.)
- What does it appear the woman (the prostitute) is alluring the people of the world toward? How does it pull people away from the Lord? How does “the beast” utilize the woman, the kings (authorities) to attack those who believe in Christ? Therefore, what are the contrasts between the Bride of Christ and this prostitute and all who come to her for pleasure?
- In what ways does the world depicted in today’s chapter compare with the way the world is right now? When all the world wants is to pursue their own lustful selfish pleasures, who is safe from being “devoured” and “burned up”? What is the lie and end result of everyone “following their hearts”? Why is living for the glory of God better?