Revelation Chapter Seventeen

1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying (unto me), Come here (hither); I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants (dwellers) of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

This angel is getting ready to expose the great whore by bringing evidence against her. The information will help the churches understand the effect the whore had upon people. This evidence will cause the believers to make judgment against her.

Below, in verse 18, you will see that the angel said the whore represented the “great city” that reigned over the kingdoms of the earth. According to Revelation 11:8, the “great city” was also called Egypt and Sodom. In Revelation 14:8, the “great city” was called Babylon. Then in Revelation 16:19, we read where the “great city” was divided into three parts. The three parts represented the essence of the great whore and her influence over those in bondage – symbolized by Egypt, corruption – symbolized by Sodom, and confusion – symbolized by Babylon. The whore was a condition of the mind not an entity.

The whore sitting upon many waters is symbolic to the condition of the inhabitants of the earth. The word “sits” is to reside, that is, the thoughts, speech, and actions of the inhabitants of the earth were controlled by false concepts, or doctrines. It caused them to have false images of Yahweh’s character and his principles and kept them in bondage, corruption, and confusion.

The “kings” of the earth is symbolic to those who set the moral standards by which the people followed after. The people were influenced (made drunk) to commit spiritual fornication; they followed after teachings and principles contrary to truth and righteousness. The false doctrines that influenced the masses came through false prophets, leaders, and teachers. The kings represent that which had the power to influence one against truth, i.e. commit spiritual fornication. Idolatry is defined as the worship of any cult image, idea, or object, as opposed to the worship of Yahweh. Literal kings rule their kingdoms by their beastly nature, but they don’t always control the thoughts of their subjects, but those who taught false doctrines impaired the judgment of their followers. Remember, the messengers of Pergamos and Thyatira were reprimanded because they allowed false doctrines to be taught in their churches.

Rev. 2:14, 15, But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Rev. 2:20, Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because you suffered that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

The woman, called a whore, represented that which “seduced” and “allured” the people into false ideas. Metaphorically she represented that which aroused strong desires that were unproductive to righteousness. Her recipients were emotionally intoxicated by her actions, because their judgments were impaired.

In the Old Testament, Israel was portrayed as the wife of Yahweh. Israel played the harlot when she acted contrary to Yahweh’s covenants (Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16:1-43; Hos. 1:2; 3:11).

Isa. 1:21-27, How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Your silver is become dross, your wine mixed with water: your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: everyone loves gifts, and follows after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither did the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore said the Lord, Yahweh of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: and I will turn my hand upon you, and purely purge away your dross, and take away all your tin: and I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning: afterward you shall be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (Notice that a new name would to be given, which called “righteousness.”)

To say the whore is a symbol of the true “Church,” would do the Church a great injustice. Churches in John’s day were going through great difficulties and tribulations, but the true “Church” is a realm in which believers are birthed into Yahweh’s Kingdom and she cannot be a harlot. She is that which births Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. She was cleansed and divinely inspired to produce the Fruit of the Spirit through the believers. The Church corresponds to facts that are not mixed with man’s imaginations or doctrines. The true Church brings her children out of bondage, corruption, and confusion. Her foundation is the pure Word of Truth that the children of faith learn through the quickening of the Holy Spirit as they are obedient to their measure of truth. There are many churches, but there is only one “Church” that births the children of Yahweh and that Church is neither a tangible building nor a group of people in a building.

At the time of John’s vision, Yahweh was no longer dealing specifically with the nation of Israel, he was dealing with people who had joined the churches and were committing spiritual fornication. The whore, false doctrines, was luring the inhabitants of the earth, not just those in the seven churches or just the nation of Israel. Her influence was drawing them away from righteousness instead of birthing them into truth. The whore represented the influence of false doctrines, or concepts, upon the inhabitants of the earth as they were tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine that was given by skillful leaders (represented as kings) who deceived them. Their false concepts kept them in bondage, corruption, and confusion.

17:3 So he (the angel) carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet (red) colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

John was carried away into the same wilderness that the woman in Revelation

12:14 had fled to. This place was where the woman was away from the serpent, the adversary, to be nourished by the Father. John was also given spiritual nourishment. The first thing he saw and understood was the whore who had made the inhabitants of the earth commit spiritual fornication. She was sitting upon many waters in verse one, but now John sees her sitting (residing) upon a scarlet colored beast full of the names of blasphemy.

Blasphemy and false doctrines were joined together. Blasphemy was the condition of the inhabitants of the earth because mankind speaks from the abundance of their hearts.

The beast that the whore sat upon was scarlet colored. In the Old Testament, scarlet is associated with sins (Isa. 1:18). The whore was transported by sins that caused the people to be estranged from Yahweh and his principles of righteousness.

Verses nine through twelve of this chapter gives a better picture of the beast. It is sufficient to say here that the essence of the beast was blasphemy. That which rode upon the beast was the whore, which indicates that she controlled the beast even as a rider upon a horse controls his horse. This is an excellent metaphor of false doctrines causing people to blaspheme Yahweh and his Kingdom of Righteousness.

17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and costly (precious) stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

In the Old Testament, women espoused or married decked themselves in jewels (Gen. 24:51-53; Isa. 61:10; Est. 1-6). The harlot had the appearance as being the wife (the true Church) as she was adorned for her husband, the Anointing (Rev. 21:2). She appeared as the true Church, but inwardly she was the mother of harlots and the mother of the abominations of the earth. She appears to be the wife of the king.

The golden cup she had in her hands exposed her true identity; she offered abominations and filthiness for those who supped with her. She looked like the true Church with its glory and honor, but she was not the wife of the King of kings: she was the essence of harlotry and abominations as she lured carnal minds into filthiness and abominations.

The whore had the words “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” written on her forehead. The word “mystery” denotes something unknown, secret or hidden. The whore had been a mystery, but that which had kept the people in confusion was going to be revealed to John.

The word “forehead,” being the opposite of the countenance, means that which is in the mind. That which was written on the whore’s forehead was her principles and her concepts—she was the mother (originator) of confusion, idolatry, and the abominations of the earth. She kept Yahweh’s creation in bondage to their sins. That which people believe controls their thoughts, actions, and feelings. Only “Truth” could set them free from their sins.

John 8:31-32, Then said the SAVIOR to those Jews which believed on him, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (Notice it was the “word” that made the disciples free as they continued in the “word.”)

17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of the SAVIOR: and when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder (admiration).

To be drunken, is to be intensely excited to the point of being irrational and out of control. The woman did not represent people; she represented the spiritual influence upon the people.

This woman was not the true “Church” for she would not have killed her children nor confused them; she would have nourished and birthed them into the Kingdom of Righteousness and Truth and freed from their bondages.

False doctrines caused many of the saints, including our Lord and SAVIOR, to be killed. No wonder John wondered with great wonder at the mystery of it all. False doctrines multiplied greatly after the death of the SAVIOR; false teachers rose up with their smooth tongues and pernicious ways deceiving many.

2 Peter 2:1-3 – 18-19, There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not…. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Even as the government of the Israelites, through the Levitical Priesthood, was called a woman, so is the government of the Church called a woman; she is the mother of us all (Gal. 4:26). Yahweh’s government cannot be changed nor altered one iota; she forever births and nourishes her children into the Kingdom of Righteousness and Truth, anything less than the true government of Yahweh is a harlot system. If it were possible for man to alter Yahweh’s true government, then there would be no solid foundation upon which man could stand.

17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore did you wonder (marvel)? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carried her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

The angel made a statement to John as if John’s wonder was a “quizzical wonder” rather than an “awe wonder.” The word “marvel” in the English language means “something wonderful” or “a skillful person that does wonderful or astonishing things.” John was not “marveling” over the woman; he was not drawn to her or to the beast. John wanted to know what the mystery meant. The angel answered John’s “wonder” as his vision continued.

17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition (ruin or loss): and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they perceive (behold) the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The beast, along with the harlot, came out of a bottomless pit. The bottomless pit symbolizes the carnal realm where there is no foundation of truth; a place where corruption has no limits. It does not have a physical location except in the minds of mankind.

The word “perdition” means “physical, spiritual, or eternal ruin.” The woman rode upon the waters, which were peoples, nations, multitudes, and tongues; this symbolized that she controlled their actions, thoughts, and feelings. She also rode upon the beast, which was the condition, or expression, of these people. The angel was very careful not to give John the idea here that “people” were going into ruin, but their beastly attitudes (sinful) were that which would be in “ruin.”

This verse gives an indication that there were some poor folks that were born doomed because the Father refused to write their names in the “Book of Life” before they had an opportunity to choose or reject him. The FATHER does not and will not refuse any of his creation; “he is not willing that any should perish, but that “all” should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), and the FATHER works all things after t he counsel of his well (Eph. 1:11).

John 3:16-17, Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For Yahweh sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (The word “might” was added; there is no might.)
John 12:32-33, For I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. (The SAVIOR died; there is no more “if.” He will draw all men unto him.)

Now let us read this eighth verse with the scriptures above in mind. The beast that you saw was (alive and in control until the Holy Spirit fell), and is not (because the SAVIOR defeated him); and (because of this he, the beastly nature) shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (the carnal realm), and go into perdition (ruin or loss): and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life (for guess what? they were all there) from the foundation of the world, when they perceive (behold) (when they recognize the beast for what he was) the beast that was, and is not, and yet is (but will be defeated by the Body of Christ).

The “Book of Life” was the Scroll of Life. It was a metaphorical expression that originated from the custom of keeping genealogical records. The statement “written in the Scroll of Life” refers to one’s spiritual walk. To have a believer’s name written in the Scroll Life meant that that person was spiritually minded; to be spiritually minded is Life. If a person’s name was not written in the Scroll of Life, that person was carnally minded; to be carnally minded is death (Rom. 8:6).

The word “name” means “character and authority.” Man’s beastly character and authority were not written in the Scroll of Life even from the foundation of the world.

17:9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
10 And there are seven kingdoms (kings): five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition (ruin).

The seven heads of the beast represent seven mountains. Just as a head represents the control center of the body, so did the seven mountains represent forms of governing power.

The word “kingdoms” should have been used here instead of the word “kings.” Mountains were used to symbolize the strength and stability of a kingdom. When David said, “O Lord, by your favor you have made my mountain to stand strong” (Ps 30:7), he was expressing the stability and strength of his kingdom. In like manner the Kingdom of Yahweh was depicted as a mountain (Isa. 2:2; Dan. 2:35), as was the Chaldean monarchy (Zech. 4:7).

Jer. 51:25, Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, says Yahweh, which destroys all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain.
Ps. 36:6, Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are a great deep: O Yahweh, you preserve man and beast.
Mic. 6:1-2, Hear ye now what Yahweh says; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear ye, O mountains, Yahweh’s controversy, and you strong foundations of the earth: for Yahweh has a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
Nah. 1:15, Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace! O Judah, keep your solemn feasts, perform your vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.

Just as literal kingdoms are different forms of government that dominate people, so was the seven kingdoms spoken of in John’s vision. These seven kingdoms represented man’s organized systems that affected the lifestyles, morals, and concepts of the people. Man’s kingdoms are administrated by carnal leaders that hve the ability to control and influence the minds of their subjects through their beastly nature and carnal understanding.

The five kingdoms that had fallen before John’s vision was the beast “that was.” One kingdom was in operation at the time of his vision, which was “the one is.” And there was another kingdom “yet to come” after John’s day. The beast’s seven heads represented the totality of man’s governing power. The beast was of the eighth, because he represented “all that man was, is, and can be” without the Holy Spirit. He was of the seven because he represented all earthly kingdoms that were in the past, that are present, and those that are yet to come. Man’s kingdoms will rise and fall according to his strengths and weaknesses produced by his beastly nature and his carnal understanding, but Yahweh’s Kingdom will never fall.

Though man has developed and has a greater understanding of the substances of the earth, thereby, giving him more power and authority than his predecessors, he will still use his beastly nature to govern his world. Without the Holy Spirit, man has no other methods to use except his carnal understanding and his beastly nature.

1 Cor. 2:9-11 …Eyes have not seen nor even the ears heard, nor ascended upon the mind (heart) of man that which Yahweh prepares for them that love Him. But Yahweh reveals them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches out (investigates) even all the deep mysteries of Yahweh. For what does a man know of man except by the spirit of man, and in this way, no one knows (understands) Yahweh except by the Spirit of Yahweh. (Translated by DFG, Also see Isa. 64:4.)

It has been over two thousand years since John’s vision and “who” and “what” those kingdoms were is not important at this late date. At the time of John’s vision, he may have known what the five fallen kingdoms were, and he possibly could have known the reigning kingdom of his day. But it would be pure assumption to say that John knew what the coming kingdom was. The most that man can hope for today is to understand that man’s kingdoms do not stand a chance against the Kingdom of Righteousness; man’s kingdoms will go into ruin as the stronger kingdoms bring down the weaker ones. Man’s kingdoms will fail because he wars one against the other always seeking to be the leader of the pack. A kingdom divided against itself will fail (Luke 11:17). But Yahweh’s Kingdom will never go into ruin; it forever reigns as the Kingdom of Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit.

These seven kingdoms were not governed by the principles of righteousness because they were portrayed with the harlot sitting on them. That is to say, that these kingdoms were governed by false concepts that kept the people in corruption, bondage and confusion. The mountains and heads represented the totality of man’s governing power.

17:12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Ten symbolizes human frailties and failures in management. Ten Commandments were given in Exodus 20 to show man his transgressions. The ten plagues on Egypt refer to man being held in bondage to his flesh. The ten tribes of Israel failed to walk with Yahweh and to do his will. The ten spies in Numbers 13 failed to see Yahweh’s power and provision, so they brought back an evil report. Ten lepers in Luke 17 were unable to cure themselves.

Kings, in the Old Testament times, exercised unchecked control over their subjects; there were no constitutional obligations placed upon the kings nor were any restrictions put upon their authority. A king’s conduct depended upon his own free will whether he was good or bad. Kings were the highest power on earth; therefore, the ten kings represent the carnal leadership such as judges, leaders, teachers, preachers, etc.

Animals have a variety of uses for their horns and antlers, including defending themselves from predators and fighting members of their own species for territory, dominance or mating priority, so the beast’s ten horns represented the magnitude of the influence that the leaders had upon the minds of men. They symbolized the power that controlled the masses with brutality, flatteries, and smooth talking.

Notice that the 10 kings did not have kingdoms, but only received power in the manner of kings for one hour. The Greek word for “hour” is also translated as, “instant, season, short, eventide, and high time.” The word “hour” is an undetermined amount of time as seen in the following verses. The underlined word is the same Greek word.

Matt. 9:22, But the SAVIOR turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (An instant of time, and less than an hour.)
Matt. 14:15, And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. (Undetermined amount of time, and was more than an hour.)
Mark 11:11 And the SAVIOR entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. (The late part of the day which is more than an hour.)
John 16:4, But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (Time varied, but it would be an instant and not an hour.)
Philem. 15, For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that you should receive him for ever. (A period of time that is more than one hour.)
Rom. 13:11, And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (It should have happened a long time ago.)

Carnal leaders, in reality, have no kingdom because they are controlled by their beastly nature. As long as they remain in carnality, they are slaves to their beastly nature and they only appear as leaders. Paul explains it like this:

Rom. 6:12-23, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God (Yahweh) as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God (Yahweh) as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God (Yahweh), that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.

When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God (Yahweh), the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God (Yahweh) is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Yasha) our Lord. RSV

These ten kings signify the power and authority of leadership as they are enslaved by their own beastly nature. In reality, the beastly nature was the “king” because they received their power from the beast. They only appeared as kings, and then just for a season, or a time.

17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called (invited), and chosen (selected), and faithful.

The war that the kings made with the Lamb was not a natural war that was fought with manmade weapons, but a war against righteous principles. The SAVIOR was not of the earthly terrain nor did he fight his battles the way men fight.

John 18:35-37, Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you unto me: what have you done? The SAVIOR answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here (hence).” Pilate therefore said unto him, “Are you a king then?” The SAVIOR answered, “You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.” (Notice the reason he was born.)

The warfare that the kings (leaders) had with the Lamb was the unrighteous principles versus righteous principles, lies versus truth; the kingdom of man against the Kingdom of Yahweh. Carnal leaders were teaching the doctrines of men and deceiving their followers. They came against Yahweh’s ministers as they taught the true doctrine of the Kingdom of Yahweh.

1 Tim. 4:1-2, Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
Eph. 4:14, That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
2 Cor. 11:13-15, For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan (the adversary) himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (NIV)

17:15 And he said unto me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 And the ten horns (kings) which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate (wasted) and naked (exposed), and shall eat (consume) her flesh (carnality), and burn her with fire (judgment).

Keep in mind that the whore was not a person or a literal city, but represented the influence of false religions and concepts that kept the people in corruption, bondage, and confusion. These false religions caused the people to commit spiritual fornication, which is idolatry. There were false leaders in some of the churches that were very persuasive in their doctrines. The doctrines of Balaam, Nicolaitans, and Jezebel caused the people to stumble and commit spiritual fornication (Rev. 2:14, 15, 20).

It is important here not to lose sight that the whore rode upon the inhabitants of the earth (many waters), the sinful nature of man (scarlet colored beast), and the kingdoms of man (the mountains). To ride upon is to say that the false doctrine controlled the inhabitants of the earth, man’s sinful nature and his earthly kingdoms. False beliefs distorted their understanding concerning their existence and their relationship with their Creator.

Even as literal kings have the authority to force their subjects to bow to their concepts, laws, and principles, these false leaders also dominated the minds of the people with their crafty and deceitful ways. Their false teachings caused the minds of the people to have false images of what the true Church was.

The whore was made naked because she was not clothed in righteousness or with the garment of salvation. False doctrines offer no covering for man’s sins: no robes of righteousness or garments of salvation in order for mortality to be swallowed up of life.

Isa. 61:10-11, I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Yahweh will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
2 Cor. 5:1-4, We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

To eat something is to become one with. That which they ate was not a literal substance, but was the lies that kept them in bondage, corruption, and confusion. All that she was, brought judgment (fire) upon those who ate of her.
If the whore was a natural kingdom, city, or people, it would have been impossible for her to be desolate, naked, and for man to eat her flesh and at the same time burn her with fire. All that the whore stood for was desolation (void of life) and nakedness (not clothed with righteousness). Because they ate of her, this brought judgment upon them.

We mustn’t forget that kings and the inhabitants of the earth hated the whore. At the time of John’s vision there was much upheaval across the land because of the changes in the religious systems. People were affected by other people’s actions and emotions especially by those that governed over them. Many families were torn apart by the emotional drama brought on by unstable loved ones; therefore, they hated the whore. Her abominations and filthiness caused wars, heartache, death, and destruction across the land.

17:17 For Yahweh has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to be one mind (agree), and give their (man’s) kingdom unto the beast, until the words of Yahweh shall be completed (fulfilled).

The will of the Father is for man to be in his image (Gen. 1:26):

James 1:18, Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
John 6:37-40, All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Eph. 1:3-12, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yasha the Anointed, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children (being son placed) by the Anointed SAVIOR to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all (things) in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

The will of the Father is for man to come into unity of the faith, be of one mind:
1 Cor. 1:10, Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord the Anointed SAVIOR, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind (the FATHER’s) and in the same judgment.
Rom. 15:4-6, Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to the Anointed SAVIOR: that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify Yahweh, even the Father of our Lord the Anointed SAVIOR.
Eph. 4:22-24, That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after Yahweh is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Rom. 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Yahweh, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Yahweh. (Also see Phil. 1:27-2:2-5.)

It was the Father’s will that man’s kingdom be on the realm of the beast until his words were formed in them, that is, until the FATHER’s words were completed, executed, or concluded in man.

Isa. 45:23-24, I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in Yahweh have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
Isa. 54:16-17, Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh, and their righteousness is of me, says Yahweh. (Smiths used bellows to increase the heat of their furnaces to refine high quality gold, silver and precious metals.)
Prov. 3:11-12, My son, despise not the chastening of Yahweh; neither be weary of his correction: for whom Yahweh loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. (See also Heb. 12:5-7.)

Who are those whom the Father loves?

John 3:16-17, Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For Yahweh sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Matt. 18:10-14, Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

17:18 And the woman (the whore) which you (John) saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

The angel explains what the whore represented—the great city. The great city, as we have already read, was divided into three parts and called by three different names: Egypt, Sodom, and Babylon. These three cities represent bondage, corruption, and confusion, which were and still are the conditions of the carnal mind caused by false beliefs, false doctrines, or false concepts that controls the minds of the kings or leaders of the earth.

By using the word “reigns” the angel explained that the words “sits upon” meant that the whore ruled or controlled the foundation of the powers (kings) of the earth. And since she also sat upon many waters (inhabitants) and kingdoms (mountains) of the earth, she also ruled or controlled them. In other words, man’s earthly kingdom was and is in bondage, corruption, and confusion because of their false concepts. But man was to be only controlled by the whore for a season, “for as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall Yahweh’s word be that goes forth out of his mouth: it shall not return unto him void, but it shall accomplish that which he pleases, and his word shall prosper in the thing whereto he sent it. For man shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before him into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to Yahweh for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isa. 55:10-13).

Ps. 22:27-23:1, All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto Yahweh: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you. For the kingdom is Yahweh’s: and he is the governor among the nations. All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. A seed (the Anointed) shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he has done this.

Paul understood that Yahweh’s word would not return void when he stated, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15:19).

The messengers of the seven churches were able to make judgment against the whore; they also understood why they should not allow false doctrines to be taught in their churches. The whore (false doctrines or concepts) has been found guilty of keeping the carnally minded in corruption, bondage, and confusion. The believers understood how these false concepts did not have the power to deliver them from their sins.

The true Church births her children and brings them up in the nurture and admonition of the Father. She clothes them in robes of righteousness and garments of salvation so they will not be found naked, miserable, and spiritually poor.