John is amazed when he sees the woman, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots and of The Abominations Of The Earth (Revelation 17:4-6). Then the angel said to John, “Why did you marvel? 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. (Revelation 17:7). The woman is a one-world, idol worshiping religious system. The beast is a man that will arise in the last days. He will be an intellectual genius, outstanding speaker, master politician, military mastermind, and commercial genius with satanic supernatural power (Daniel 7, 8, 11). The Antichrist will make Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and other ungodly world leaders throughout world history look like choir boys. The beast carries (supports) the woman (the false religion) for a while, but he and his ten kings will destroy her because the beast (Antichrist) wants to be the only one people worship (Revelation 13:1-8).
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the abyss and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8). The Antichrist is alive, then he dies, and comes back to life (Revelation 13:3), and he comes up out of the abyss (a place of demons). When the Antichrist comes back to life he will be controlled by demons, possibly the spirit of Satan. “Go to perdition” means he will eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20-21). “Those who dwell on the earth” are unbelievers who are amazed at the Beast’s death and resurrection from the dead. In God’s foreknowledge (Isaiah 46:9-10) and election (Ephesians 1:3-6) He knew these unbelievers would worship the Beast and take his mark, and God didn’t entered their names into the book of life at the foundation of the world.
“Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits” (Revelation 17:9). It takes wisdom to understand the seven heads and seven mountains. Rome is called the city of seven hills, and many Bible teachers believe the mountains refer to the seven hills that Rome sits on. But the false religious system is worldwide; and in the original Greek language, the next verse says these seven heads are seven kings. Many times in Scripture mountains represent the power of kingdoms and individual kings (Jeremiah 51:25, Daniel 2:35, Zechariah 4:7). The woman is sitting on the seven mountains can be described in two different ways; it either means the place where the woman is sitting, or it means that she is controlling the seven mountains (kings). Since the woman represents the worldwide false religion it’s best to say she is controlling the seven kings and the beast she sits on. False religions have been a controlling factor in governments since Nimrod established Babel, and even today false religions are a controlling factor in many of the nations around the world.
“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” (Revelation 17:10). The seven kings are political systems, not religious ones—the mountains represent the seven kings of the seven world empires on earth that came out of the political and religious Babel that God used for His purposes in dealing with Israel. They were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Five are fallen—the first five no longer existed at the time John wrote this. The “one is,” is Rome that was in power at the time John wrote this. These six kingdoms supported idolatrous polytheism during their rule. The kingdom that hasn’t come yet is the future kingdom of the Antichrist that will come about during the tribulation (Daniel 9:24-27). “He must remain a little while” means that Antichrist’s kingdom will last a short time (Revelation 12:12, 17:12, Daniel 7:24).
“The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition” (Revelation 17:11). How can the kingdom of the Antichrist be the seventh and then be the eighth? The Antichrist will become the ruler of the kingdoms of this earth, then he will be killed, and be resurrected from his death, and possibly be controlled by Satan himself. He is both the seventh and the eighth kingdom. During the first half of the seven year tribulation the Antichrist will coexist with the false religion. But then he will destroy the false religion and demand that the world worship him. Then the Antichrist will go into perdition—be destroyed. The Antichrist is called the “the man of lawlessness and the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). The Antichrist will not fall like the first five kingdoms and Rome. He will be captured and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21).
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:12-14). The ten kings will help the Antichrist rule his earthly kingdoms, but their rule is short lived. The UN has talked about setting up ten zones of government on the earth. These kings will do whatever the Antichrist demands; he is their God. When Jesus Christ comes back with His armies in heaven following Him (believers and angels) to set up His kingdom on earth (Revelation 19:11-14), the kings of the earth will say, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” But the Lord will laugh at them (Psalm 2:2-4). Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings will destroy the Antichrist and his armies with His spoken word (Revelation 19:15-21).