25 December 2015
by Philip Layton


An angel explains some of the imagery to John

Click here to read Revelation 17

Discussion Questions

  • Was this for his benefit or for whatever generation will witness these things?
  • In reading Revelation this week, do you feel that it describes something that happened in the past, is happening now, will never happen or is prophesied to happen in the future?

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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'





This title, beginning with the word ‘MYSTERY’, is written on the woman’s forehead. She is dressed in purple, sitting on a scarlet beast that has seven heads and ten horns. The beast is covered with blasphemous names.

The woman glistens with gold and precious stones and pearls – carrying a golden cup that is filled with abominable things; the filth of her adulteries.

She is drunk with the blood of those who bear testimony to Jesus. What a sight! This woman represents civilizations throughout the ages that have become wealthy and totally self-sufficient. ‘Babylon the Great’! Civilizations having no need of God. They are supported by this beast – the Antichrist – who comes from the Abyss. His seven horns represent seven world powers throughout the ages. The last world empire – still to come.

Why the name ‘Babylon’? Most likely, it is a name that represents any civilization, past or present, that has turned its back on God – just like Babylon once did. At the end of the Great Tribulation, ‘Babylon’ will fall. It will be the collapse of civilization:

‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ (18:2).

Because of this, God calls his people to separate themselves; to flee from world systems under condemnation and destined for judgement. God has something better to offer us than any ‘Babylon’:

‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins’ (18:4).


Lord, I humbly pray, keep me true to you! I want to be with you one day in your glorious Kingdom – and live with you for ever!

Beverly Ivany
The January 2016 edition of Words of Life is available now.

Tags: Revelation