Having celebrated the Sacred Mother in Revelation 12, John is shown in Revelation 17 how selfish woman have participated in corrupting life. As is to be expected, their men will show her no loyalty.
The Pregnant Earth image is made available by Gideon Wright under the WikiCommons License.
The American revolutionary and statesman Ben Franklin, worrying that a French friend had been killed, wrote, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” If so, we shouldn’t be surprised that they show up in Revelation – specifically in Chapter 13, when the dragon sets up the cultures of violence and privilege controlled by kings. Kings combine the threats of death and taxes. They send armed men to collect the money that pays for their estates and parties.
But the list seems too short. At the very least, one other thing is certain: if we are alive, then – uh – sex must have happened.
Ranking these things by their antiquity, taxes are just an after-thought. Death and sex stretch back a billion years. I don’t know which came first – it’s like asking about the chicken and the egg. But sex and death appear to be equally powerful. Among animals, salmon and spiders die after spawning new life.
In most species with large brains, males may fight to the death for the right to mate. In primitive societies, birth is the most common cause of death among fertile women. At least in the heat of the moment, sex chases fear of death from our minds.
So now that the topic comes up, it seems strange that sex hasn’t been a bigger part of Revelation. Revelation is the story of evolution and healing through love. For both, sex is potent tool. So why aren’t we talking about it?
It’s come up indirectly in the image of the pregnant woman in Revelation 12, and I’ve used the beauty of the pregnant female body to celebrate feminine compassion for all forms of life. But when John raises sex as a topic, he’s pretty hostile. Revelation 9:20 mentions “sexual immorality.” Revelation 14 also presents sex as a vice, proclaiming:
Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.
[NIV Rev. 14:8]
Compare this to the Lamb, the 144,000, and the kings, and we see that John doesn’t even mention women very often.
To understand this, let’s return to the nature of the Most High. The Most High is pure love, and seeks to heal the angels of their selfishness.
To do that, the Most High divides into two parts: a masculine part that changes, and a feminine part that sustains. In the Throne Room of heaven, John sees those two halves as the elders: twelve masculine and twelve feminine.
The masculine elders sent representatives – the 144,000 – down to Earth to work to defeat selfishness. Three billion years later, the Most High brought the gift of love to Adam and Eve. But it is not until Revelation 12, in anticipation of the birth of the Son of God, that the feminine elders came down to earth to sustain love in human form. They didn’t come to Earth until they had something to work with.
That’s why the work of the masculine angels dominate Revelation – the feminine angels were held in reserve.
Now that’s the history told in Revelation of the angels that are loyal to the Most High. What about the angels that enjoy being selfish?
The Most High sent the 144,000 to earth to create life that could love the world as he does. Creativity is one way of changing things. But there is another method: wrecking it. Having been cast out of heaven, the selfish angels attempt to hold onto the only thing they have left: the earth. As shown in Revelation 16 through the golden bowls, their strategy is to destroy human civilization. Men figure large in that story because wrecking something is a way of changing it.
Naturally, the selfish angels lose a lot as we go around wrecking things. The biggest risk to them is that we’ll wake up one day and realize how useless it is to be selfish. This is where the feminine supporters of selfishness come in. They have been working to sustain control of the earth by selfishness ever since the seals were broken on the scroll, three billion years ago.
This is the presence of evil that John mentions in Revelation 14 as “Babylon the Great.” She is mentioned again in Revelation 16 when the seventh bowl is poured out. God gives her the cup of wine filled with the “fury of his wrath.”
But it isn’t until Revelation 17 that she is seen directly. One of the angels that carried the seven bowls says to John:
Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.
[NIV Rev. 17:1]
Now up to this point we haven’t decoded the imagery of the beast introduced in Revelation 13. The dragon calls out of the sea a beast:
He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns.
[NIV Rev. 13:1]
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound but the fatal wound had been healed.
[NIV Rev. 13:3]
The great prostitute sits on a similar beast:
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
[NIV Rev. 17:3]
To understand this imagery, we must work backwards from the end of Chapter 17. The angel says:
The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
[NIV Rev. 17:15]
They are the spirits controlled by selfishness. And earlier:
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.
[NIV Rev. 17:9]
Remember that the woman has been on earth ever since the seals were broken. During that long time, we know of seven eras (including our own) when life had become stuck, unable to move forward to receive love. As recounted with the seven trumpets, those eras were ended by destruction. But the memory of their success is preserved in the prostitute. Each of the seven heads represents domination of the earth by forms of life that could not be reached by love. Even as their bodies were destroyed by the trumpets, the prostitute gathered together and preserves their spirits so that they could continue to prevent love from entering the world.
The angel also describes the seven heads as kings. We know that the elders in heaven wear crowns, and are described elsewhere as royalty. Five have fallen – these would be the spirits of the forms of life prior to the dragon, which is the spiritual remnant of the dinosaurs. We know that the dragon, having been cast out of heaven, now rules the earth. The last king has yet to come, but must represent the predatory mammals and birds that sit on top of the food chain.
To keep his hold on power, as shown in Revelation 13 the dragon raises up a beast that combines all the forms of life.
The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
[NIV Rev. 17:11]
The wound on the seventh head is the wound of Eden, when the Most High brought love to the world. When John says the wound had been healed, that is to say that the gift was corrupted by the serpent, restoring the power of selfishness over the world.
It seems that except for its color, the scarlet beast of Chapter 17 is the same as the beast of Chapter 13. In fact, it is the same beast: it appears scarlet because we see the beast under the control of the woman called MYSTERY. The beast appears scarlet because it has been sealed up in her womb.
Given that MYSTERY uses sex to control the beast, the adults among us may now understand what the “horns” are. When I see men under this influence, my assessment is that they are “walking around with their dicks hanging out” and “letting their woman lead them around by their handles.” But it goes beyond that. In Genesis, it says:
For this why a man shall leave his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
[NIV Gen. 2:24]
When a woman is angry, that eats at the body of her man. It is not just pleasure that MYSTERY uses to drive us forward, but also pain. Of course, this also goes the other way. I have seen women crippled and twisted by the hostility generated against their aggressive men. The advantage held by women at the top of the social order is that they keep their men psychically isolated, and band together to maintain their privilege.
The tragedy of MYSTERY is that, while she preserves the privileges of the beast and its kings, they hate her. They are selfish. Although it would destroy them, they wish to receive the power of love.
The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule.
[NIV Rev. 17:16-17]
We see this happening now. The “flesh” of MYSTERY is the animals that she controls. Very few animals are wild now – almost all of them are raised by humans for food.
The same is true of the plants we eat. As for the burning: the plants held by MYSTERY burn now because of the droughts caused by global warming.
God’s purpose is for MYSTERY to be weakened by her torment. Remember now the grapes harvested in Revelation 14 to be trampled in the winepress. This is the end of the prostitute. Christ frees her captives to enter the City of God, leaving the corrupt residue at the gates.
We should now recall the words of the Savior:
Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
[NIV Matt. 24:4-8]
Twice the angel says that the beast “once was, now is not, and yet will come.” This is to say that once all could relate to the animal kingdom. Now MYSTERY has control of it, but when she is overthrown, the beast will be revealed again.
Let’s summarize today’s study.
Sex is as ancient and powerful a drive as fear of death. Revelation 17 reveals how corrupt women have used that drive to prevent love from rescuing us from the grip of selfishness. They have instead created the beast, whose seven heads represent the ages of life ruled by selfishness, and whose horns represent the lust of our patriarchs.
As with the destruction heralded by trumpets and the wrath poured out in bowls, sex will not command loyalty from those it subjugates. Seeking dominance, they will turn against their own culture and destroy it.
Of course, we know from Revelation 12 that the Sacred Mother and her feminine angels are working quietly in that culture, gathering the souls of the saints. It is the birthing of that virtue into heaven that was described as the “trampling in the winepress” in Chapter 14. Those sacred women will appear again in Chapters 21 and 22.