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Revelation of the Apostle John
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REVELATION 17
BABYLON AND THE BEAST ARE IDENTIFIED
THE ENEMY IN THIS CONFLICT IS ROME - THE PERSECUTOR OF CHRISTIANS

  • The great harlot is Rome seen as a commercial power. Notice her marks of identification:

  • 1. She sits on seven mountains 17:9.

    2. She rules the world in John's day 17:18
    .
    3. She persecutes the Christians horribly. 17:6 and 18:20, 24.

    4. She is the greatest commercial power on earth during John's day. 18:3ff, 11ff, 15-19.

    5. She is sustained and supported by the military power (emperors) of Rome. 17:3, 7.

    6. She is destroyed by her own military power. 17:16, 17.


  • The beast is the Roman emperors who persecuted the church:

  • 1. Augustus
    2. Tiberius
    3. Caligula
    4. Claudius
    5. Nero (who persecuted the church)
    6. Vespasian (the emperor when John received the vision)
    7. Titus (who only remained for two years)
    8. Domitian (who started the terrible persecution and was the last of the Caesars).

  • The beast "was" with Nero and "is not" with Vespasian in the sense that the beast "was" when Rome persecuted the church and "is not" when Rome did not persecute the church. With Domician the beast reappeared from the abyss to begin the persecution again.


  • When John wrote, five emperors had died (Augustus to Nero), one was (Vespasian), one would come (Titus) and stay for a little while (two years). The beast (persecutor) was Domician, the eighth emperor who was of the Caesar family but was destined to defeat.


  • Ten horns may be the kings of vassal nations that allied with Rome. But one interesting historical fact is that after Domician there were exactly ten emperors who also persecuted the church. All these were destined to defeat.


  • These ten emperors after Domitian also persecuted the church:
    1) Nero (64-68)
    2) Dalmatian (81-96)
    3) Trojan (98-117)
    4) Marcus Aurelius (161-180)

    5) Septum's Severs (193-211)

    6) Maxi minus (235-238)

    7) Deices (249-251)

    8) Valerian (253-260)

    9) Diocletian (284-305)

    10) Galleries (305-311)



The Harlot is identified as Rome, the commercial power. She was brutal and her fall was due to the Roman military power. The great enemy of the Christians in Revelation was Rome, the civil and commercial power. The message was that Rome would fall.
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