Read This Week: Revelation 17
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom but who will receive authority as kings along with the beast for one hour. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers. – Revelation 17:12-14 NIV
Revelation 17 describes the categorical victory that Jesus will exact over the beast, his followers, and the totality of his empire. The enemy and his domain will be overthrown, and the religious system he has set up and confused and deceived people with will also be torn down. This demolishing of the false religious scheme is important because it is not enough to eliminate the evil players but to destroy the root of all deception and corruption that has plagued and sought to control people for ages.
The Lord will annihilate Babylon, which has been the epicenter of anti-God philosophy, politics, and activity since Nimrod founded it in Genesis 10. New Testament commentator Warren Wiersbe wrote this about Babylon’s origins and wicked generational influence. He said, “It is ‘the great harlot’ and ‘the mother of harlots.’ The Babylonian system has, in one way or another, given birth to all false religions. She has also seduced people into opposing God and persecuting His servants.” Verses 5-6 of this chapter describe Babylon this way:
The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
The spirit of Babylon is alive and well in the modern world. It is seen in the willful denial of the truth and subjective moral reasoning. That which is seemingly deplorable, wrong, and misleading is viewed as admirable, correct, and honorable. Service and benevolence to one’s neighbor are pushed aside for self-interest and egoism. Faith is mocked as a crutch for the mentally weak, and pursuing God is jeered as a thing of the past.
But the Holy Spirit is also alive and powerful in our day. He banners and highlights objective truth as it wins out. He captures minds and hearts to see and recognize what is suitable, appropriate, and virtuous. He places inspiration and guidance in the lives of people to put themselves aside and serve others as Jesus did despite the natural desire to seek their concerns. The Spirit keeps believers strong in faith and emboldens them with passion and persistence when the world persecutes and derides their conviction.
Babylon will be conquered at the end of days, but the blood of the Lamb has effectively defeated it at this very moment. The Lamb of God has already disarmed the powers and authorities; he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Col. 2:15). Followers of Jesus have and will endure the wrath of the beast and harlot. Still, they stand behind the cross victorious now and forever. Verse 14 tells us definitively of the enemy’s eternal fate:
They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen, and faithful followers.