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Hounslow Christian Fellowship - Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord
 "And he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman seated on a scarlet beast,full of blasphemous names having seven heads and ten horns"(17:3). In Rev 12:3 we read of a great red dragon(Satan) having 7 heads and 10 horns who swept away a third of the stars(angels) of heaven.Through this verse we see the connection of the scarlet beast of Rev 17 with Satan. The 7 heads and 10 horns are also mentioned in Rev 13:1 as part of the Beast(Antichrist):" And I saw a beast coming out of the sea having 10 horns and 7 horns".This beast is further identified as Antichrist in Rev 17:8:"The beast that you saw was and is not and is about to come up out of the Abyss(Sheol) and to go to destruction"

The 7 heads of the Beast have a double meaning.Firstly it is stated(v 9) that the 7 heads on which the Woman is seated are 7 hills.In John's time there was only one city known as the 7-Hilled City and that is Rome where today the Vatican is located, the seat of the Pope.
Secondly,the 7 heads of the Beast represent 7 kings:"There are 7 kings:5 are fallen,one is,and the other is not yet come,and when he comes,he must continue a little while.And the Beast that was and is not is himself also an eighth and is of the 7 and he goes into perdition"(17:10,11)
From the use of the verb"to fall" it is likely that the five died by violent deaths.These five Roman Emperors are therefore probably:Julius Caesar,Tiberius,Claudius,Caligula and Nero.The sixth must be Domitian("one is") in whose reign John wrote the vision.
The main point is that one of the 7 is to be the eighth in this series of kings and the final head of Gentile world rule."He was...",that is he had lived on earth some time before the period when he is seen carrying the Woman.Some take this "He was..." to mean that he lived before the time when John saw the vision.In this case,the eighth head must be one of the first five kings of the series.On the other hand,the angel did not say,"he is one of the five" but"one of the seven"(v 11)

"And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus"
In the end days, the Harlot will again briefly come to power and persecute believers.This persecution will be prior to that of Antichrist and is most likely that persecution referred to in Matt 24:9-13 and Luke 21:12-19 which will refine and prepare believers for the Firstfruits Rapture(Rev 14:1-4).By this time the Harlot,today seen as the Roman Catholic Church,will probably be in league with formal Protestant churches and possibly other religions such as Islam.The uniting factor will be human rights(humanism).
It should be noted that human rights are not the same as God's rights.Also notice that the number 6 is the number for man, who was created on the 6th day of creation."Here is wisdom.Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast,for the number is that of a man:and his number is 666".Human rights are the great uniting factor of the world in these end days and will finally lead on to to the revealing of the Beast.

These are seen as 10 horns on the Beast and will arise in the end days and give their power to the Beast for a short period before the return of Christ.
The 10 kings arise before the Antichrist comes to power and will make war with the Lamb.(17:14).The Lamb fights the battle from heaven as He opens,one by one, the 7 seals.It should be noted that Christ does not return to earth until He comes with the armies of heaven to defeat the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon(Rev 19:11).
In Psalm 2:1,2, we can see how the kings of the earth in the last days direct their attacks specifically against Jehovah and His Anointed(Christ).
The 10 kings will finally destroy the Harlot of Babylon and so pave the way for the worship of Antichrist as the only world religion and object of worship.Thus they will fulfil the message of the angel in Rev 14:8:"Fallen, fallen is Babylon,the great, she who made all nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality"..At first,we see the Harlot riding on the Beast,showing that she has authority over him but after the destruction of the harlot by the 10 kings,Antichrist becomes the supreme leader of the world and persecutes Jews and believers in Christ, as seen in the 5th Seal.This 5th Seal begins 3 1/2 years into the 7-year Tribulation Period and is called "Tribulation the GREAT"(Matt 24:21)

To be continued