The Book of Revelation (Chapter 50) – The Woman and Her Judgment



In Revelation chapter 6, the souls under the alter cry out to God, with a loud voice, asking God about a question that has bothered the human race from the beginning:

How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  Rev. 6:10.

This is a question that has haunted mankind since the beginning. For example, it is a question that occupies much of the discussion between Job and his friends/sympathizers (see Job 19:7-22). The same question haunted the Psalmists (see Ps. 37:7; 73:3). And it perplexed even the prophets (see Jer. 5:28; 12;1). But God is “…merciful and gracious, longsuffering…” (Ex. 34:6). God does not think as we do, His ways are not our ways (see Isa. 55:8). He has his reasons for delaying His judgments. When God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham, He told Abraham, that he could not have the land immediately, because the sins of the Amorites was not yet full. It took approximately another 400 years, before their cup of iniquity was full, and God’s judgments came down upon the Amorites, and they were cast out of the land. The same principle applies to the woman riding the beast. The sins of the woman are overflowing in God’s cup of wrath, and God’s judgments descend in the form of the seven last plagues.

God wants us to know that, even though His judgment and justice may appear to be delayed, according to human reasoning, His judgment and justice will come to all those who rebel against Him. God has told us that He is gracious and long suffering, full of compassion and mercy, but He will not acquit the guilty. Justice and judgment are themes that pervade and permeate the Bible. For all time, starting with the Garden of Eden, God has constantly upheld before humanity, the consequences of sin and iniquity. Therefore, we should not be surprised if God wants to continue to tell us about the consequences for sin and iniquity in Revelation. Therefore, the consequences for sin and iniquity, for the woman and the beast, are the main theme of chapters 17 & 18 in Revelation.  God wants us to know about who Babylon is, what Babylon does, why she is guilty and why she deserves the judgment and justice He pours out upon her.


The Woman’s Cup is Overflowing

Chronologically, this account of the judgment, takes place after the close of probation and after the seven last plagues. One of the angels that had the seven last plagues, comes to John (in vision), and says to him: “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters” (Rev. 17:1). The announcing of this judgment is important to God, therefore, it is emphasized in chapters 17 &18 and partially in chapter 19:

…her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.  Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.  Rev. 17:5-8.


And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again, they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.  Rev. 19:1-3.

In all probability, the first four plagues will fall on the world regionally, however the fifth plague falls on the seat of the beast, the implication being that it directly strikes at the woman riding the beast. The woman has claimed to be the ‘light’ of the world, the fountain of truth and the gatekeeper for entry into heaven. Therefore, the fifth plague exposes the woman and the beast for what it truly is – darkness:

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.  Rev. 16:10, 11.


In the Wilderness

The connection between the seven last plagues and the judgement is seen when one of the angels with the seven last plagues, comes to John and says, “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters… Rev. 17:1. The angel then carries John away (in the spirit) and he sees the woman on the beast in the wilderness. She is in the wilderness because she drove God’s people into the wilderness (see Rev. 12:6, 14). In his prophetic word, God said that any unfaithful woman, who indulges in whoredom (idolatry etc.) would be made into a wilderness:

Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.  Hosea 2:2, 3.

Therefore, because the woman riding the beast, drove the woman standing on the moon, into the wilderness, the woman riding the beast is now going to be driven into the wilderness. Being in the ‘wilderness’ means losing everything. Losing everything includes losing God and eternal life. The judgment against the women begins with announcing she and her followers are eternally lost. By contrast, when the woman drove God’s people into the wilderness (see Rev. 12:6, 12), God promised to sustain his people in the wilderness. God is faithful he has always sustained and nourished His people. God has two cups one for the wicked and one for the righteous. Just as the cup of wrath can overflow to the wicked, so too, does God’s cup of blessings overflow to the righteous (see Ps. 23:5, 6; cf. 16:5, 6).


Faith and Works

Being in the wilderness, is only the beginning of the plagues, poured out on the woman and the beast. One of the things we are told about her judgment is, that she is going to be rewarded “even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double” (Rev. 18:6). In other words, Babylon is going to experience one of God’s universal laws, which is: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Babylon is going to reap what she has sown. But her sins and iniquities have been so grievous that she is going to receive a double portion of God’s wrath, “according to her works” (Rev. 18:6).

The Christian market place loves to preach about God’s love, grace and mercy. But God’s justice, judgment and wrath are largely ignored. People do not want to hear about sin and its consequences. The doctrine of forgiveness for sin is preached, because it is popular. Exhorting people to give up their sins is not popular. Therefore, in the last days a ‘smooth version’ of the Gospel is preached:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  2 Tim. 4:1-4.

The relationship between faith and works, has always been a contentious one, in Christendom. Some will emphasise faith at the expense of works and some will emphasise works at the expense of faith. The reason there is so much confusion is because the true relationship between faith and works sounds like a contradiction. The true relationship can be presented as a formula:

Works have nothing to do with salvation – we cannot be saved without works


Works have nothing to do with salvation – works have everything to do with our damnation

The apparent contradiction is resolved, by realising that the Bible teaches that salvation begins with faith. But what is genuine faith? Genuine faith is proven by works. Genuine faith will be evidenced by the changed life of the believer (being born again). Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits (Matt. 7:16). In the same context, Jesus elaborated on the ‘fruits’ – defining the ‘fruits’ as doing the will of the Father:

Therefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Matt. 7:20-23.

Works are vital to salvation, but only the works that are the will of the Father are acceptable. Everything else, falls under the category of “ye that work iniquity.” Therefore, a judgment process takes place, to distinguish the works of all those who have ever lived. A sentence is pronounced and a reward or a punishment apportioned. The punishment pronounced upon the woman is “even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double” (Rev. 18:6). Her sins are so grievous that she receives double the punishment that she inflicted on God’s people. (For a fuller presentation about faith and works, see Appendix).


Escaping the Judgment

God is gracious, full of mercy and longsuffering. Therefore, He has given us a promise. The promise is that He will do nothing without giving humanity fair warning:

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.  Amos 3:7.

Therefore, God true to His word, always sends a warning to His people and/or the world whenever His judgments are imminent. And just so, is the case with Babylon. Babylon is a deceptive, captive power. Her wine and her sorcery are so prevalent and effective, that many of God’s own people are held in spiritual bondage by her. Therefore, before God judges her, He sends a warning and an invitation:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.  Rev. 18:4, 5.

This warning message is given by the Advent Movement, the essence of which is contained in the three angel’s messages. The Advent People, have been told, that they must “prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11). A major part of that message that needs to be given with the assistance and the direction of the angel who comes from heaven “having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory” (Rev 18:1), is “come out of her my people” (Rev. 18:4).


Sudden Judgment

When the judgment comes it will come suddenly. The beast powers will succeed in implementing a tyrannical world government. The woman will reign over the kings of the earth and when the ten kings come they will reign over the earth for one hour (see Rev. 17:12, 18). In prophetic terms this is a short time. When this end-time abomination is set up, they will preach “peace and safety” – the illusionary ‘workers paradise’ will be heralded as the epitome of human achievement. But God tells us that wherever sin and iniquity abounds there can be no ‘peace and safety’ (see Isa. 48:22; 59:8; Eze. 7:25; 13:10; Rom. 3:17). Therefore, the ‘workers paradise’ will be an illusion and a colossal failure, and its judgment and destruction will come suddenly “in one day” – “in one hour” (Rev. 18:8, 19). The apostle Paul told us well in advance, that there will never be peace and safety, created by man, in this world:

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  1 Thess. 5:3.


Eternal Destruction

When Babylon drinks the cup of God’s wrath, the destruction inflicted will be eternal destruction. The original Tower of Babel was destroyed but it resurrected as the city of Babylon on the Euphrates River. The city of Babylon was destroyed never to rise again as a literal city (see Jer. 50:13, 35-45). After its destruction, the literal city was never rebuilt, however it was resurrected as a spiritual city (see Rev. 17:18). As a spiritual city it is more consequential and more powerful than it ever was as a literal city. However, just as its two previous incarnations were destroyed, its present-day spiritual manifestation will also be destroyed, but this time there will be no more subsequent resurrections. The destruction will be eternal:

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.  And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee… Rev. 18:20-23.



God wants all the world to know that in his universe there are laws. In the Bible there are three categories of law. There are statute laws, such as, “thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13). There are natural laws, such as gravity (see Col. 1:17).  And there are moral laws such as “you reap what you sow” (Gal. 6:7). Much of the Bible is concerned with the promulgation of these laws. Much of the Bible is concerned with the history of God’s people and the world at large breaking these laws. Much of the Bible is concerned with the consequences of the breaking of these laws.

God wants to save us. This is why He has given us law. This is why the law is emphasised. The broad road is the lawless road. The narrow road is the lawful road. God wants us to know the consequences of walking the broad road. This is why He spends two chapters on the judgment of the woman and the beast. He wants us to know who the woman and the beast are. He wants us to know what she has done. He wants us to know what she will do. He wants us to know what His judgments against her will be. And He wants His people to understand these things so that they “come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4).

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