One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. (Revelation 17:1-3)
In my last post I explained that I believe that the harlot of verses 1 and 2 is a personification of all evil and rebellion against the one true God. In verse three we see that this “harlot” (i.e. religious system that causes people to “cheat” on God) is seated on a scarlet beast that greatly resembles the beast mentioned several chapters ago (Revelation 13:1). This beast represents the very real emperor known as the Antichrist who will arise in the last days. He has ten horns which represent the ten district rulers beneath him (Daniel 2:41-43, Daniel 7:7), and seven heads, which represent the seven rulers that will be left after he eliminates three of the first ten (Daniel 7:8). The woman is seen sitting on the beast, because his government will support the most evil and most blasphemous religious system that has ever existed. This beast is probably colored “scarlet” to represent the innocent blood that it will shed. Every country in the past has sponsored this woman to some extent or the other, but this country will do so more than all the others before it.