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. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. (Revelation 17:3-4a NIV)
We see here in this vision that the great harlot, the personification of all evil and rebellion against the one true God, is “dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls.” This harlot, who especially represents the religious system that will be introduced by the Antichrist, will be characterized by her spectacularly expensive tastes. It will take a lot of money to support this religion. There have been some who have suggested this woman is the Roman Catholic church. It is definately true that the Roman Catholic church resembles this woman in some ways. One needs only to watch the pope parade through st. Peter’s cathedral to realize how decadant and pretentious that church is. However, the church of the beast, even if it is pulled out of the ashes of the Catholic church, will no doubt be visibly re-worked by the Beast himself. It is not the present day Catholic church, although that church certainly is not pure.