A Study of Revelation 17:6
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…”
The very last verse of Revelation chapter eighteen makes the same type of statement:
“And in her [i.e. Babylon; the whore] was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.“
Can we lay this charge to the world in general, or specifically to the corporate church itself?
What of the Old Testament prophets, were they slain by the world or by the religious community of their day?
That is to say were they slain by God’s Old Testament congregations?
Recall the words spoken by Christ when He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee…”
Christ rebukes the Scribes and Pharisees (heads of the Old Testament church) in this same chapter and admonishes them as hypocrites, pronouncing six woes upon them. It is important that we understand the fact that the majority of Old Testament national Israel were unsaved, with the exception of God’s true remnant among them. Likewise, in the New Testament era scripture tells us “many are called, but few are chosen.”
There are many within the corporate church that are the enemies of God. It is they who are responsible for much of the killing of the prophets and of the saints. If we declare that the world is responsible for the shedding of the blood of the prophets and of the saints, we then must conclude that the Babylon of Revelation chapters seventeen and eighteen is depicting the world in general.
We would be forced to conclude this simply because chapter eighteen and verse twenty-four tells us that “in her [that is in Babylon] was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
However, as we examine scripture we find just the opposite to be the case. We find that it is in fact the corporate church dating all the way back to Old Testament Israel and even back as far as Cain who were responsible for the killing of the saints and prophets.
This is not to say that the secular world is innocent of any and all torturing and killing of prophets and saints. Of course they were not, however scripture assures us that the false church is the arch enemy of God. In addition, it should be noted that if Mystery Babylon was representative of the outside world only, having no relationship with the corporate church, would it not be quite peculiar to say that “in her,” (i.e. the world ?), was found “…all that were slain upon the earth?”
If Babylon were the world, then naturally all that were slain upon the earth would be found in Babylon (the world).
Where else would you find them?
It would be doubtful that scripture is teaching that. Rather, it is saying “in her,” being Mystery Babylon (the apostate church of Christ, Old & New Testaments), was found “…all [prophets, saints, believers, etc.] that were slain upon the earth.”
The Greek rendering of this word “all” must be qualified. It is not defined as “entirety” or “completion.” Rather, it is defined in the Greek as “the whole; as many as, etc..”
This same word is used in Romans 11:26 when God (in speaking of national Israel)
states that ALL Israel shall be saved. Clearly there is only a remnant to be saved out of the nation of Israel, as there will be only a remnant saved out of all nations. Considering the true spiritual Israel, of course the “whole” or “all” will be saved and Christ shall not leave behind one of His elect.
God uses this same word over and over again, wherein it must be qualified. Again, we read in Luke 2:1 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that ALL the world should be taxed.”
Did Augustus tax the American indians and the Chinese along with the Roman Empire?
Of course this is conditional upon “all” within Augustus’ empire or kingdom. The same rule holds true for “all” of Israel being saved or Babylon being the source of the blood of prophets, saints, and “all” that were slain upon the earth. “All” meaning the wholeness of those whom God allowed to suffer persecution.
Babylon is the source of much Christian persecution upon the earth.
Remaining in Matthew chapter twenty-three, let us examine a few of these verses.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.”
Again we read in verse thirty-one:
“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.”
Does this evidence suggest that the world is guilty?
No, it does not. It implicates the religious community – the Old Testament church of that day.
“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.”
“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”
Notice carefully the near identical pattern of language used in the above verses as compared to Revelation 18:24:
“And in her was found: 1. blood of prophets; 2. and of saints; 3. and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
The context of this verse addresses true believers only. Prophets, saints, and all (true believers) that were slain upon the earth.
Now notice the similarities:
Matthew 23:30: “blood of prophets”
Revelation 18:24: “blood of the prophets.”
Matthew 23:35: “righteous blood shed upon the earth”
Revelation 18:24: “of all that were slain upon the earth”
Nearly identical language is used here, and yet Matthew speaks of the martyrdom of Old Testament saints, beginning with the blood of “righteous Abel,” while Revelation speaks of Old and New Testament saints.
In Matthew, God clearly identifies the perpetrator as corporate Israel, the unbelievers within national Israel. Likewise, Revelation speaks of the perpetrator as the great whore, the mother of harlots, (Revelation 17:1,5). This harlot was, according to Revelation 17:6, “drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus”.
Once again, it seems that it is not the world in general that was responsible for the shedding of the blood of the saints and of the prophets.
Let us look to Revelation chapter 16:4-6:
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, thou art righteous, O LORD, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”
We know by studying scripture that “rivers and fountains of water” are pictures of the congregations of the world. These represent the pure gospel of salvation that comes forth from these congregations.
But here we see the church being judged (and again this is the apostate church of the end-times); it is under the judgment of God.
Why is it under God’s judgment?
Verse six gives us a partial answer. Because they have “shed the blood of saints and prophets.”
Yes, by understanding the last verse of Revelation chapter eighteen, one will come to realize that this Mystery Babylon is today’s substitute for and representative of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is an abomination that God allows to make desolate the effective of His Word within the congregations of the world.
Finally, we see this same truth brought forth in the parable of the wedding feast. God calls a marriage feast for His son and sends His servants to call them that are bidden to the wedding. National Israel received the first call of God.
As this wedding call goes out, those who were invited would not come (Matthew 22:3). Again God sends out His servants to “tell them which are bidden” (verse 4), but they made light of it, and went their own ways (verse 5). The
remaining remnant from Israel “…took his servants, end entreated them spitefully, and slew them,” (verse 6). When God saw this, He was wroth, and sent forth His armies, and “… destroyed those murderers and burned up their city,” (verse 7).
There you have most of biblical history wrapped up in a few short verses.
Who were these murderers of God’s servants?
National Israel, the religious Jew first, and then of course God’s earthly representative transcended into the New Testament corporate church.
According to The Holy Bible, the unsaved church from the Old Testament and New Testament eras is responsible for the shedding of the majority of the blood of the saints. Think about it for a second.
Who is doing the killing in Northern Ireland today?
The confessing Christians.
And in who’s name did the Crusaders ravish and murder?
In the name of Christ they did these ungodly acts.
Because they were carrying out God’s wishes?
Of course not but they did these things because they were in the church of Christ but not of Christ. True believes throughout the world have been murdered down through the centuries by those calling themselves servants of God.