Revelation Chapter 17, Part 5

Verses 6 and 7 “I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the
martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. But the angel said to
me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries
her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.”

17:6 -- AND I SAW: John “saw” this woman back in Verse 3. As is traditional to the form of Revelation,
John uses these three words (“
And I saw”) as a section divider and focus changer. This verse brings us
back to the Gospel Age Harvest when John “
sees” in the sense of understanding. The angel has shown
John things not clearly seen before the harvest. When the John Class “
sees,” (comprehends) his (their)
understanding results in his (
their) great wonder or astonishment as is stated later in this verse.

THE WOMAN: The John Class finally fully understands the historical and prophetic import of this harlot --
the Roman Catholic Church. It is important to note that the younger harlots ARE an important part of
the story, but the
MOTHER is singled out by the Lord and should be also in our minds.

“The time frame of the woman seen by John in regal robes riding the beast is in the midst of the 1,260-
year wilderness period, conceived by many as the grandest epoch of medieval papal history. This
corresponds in point of time to “
that woman Jezebel [of Thyatira], which calls herself a prophetess,
to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols

(
Rev 2:20). The historic or literal woman (the prototype of the symbolic one) was a Phoenician princess
(
Jezebel) in whose hands her husband, King Ahab, became a mere puppet (1 Kings 21:25). She soon
influenced the establishment of Phoenician worship on a grand scale in the king’s court. At her table were
supported no less than 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Astarte (
1 Kings 16:31, 32; 18:19). At her
orders the prophets of Jehovah were attacked and slain by the sword
(1 Kings 18:13; 2 Kings 9:
7
). On her fell, accordingly, the prophet’s curse (1 Kings 21:23); it was fulfilled literally by Jehu, whose
chariot horses trampled out her life (
2 Kings 9:30–37). The identity of this notorious and mysterious
female personage of the Apocalypse is the
Roman Catholic Church viewed as a woman; that is,
solely as an
ecclesiastical system or sacerdotal power apart from her husband and lord, the pope
of Rome
.” (The Keys of Revelation”, Page 443)

DRUNK WITH THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS: Notice that SHE is drunk. Her success in suppressing
the true Church has gone to her head
. She really thinks she is invincible -- and THAT will probably
contribute greatly to her downfall. “
Blood of the Saints”, Blood of life. She was not able to take the
spiritual lives of the saints, but she was able to take or make miserable their physical lives.

(Please see
the next phrase for possible complications from this application.)

AND (EVEN) WITH THE BLOOD OF THE WITNESSES OF JESUS: This phrase can pose a problem. In
the Greek, witnesses =
martyrs. But how do these differ from the saints? Is it possible that “saints
refers to the prophets which she misused, Old Testament Saints, -- squeezing the life (blood) out of their
testimonies? The martyrs, then, would be the Gospel Age saints. Then again, the martyrs may refer to
actual martyrs (a word the Roman Catholic Church loves) because she built her strength on the testimony
of those willing to die for the name of Christ (which name she claims). She usurped (as is her wont) the
glory of Christian martyrdom to herself. Compare
Rev 12:10, 11 where The Roman Catholic Church does
this very thing. (
See Brother Frank Shallieu’s explanation of this in “The Keys of Revelation”,
below
.)

AND WHEN I SAW HER: -- When the John Class eventually understood all that this “church” had done
--

I WONDERED GREATLY: The John Class could be no less than astonished at the usurpations,
abominations, counterfeits, lies, intrigues, conspiracies, secrets, and all other evils perpetuated with
impunity on mankind by this harlot. Once Brother Russell assembled the
indictments against her, we all
looked aghast at the history of the Gospel Age.

17:7 -- AND THE ANGEL SAID TO ME: This is a curious interjection from the angel, but reflection
indicates that the following part of the verse is
VERY MUCH Brother Russell’s treatment of the
subject
--

WHY HAVE YOU WONDERED? This would be a strange statement under the circumstances. All
that we have learned about Babylon’s past (the 1260 years) could do nothing other than create
amazement. But
THAT is not what this question is asking. It is a rhetorical question. It is a
question which
CONNECTS to the next thought. The IDEA is: If you have been amazed at
learning about the
PAST, just wait until I tell you about the future! Thus:

Why do you wonder at that? Just look at THIS:

I SHALL TELL YOU THE MYSTERY OF THE WOMAN: -- the COMPLETE mystery -- not just her
past, but,
MORE AMAZINGLY, her future! The “mystery” (begun in Verse 5) has only BEGUN as
Brother Russell begins to teach us about Babylon. Its
CONTINUATION and ENDING are the genuinely
fascinating parts for the harvest saints; and Brother Russell was not negligent to tell us “
things which
must shortly come to pass
” -- things which would happen after he would leave the scene physically.

AND OF THE BEAST THAT CARRIES HER: This CONTINUING mystery involves not only the apostate
church, but also the world that “
carries” her -- gives her the support and encouragement she needs to
survive.

It should be noted that the beast carried the woman, NOT the woman the beast. The beast is
the power that carried the woman to such heights
.”

WHICH HAS THE SEVEN HEADS AND TEN HORNS: It was important here to re-establish the identity of
this beast – to connect it to the thoughts of
Chapter 13 and to name the two parts (heads and horns)
which are needed in understanding Babylon’s downfall.
Remember that this chapter, for purposes of
describing the demise of Babylon,
HAD TO separate church and state. They are NOT separate in
actuality; they are
only pictured here as separate entities in order to show how they cooperate
as one until one part turns on the other. (N.A.N.O.R. Pages 133, 134)

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs
of Jesus…


The word “blood” above in both instances signifies death through unnatural circumstances
chargeable to the orgiastic, bloodthirsty woman. At face value
Verse 6 seems to say that this
symbolic woman is guilty of
(a) the “blood of the saints” (all the consecrated— the Little Flock
and the Great Company—as in
Revelation 11:18; 16:6), and (b) the “blood of the martyrs
(those not spirit-begotten but who nevertheless consider themselves Christians, even suffering
martyrdom, though not realizing what it means to be a follower of Christ)
.

Matthew 10:37, 38 explains, “He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:
and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his
cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me
.”

Many who have died rather than deny Christ and Christianity were never really Christians in the
higher sense of the word
(that is to say they were believers, tentatively justified having taken the “first
step
”, a consecration to righteousness, to right living, but who never proceeded from this point
taking the next or “
second step” of a full consecration, a consecration of sacrifice) ; nevertheless,
they were noble in standing up for what they thought was right and in dying
FOR Christ but not
necessarily
WITH Christ.

The key to understanding
Verse 6 lies in the observation that the term “martyrs of Jesusrefers solely
to those who are to live and reign with Christ the thousand years—the Little Flock
(Rev 20:4).
Therefore, with this in mind, the expression “
the saints,” proceeding the term “the martyrs,” does not
include the Great Company class
. Why not? Because it would be redundant to say that the
woman was responsible for
(a) the death of the Very Elect as well as the lesser overcomers and
(b) the death of, again, the Very Elect.

In view of the foregoing, the second “
and” in Verse 6 should be translated “even,” for it is permissible,
where occasion warrants, to translate the Greek
kai as “even” (although the word “and” is utilized with
greater frequency). Thus the repetition in the rendition “
And I saw the woman drunken with the
blood of the saints,
even with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” clarifies which saints are
particularly spoken of and also shows their saintly innocence of the charges leveled against them.”
(
The Keys of Revelation”, Page 442)


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