The Woman on the Beast

Kenneth Kuiper

READ : Revelation 17:1-18

Revelation 17 is fascinating but difficult. One question is: Who is the “woman” referred to as the “great prostitute”? Interpretations abound. I believe she represents the “false church” that which calls itself the church of Christ but which really isn’t committed to Him, nor calling people to faith in Him.

In Scripture, the church is often referred to as a “woman,” as in chapter 12. She is the bride of Christ. When unfaithful, however, she becomes guilty of spiritual prostitution (e.g., read Ezekiel 16). We see that here. This is not the “woman” of chapter 12! She is a prostitute. She appears to be the bride of Christ, but her heart really belongs to the beast. She is really just the “world” in ecclesiastical garments. She may mention Jesus, but she doesn’t preach His blood atonement or a personal relationship with Him.

The “false church” fits right in with the plans of the beast, even persecuting faithful believers, which amazes John (v. 6). There is a surprise, however. Though the beast is happy to see the false church join in his man-centered enterprises and persecute true Christians, he really hates even the false church and will ultimately turn on her (v. 16).

The message to us? Not all that calls itself “church” is “church.” The church is faithful to her husband, calling all to salvation through His shed blood. Be part of that church. She is the bride of the Lamb!


Help us to be Your faithful bide, Lord Jesus! Amen.