Revelation 17:1-6
(Rev 17:1 KJV)
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

John is now summoned by one of the seven angels who had the vials to see and witness the judgment of the great whore, which is Babylon. A whore is one that leads men away from their wives and destroys families. Single men commit fornication with whores thus polluting them.
(1 Cor 6:16 KJV) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
As a person sinfully joins themselves to a harlot in physical terms, by committing fornication, they are also joining in spirit. Rev. 17:1 begins the final judgment of the kingdom of Satan. Many have taken this chapter to mean that it is speaking of the Roman Catholic Church and that is not true. What is true, the Roman Catholic Church as a false church is definitely part of the kingdom of Satan because she has the blood of many true believers on her hands as well but this chapter is dealing with the world wide kingdom of Satan and not just a limited portion of it. We can know this by the phrase “that sitteth upon many waters:” which means all the nations of the world.

(Rev 17:2 KJV)
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

These two chapters on Babylon teach us how intricate the workings are between the kingdom of Satan and the religious, commercial, and political world through which Satan works his attacks on the body of Christ. In this verse we are told that the kings of the earth, those in political power, and also those citizens of the kingdoms of the world have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. When a person becomes drunk, they are saturated with alcohol. When the kings and citizens of the world are made drunk with the kingdom of Satan, this means they are fully given over to it. A drunk person normally does not have control over themselves as the alcohol completely saturates them, so likewise, the kingdom of Satan has total control over the unsaved populations of the world as if they were all helpless drunks. Sin is a very intoxicating thing because it can hold sway over any unsaved human being.
(Jer 51:7 KJV) Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. As ancient Babylon was a major influence over the nation of Israel, the worldwide Babylon will have similar effect on the entire world.

(Rev 17:3 KJV)
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Back in Revelation 12, we saw that the church went into the wilderness, which is a synonym for the world, where God had protected the church spiritually. Now John is being carried away in the spirit into that wilderness. However, this time the wilderness is not a place of nourishment and divine protection, instead, this time it is a place of judgment. In verse one, we saw the woman sitting on many waters but now as the apocalyptic imagery shifts rapidly, she is seen sitting on a scarlet beast. The beast in this verse is reminiscent of that of Rev. 13:1 which had the seven heads and ten horns with the name of blasphemy on it. The fact that the woman is riding the beast is showing her bond with the state, such as the social, religious, and educational aspects of the world, which can also, and, must include the economic systems of the world. This is where the whoredoms come from as the beast system prostitutes any and all truth and the world system, being in league with it, disseminates those falsities.

(Rev 17:4 KJV)
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Here we are given a description of this woman. She is arrayed in purple and scarlet. Purple is the color of royalty and scarlet is the color of valiance or gallantry as we see in the following two verses.

(Judg 8:26 KJV) And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.

(Nahum 2:3 KJV) The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

Not only was this woman dressed in royal apparel, she was also decked out with gold, precious stones, and pearls. These three items show the highest desire of mankind. Gold and precious stones show the high valued items which can draw a person to give their life in pursuit of. Not only is there the gold and precious stones, we also have the pearls which are found in the ocean. So this woman is alluring the world population to throw in with the beast and all the riches of the earth and the oceans will be theirs.

(Luke 4:5-6 KJV) And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. {6} And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

Satan had offered the Lord Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of the world and the wealth which comes with it if He would just worship him. Gold, precious stones, and pearls also represent power. Those who have great wealth in this world also wield great power. This is why the pursuit of wealth is so foremost in the minds of many people because it represents power too. Those who have given their lives in pursuit of wealth, do it unapologetically because they believe that if they attain it, then they will be set but those riches will come apart from them either by death or by the end of the world which is quickly approaching.

(Rev 17:5 KJV)

Here we have the true character of the woman being given. When we read about something being placed on the head in apocalyptic writing, it normally means the true nature of the person or thing in view. First of all she is called a mystery. A mystery is something which has been hidden but is now revealed. The kingdom of Satan is represented as a mystery which is now revealed to the world. His kingdom is openly known as Babylon the Great. It is described as the mother of harlots, with whom the kings and the people of the world have fornicated with. Then it is known as the mother of abominations, which is the mother of detestable, hateful, or loathsome things. Notice this kingdom is not limited in scope but engulfs the entire earth. The fact that this kingdom is called a mother means that it has given birth to all the evil which has permeated this world since the beginning of time. Just as the heavenly Jerusalem is called the mother of all believers, the kingdom of Satan is called the mother of harlots and abominations.
(Gal 4:26 KJV) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. The kingdom of Satan imitates the methods of the kingdom of God so it can deceive and destroy.

(Rev 17:6 KJV)
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Here John sees the woman as drunken with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus. The word “drunken” is in the present tense which means that this kingdom continues to this day to come against the Saints of the Lord Jesus Christ and martyrs them. When someone is drunk with alcohol, they are totally void of reality because the alcohol has rule over them. The same with this woman. She is drunken with the blood of the Saints and does not see reality because she believes she has total victory over the body of Christ.

The kingdom of Satan has always been the arch enemy of the body of Christ. His kingdom has been responsible for the killing of Abel, the killing of Naboth, the murder of the Old Testament prophets, the murders of the early Christians, the murders of the Christians in the Middle Ages, and the murder of Christians in our age by hostile religions in league with their governments. When John saw this he was marveling or in amazement at this sight. When John had gone to the desert, he was probably thinking that he would see the judgment of this kingdom but here it seems that she has become victorious.