Bible Subjects

Revelation 17:16 What does the term mean “to eat the harlots flesh and burn her with fire?”

Rev 17:16. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

From Rev 17:15 and onward we are entering the war of Armageddon, where two sides clash with one another: Satan and all the world powers both political and religious, fighting against Jesus Christ, the angels and all those believers who keep the Ten Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. But this does not happen. This does not happen.

It is like a Hollywood film movie, where we have two sides fighting one another and someone comes out on top and is the winner. This is not so in Gods kingdom. It says in Rev 17:17. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill his purpose. In other words, God has everything under control, up in heaven and down on this rebellious earth.

OK! Let us find out from the Bible, how God deals with wars. It says in the text Rev 17:16 that the ten horns on the beast, that is all the political nations on this earth, will hate the harlot, who represents all the members of the worldwide fallen Christian churches. The political nations of the earth will make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

Why suddenly this turn of events? Because God has everything under control. God guides events in the way he wants it, and no one can stop him, not even the Scarlet Beast representing Satan.

Let us analyze the text.

What does the “eating of flesh” mean in Bible Prophecy?

The eating of flesh in Bible prophecy is a term not condoning cannibalism, but refers to warfare and destruction of the wicked unbelievers who do not believe in God. The following texts explain this term the “eating of flesh” from Rev 19:11-21.

Rev 19:11-16. Christ is the rider on a white horse, going to war against the wicked unbelievers in the world, at the end of the world’s history.

Rev 19:11. Christ judges and makes war.

Rev 19:13. Christ is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called “the Word of God” (Ephes 6:17).

Rev 19:14. Christ leads the armies from heaven.

Rev 19:15. Out of the mouth of Christ goes a sharp sword that with it, he should strike the nations. Ephes 6:17. The sharp sword represents the word from Christ´s mouth.

Rev 19:16. On Christ´s robe is written – King of kings and Lord of lords.

Rev 19:17.18. An angel cried , with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men – – -.” What does this term mean, “eating the flesh of kings and mighty men?” It means going into battle or war and God has already the victory. God has already defeated the enemy.

This term is taken from Ezekiel 39:1-5. 17-20. This is God´s prophecy against Gog and its princes of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal.

Ezek 39:3. God says, “I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. Verse 4. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to the birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

The feast of devouring God´s enemies in battle is described in more detail in Ezekiel 39:17-20, which is used as a comparison to Rev 19:17.18.

Rev 19:19. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army.

The one who sat on the horse is without a doubt, Jesus Christ the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Rev 19:11-16. Who is the beast? The beast is a combination of the beast in Rev 13:1-10 and Rev 17:3. The beast is a system within the Roman Catholic Church who try to control the world’s power, wealth, and beliefs. They believe in one power, one bank and one political ruler over the whole world, which many call the New World Order. The text in Rev 19:19 is in parallel to the text in Rev 16:12-14, which is the sixth plague upon the earth. There it mentions in Rev 16:13 that there are unclean spirits (demons) who gather the dragon (Satan Rev 12:9), the beast (Roman Catholic Church system Rev 13:1-10. 17:3), and the false prophet (Protestants in the USA. Rev 13:11-18, 19:20), to battle against the Lord God Almighty.

This is the final war on earth called Armageddon, where Christ has the victory over the dragon, the beast, the false prophet and the kings of the earth. When this happens, the birds of prey eat the flesh of those who fought against Christ. It means Christ has defeated the enemy and has the victory.

Rev 17:16. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

How come, this sudden turn of events?

When looking at Biblical history, God has an uncanny way of dividing the ranks of the enemy, so they turn against themselves, and destroy one another. Fx. Judges 7:12 Gideon and his 300 soldiers had to fight the Midianites, Amalakites and all the people of the East, who were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude. In verse 22, when the 300 soldiers blew their trumpets, the Lord set every man´s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp of the enemy; and the army fled to Beth Acacia toward Zererah – – -.

This is what will happen at the war of Armageddon. The scarlet beast (Satan) along with all the political nations of the earth, will instead of destroying God´s people, who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ; they will suddenly attack and destroy the harlot representing all the Christians of the fallen worldwide Church.

When the political kings of the earth and nations have seen that they have been deceived by the false teachings from the fallen Christian Churches of the world e.g.

  1. Church of the east, 0.6 million.
  2. Restoration and Non-Trinitarianism, 42-48 million.
  3. Anglicanism, 85 million.
  4. Oriental Orthodoxy, 86 million.
  5. Eastern Orthodoxy, 225-300 million.
  6. Protestantism, 800 million.
  7. Roman Catholicism, 1.2 Billion.
  8. The majority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church who have left this church because of the Shaking.

These political kings of the earth and nations make war, first against the leaders of these churches. Fx. pastors, priests, religious leaders, theologians. Why? Because they are the ones who have the responsibility and the education from some of the top universities in the world. They are the experts in the Bible. All Christians in these churches turn to these leaders when asking about their faith. These pastors, priests, religious leaders, and theologians, will be the first to feel the war of Armageddon from all the political nations of the earth.

Then these political kings of the earth and nations make war against the members of all these fallen churches, because they take it upon themselves to be Christians but are not, because they do not follow the Bible by keeping the Ten Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ.

When it says that these political nations will destroy them by making the church desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. One cannot imagine how these political nations will destroy these religious leaders and false Christians through out the whole world, because of their furious anger, when they realize that they have been deceived by these men in responsible positions of authority. They will rip their limbs apart from their bodies, make them naked and burn them alive in fire.

And then these political nations will turn on all the members of these  seven worldwide fallen churches and fallen Seventh-day Adventists. They will destroy them by making the church desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. This means total destruction for all members in these false churches worldwide.

Rev 19:20. Then the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (When the birds of prey, that is the political kingdoms of the earth, have eaten the flesh of the beast and the false prophet, that is the Roman Catholic Church system and the Protestants in the USA, then they are cast into the lake of fire).

What have all these false Christians in all these fallen churches neglected to do?

Ezek 33:7-9. So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for me. Verse 8. When I say to the wicked, “O wicked man, you shall die!” and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Verse 9. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. There are not many sermons preached on this text in the Adventist church, because it involves personal witnessing to the public. If we do not witness to our friends and neighbors, then the responsibility lies with us and this may prevent us coming to heaven because of our selfishness.

James 2:14-17. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? Verse 17. Thus, also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. This is the problem with the Laodicean Church in the book of Revelation 3:14-22. They believe in the Bible, but do not practice all what it says in the Bible. Jesus says he will vomit this church out of his mouth. The church spoken about in Rev 2:1-7 to the church at Ephesus. Verse 2.3. I know your works, your labor, your patience – – -. And you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for my name´s sake and have not become weary. Verse 4, that you have left your first love.

When all these false Christians have been destroyed, then the rest of the wicked are slain by sword which proceeds from the mouth of Jesus Christ.

Rev 19:21. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of him who sat on the horse. Who are the rest? They are all of the atheist and worshipers of all other religions, who do not believe in God and his Ten Commandments and the faith of Jesus Christ Rev 12:17.

Who does the killing in Rev 19:21?

It is him who will sit on the horse in Rev 19:11-16, which is Jesus Christ, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. It is Christ who will administer judgement to all on the earth.

How are the rest of these unbelievers killed?

Rev 19:21 with a sword, which proceeds from the mouth of Christ. What does the symbolic meaning of the word sword in scripture? Ephes 6:17 it is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. 2 Thess 2:8. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming. It is Christ who will destroy the rest, with the word from his mouth, at his Second Coming.

Who is left?

A remnant, an offspring who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ Rev 12:17, 14:12.


The term “eating of flesh” is not a term where God is instituting cannibalism. It is a term used by God to describe the last war of Armageddon. It is a term describing God´s victory over all unbelievers: all those who have the mark of the beast, all those who belong to the beast and the false prophet on earth. This war is unlike any other war, because God uses the political kingdoms of the earth to fight against the worldwide fallen church, with all of its false believers. Then Jesus Christ destroys the rest of all unbelievers with the word of his mouth at his Second Coming.

No one gets a second chance.

So what is God´s last message to all personal believers in these fallen churches called Babylon? Rev 18:4. Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. Why? Because in Rev 18:2. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every clean and hated bird!

E. G. White (Letter 232, 1899). In the seventeenth of Revelation is foretold the destruction of all churches who corrupt themselves by idolatrous devotion to the service of the papacy, those who have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

E. G. White references taken at random found on: www.whiteestate.org

  1. “Many of the wicked were greatly enraged as they suffered the effects of the plagues – – -. The people turned upon the ministers with bitter hate and reproached them, saying, “You have not warned us. You told us that all the world was to be converted, and cried, peace, peace, to quiet every fear that was aroused. You have not told us of this hour; and those who have warned us of it you declared to be fanatics and evil men, who would ruin us.” But I saw that the ministers did not escape the wrath of God. Their suffering was tenfold greater than that of their people.”[1].
  2. “Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things, they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. “We are lost! they cry, and you are the cause of our ruin,” and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most of all, pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God´s people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.”[2].

[1] Ellen G. White, Early Writings (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., 1945), 282.

[2] Ellen G. White, Confrontation (Grantham: The Stanborough Press, 1978), 655.656.

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