1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 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.
7 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.
8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.
10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
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.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
Given to its own devices and passions, the world, though exalted high in many areas of influence, continually exchanges its own integrity and identity for this perceived power. For those who have yet to encounter the King of kings and Lord of lords, having their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, there is a very twisted marveling at the ability of these entities to crush and dominate their foes and even the saints. In this marveling is also submission to their service and bastardization of truth. However, for all the apparent marvel-inspiring exaltation, their little stints with fame and authority are but for a limited season, after which there is an eternity of anything but influence or inspired awes.
Rather than being swayed in the least by the spouting of the doomed, there is an opportunity to be overwhelmed by the Great I Am, to marvel at His movements, and become immune to joining up with the brief kingdoms of this world. While it would seem that the majority are united against the Truth in Christ, in their corruption they will devour each other, destroying from within the mountains that seem to be so majestic. They would think themselves to be self-determining and proceeding on a progressive path, but all the while they are really just fulfilling the Word of their Creator, accomplishing His will and securing their own judgment. By averting the gaze from the facades of the world, there is great hope in fixing the heart and gaze on the Greater One who will remain far after they are all forgotten. To marvel at Him alone is to be freed from them and their destiny.