In Part 1, John was shown and marveled greatly at the Great Prostitute, who drank the blood of martyrs of Jesus, with “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations” written on her forehead, and who polluted the kings of the earth.
Things can only get worse for her/it:
“But the angel said to me, ‘Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come’” (Rev 17:7-8).
So the marveling will be done by those who were not devoted to Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords from the foundation of the world (pre-Genesis). Those who know Jesus and their Bibles need not marvel at all. Why? Because they will be given minds with wisdom:
“’This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are the seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is the Lord of Lords and King of kings, and those with him are called chosen and faithful’” (Rev 17:9-14).
There are many good commentaries that suggest the identities of the beast, prostitute, and kings who will make war on the Lamb, Jesus. God knows their identity. We do not need to know with certainty at this time, but we can watch certain world leaders to see if they exhibit the characteristics described by the angel guiding John in his vision.
Our mission is to develop minds of wisdom in order to understand who is in perfect unity with God and who is in disunity from God. The former are those whose names are written in the book of life, who will understand completely when the time chronology is resumed in Chapter 19. The latter will hardly know what hit them:
“And the angel said to me, ‘The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth’” (Rev 17:15-18).
So it is clear that the suspension of time in Chapters 17 and 18 (coming next time) exposes the plans of those in disunity, while God’s people with minds of wisdom are in perfect unity with God. Keep this in mind and hurry back for Part 3, as we move on to the fall of Babylon, the great prostitute, where those in perfect unity will be lifted out of the mayhem and those in disunity will have a very hard time indeed!