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.
Note that fornication in Scripture is idiomatic of false worship and idolatry.
During the Tribulation period, there shall be a huge corrupt church system (the Harlot) in collaboration with a satanic political leadership (the Beast).
Beloved, we must not think such a tragic church-state alliance is in any sense far-fetched. History records that millions of believers have been killed at the hands of religious authorities allied to political power (such as the papacy). In the first place, was it not such an alliance that executed our Saviour? Was not Saul of Tarsus a Jewish Rabbi with authority to persecute followers of the Way?
Too many saints over the years have lost their lives at the hands of so-called Christians. Even the holocaust, where millions of Jews perished in horrific circumstances, was perpetrated under the aegis of a “Christian” society and government!
Without going into detail beyond the scope of a devotional (unlike a Bible Study), how does this apply to us believers today? Suffice it to say that we must recognise Jesus as the only legitimate Lord over all.
We are required to honour the state, but never to worship it. Thus we must beware of a perverted nationalism that morphs into idolatrous religion. As a rule, the Cross must always be higher than our national Flags. Christ’s glory must always surpass our anthems. And Christ remains the only Head of the Church (Ep 1:22).
In the end, Christ the Lord of lords and King of kings shall decisively judge and overcome both the Harlot and the Beast–both the apostate church and the idolatrous state. Glory to His name!