[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]The second reading describes the final powers of earth, who will offer increasingly awful and despotic leadership. The first is the most famous, the Great Whore of Babylon, which many people think represent the Roman Empire. Evidently (though the vision is a bit confused and open to much interpretation), this will be followed by ten kingdoms, who will each have short periods of power. Somehow they will ally themselves with the Beast and fight against the powers of heaven; ultimately, heaven will defeat them.
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]Reading the Bible in Its Entirety
If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Revelation 15-18 today.