Beast Rising

Dinosaur Model - Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash
I have a maxim when it comes to the Ancient Serpent — He is a clever and cunning fellow. Put another way, when everyone is singing the same song, it is time to change the tune. - [
Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash].

The popular subject of the “Antichrist” raises understandable questions. Who is he? When will he appear? How do we recognize him? And so on… But if the Dragon truly is a clever and cunning fellow, will he not do what we least expect?

When I was sixteen years old, a serious young Christian warned several of us:
  • If you are looking for an Antichrist that is a Hitler-like figure foaming at the mouth and brandishing a ‘666’ branding iron, guess again! You are looking in all the wrong places.
Contrary to many popular interpretations, the “beast” wages war “against the saints,” not against nation-states, and certainly not against modern Israel. In the book of Revelation, the focus remains on the determined efforts by the “Dragon” to destroy those “who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”

And especially in the popular understanding, this imminent and insidious person, who is always just “about” to be revealed, will be a global political leader that uses overwhelming military and economic might to impose his will on the world’s population.

I am not convinced. Still, the popular view could still prove to be the correct interpretation. Regardless, already there is just such a creature on the world scene, a creature that employs its vast military and economic power to impose its agenda on other nations, groups, and even individuals, leveling sanctions, embargoes, property seizures, and blockades against its enemies, real or imagined, and with no regard to any laws, national or international, threatening and waging actual war at the slightest provocation.

Whether the popular view is “correct,” biblically speaking, there is a very plausible candidate striding across the earth to impose its self-serving agenda, one that fits the popular expectation ‘to a T.’ And it is the ONLY such organization on the near horizon that does fit.

I am not going to name this “entity.” I remain unsure about how all this will fit together, and it would be premature for me to make any firm conclusions on the matter. But it does not take a rocket scientist or math genius to add ‘2 + 2’ and calculate the answer, let alone a prophet.

Unfortunately, many Christians already have compromised themselves, having allied with this “beast” in the political arena. Already, many are “rendering homage” to it and its image. The 800 trillion-pound gorilla for which they have been searching is, even now, sitting comfortably in our churches and home fellowships, yet we cannot see the forest for the trees.

Whether the popular interpretation is correct, we live in dangerous times. Our only safety is in knowing “in whom we have believed” — We need to decide exactly where and in whom we place our allegiance.

In Revelation, Jesus is the ABSOLUTE Lord of the Cosmos. His kingdom is not a “democracy.” He does not run for election or rule by consensus. In his realm, there is no concept of “dual citizenship,” and no room for split loyalties.

Dollar Sign - Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Governments do not persecute Christians over doctrinal disputes, but because they give their allegiance to Jesus Christ and his kingdom. “Caesar is Lord!” “No,” the Christian responds, “Jesus alone is Lord!”, at least in the biblical model.

Humanity is divided into two, and only two, groups — Those who render homage to the “beast,” and those who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” There is no third alternative — no neutral ground. If you do not follow the Lamb “wherever he goes,” you will take the “mark of the beast” and find your name erased from his “book of life.”

Instead of trying to decode the number ‘666’ or worrying about barcodes and microchips, we must prioritize “following the Lamb wherever he goes” — Stress on the “wherever he goes,” which is often to places we would prefer to avoid.

Even now, this “beast is ascending from the sea.” One day, probably sooner rather than later, it may very well turn and bite a great many of us on our collective backside. We need to remember just how clever and cunning the Devil is.




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