Beast Rising

Dinosaur Toy - Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
I have a maxim when it comes to the Old Serpent — He is a clever and cunning fellow. Put another way, when everyone is singing the same song, it is time to change my tune.

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? - [Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash].

When I was 16, a very serious young Christian warned me: If you are looking for an Antichrist who is a Hitler-like figure foaming at the mouth and brandishing a 666-branding iron, guess again! Prepare to be snookered! You are looking in all the wrong places.

In the book of Revelation, the “beast” wages war “against the saints,” not against nation-states. The focus is on the determined efforts of the “Dragon” to destroy those “who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” But in the popular understanding, the Antichrist is a global leader who uses overwhelming military and economic might to impose his will on others.

I am not convinced. But whether this understanding proves correct, already there is such a creature on the scene, one that employs its vast military and economic power to impose its agenda on other nations and groups, even on individuals.

If the popular view is correct, well, already we have a very plausible candidate striding its way across the earth, one that fits the popular expectation ‘to a T.’ And there is ONLY one organization on the near horizon does so.

I am not going to name this “entity.” I remain unsure about how all this will fit together; it would be premature to do so. However, it does not take a rocket scientist or math genius to calculate the answer, let alone a prophet.
Unfortunately, many Christians have already compromised themselves, having allied with this “beast.” Already, many are “rendering homage” to it. The 800 trillion-pound gorilla for which they have been searching is sitting comfortably right in our churches and home fellowships, yet we cannot see the forest for the trees.
Whether the popular reading of Revelation 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 have we placed 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,” 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 total allegiance to Jesus. “Caesar is Lord!” “No,” the Christian responds, “Jesus alone is Lord!”, or 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,” often to places we would prefer to avoid.

Even now, this “beast is ascending from the sea.” One day, probably sooner 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 really is.




Comments

Popular Posts