Read: Revelation 13
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. (v. 10 NIV)
John sees a beast—multiple heads, horns, crowns and a huge mouth that blasphemes God. It resembles the dragon who controls and empowers it. Satan maximizes his power through collective entities, like governments and political movements. In Daniel 7 composite beasts represent the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires. Later beasts? Marxist, fascist, Nazi, and all anti-Christian regimes.
The second beast is a false prophet who counterfeits Jesus’ miracles, even resuscitating the dead. The beasts foreshadow an ultimate totalitarian world ruler and obligatory false religion. They persecute the church. It is easy to focus on the strange details in this passage, and many have been confused as they read it. Again, instead of looking for specific signs to watch for, it’s helpful to focus more broadly on what these beasts do—making war on the saints, economic persecution, false religion.
Government is not the enemy. The institution of government is God’s gift (Rom. 13:1-7), and it has great potential for good. Committed believers in newly industrialized England abolished the slave trade and made radical labor, education and prison reforms. Pray for U.N. agencies and your government agencies. Vote, participate locally, volunteer, run for office. To be silent is sin. Many involved believers are reducing the impact of evil! What about you? —Ruth SiemensAs you pray, ask God to help you discern the devil’s deceit in all spheres, and know how to take effective action.
About the Author
Ruth Siemens was a campus minister with IVCF/IFES, then started Global Opportunities to prepare professionals to work and witness in secular employment abroad.