Many years ago I had a conversation with my brother about the sad state of world affairs. He was not a fan of the then president, Ronald Reagan. Myself on the other hand appreciated the policies that the president was putting into place. In the course of our conversation, I made the assertion that it is impossible to understand world history until you understand the role that the nation of Israel plays in it.
My brother did not buy into that argument as he was of the mind that Israel had no more claims to national identity and their existence was the source of much of the world’s wars and commotions. He is among those that believe if anyone has a claim to God in the world, it would be the church and Israel forfeited her claims when she rejected Messiah.
Yet it is clear to those who interpret Scripture in a consistent and literal fashion, that God has not abandoned His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Kingdom promised to them and their descendants has not been cancelled as a result of their rejection of Messiah, but it has been postponed.
Israel and the Gentile Nations
In previous posts we thought about the strange beast described in Revelation chapters 13 and 17. We determined that the beast was a representation of Gentile world empire. Specifically it was world empires that have ruled over and held captive God’s earthly people, Israel.
We took note that the beast has seven heads and ten horns. The heads represented the empire itself (Revelation 17:9) while the horns represented rulers who hold the power with the beast. (Revelation 17:12) When we look at the history of the nation of Israel we learn that the first mountain of Gentile world empire to hold Israel captive was Egypt. The books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy chronicle their miraculous deliverance from Egypt and eventual entrance into the promised land.
Then over the centuries, after Israel was established in her promised land, she prospered greatly for a time but then abandoned God. Soon, according to the promise of God, (Deuteronomy 15:28-68) another empire was raised up to take them captive and remove them from the land. This pattern repeated itself through successive world empires of Assyria, then Babylon, then the Medo-Persia empire. Next came Alexander the Great of Greece and finally the Roman empire held sway over the Jews while a remnant of Jacob’s descendants remained in the land of promise.
What is interesting to note is that each of these empires was conquered by the next through the sword of war except for Rome. This empire is conquered by a different type of sword. After three hundred years, the Roman empire was not conquered by the sword of war but by the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)
As Rome tried to stamp out the church through a series of persecutions, it only caused the Word of God to spread throughout the world. The power of the Word of God to change individuals and families, eventually caused Roman democracy to embrace Christianity instead of persecuting it.
The church’s new found political power gradually corrupted it. Instead of independent local churches, it began to consolidate the church’s teaching into a central authority. This allowed the church to use its authority to rule over nation states and ethnic groups throughout the world.
Rather than remaining a distinct and peculiar people, the church began to embrace all manner of pagan religion and rebrand them as Christian. In this way the Papacy (and later on the protestant princes) saddled itself astride Gentile political power. The church had joined herself to the Babylonian harlot and became the chief persecutor of Israel.
This understanding of history helps us to see the vision of the beast that was given to the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos. This strange beast is given the following cryptic description:
“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:..
and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. …”
We have already considered the five world empires that enslaved Israel and were fallen as of John’s day. They were: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Each of these empires had the characteristic descriptors of being oppressors of Israel, Opposers of the God of Abraham; extremely powerful centralized control and pagan religious practices.
The sixth one that was of John’s day is Rome, but since the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, its power was essentially broken. Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 a.d. and in 135 a.d. the Jews were once again dispersed out of their land.
They would not be allowed to return until 1948 when, through the instrumentality of Lord Rothschild, the Lord allowed the beast to re-establish the national boundaries of Israel. The pogroms and displacement of the Jews during and after World War 2 caused them to seek their own homeland. So began a steady migration of Jews back to a portion of their promised land. This was in fulfillment of Ezekiels prophecy that Israel would be brought back into the land in unbelief. (Ezekiel 37)
This regathering would also serve the beast well by providing a source of irritation that would keep the nations divided in their opinions against or their support of Israel. On God’s part, it would reveal those nations that respect His Word of promise for Messiah to rule and reign from Jerusalem and those who oppose God’s Word.
Secondly, under the teaching of freemasonry and other secret societies, the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple is a central tenet of their orthodoxy. 1 Establishing Jerusalem as the center of worship on the earth for the antichrist, whom they believe to be god, is a primary goal of the beast’s one world system.
The establishment of the nation of Israel has also allowed those ‘who say they are Jews but are not’ (Revelation 2:9; 3:9) to have a place of refuge from which to create chaos among the nations. The intelligence agencies of the western powers allied with Israel have fomented much of the wars and conflicts of the 20th and 21st century that we have become so painfully familiar with.
The Roman empire arguably began its decline and division from the point at which it participated in the execution of Messiah. This decline continued over the next 300 years. Unlike every world empire before it, its destruction was not the result of the sword of military power but instead the sword of the Holy Spirit through the spread of the gospel.
(God has always had a remnant of believers who stayed separate from the centralized authority of the professing church. This Godly remnant is not distinguished by any denominational labels. Instead this remnant is found in nearly every Christian denomination and is preserved by the Spirit of God from the enticements of Babylonian harlotry)
There has been no world empire ruling over the nation of Israel since Israel’s final dispersal in 135 a.d. The seventh empire remains to be revealed. This empire is to be led by ‘the prince that shall come’ who is of the same people as those who destroyed ‘the city and the sanctuary’ after Messiah was cut off. In other words, this is the ruler that will be the head of a revived Roman empire. (Daniel 9:26,27)
He will exercise His power through ten kings, but this will only continue for a short time (one hour with the beast; Revelation 17:12) and then give their power to ‘the eighth’. This is not a different head, but a complete restoration of the power of the previous seven (Revelation 17:11). As such, it is not a separate head but a fully functioning beast with unrestrained power.
and Yet Is
The seventh world empire that was yet future to John’s day is still future to ours (as of 2022). Yet the beast’s pagan characteristics and influence are still very active in every nation today. Although it does not yet exist as a world empire with centralized authority, the pagan enticements of the harlot are being embraced by the nations of the world through ecumenicalism.
It is becoming more and more obvious to the masses that today’s national rulers are working very hard together to do away with sovereign nation states in order to establish a one world government. It appears that they are poised to succeed in their desire. If not for the present restraint of the Holy Spirit indwelling the church, they would quickly achieve their goal. (See: One Thing That Can Stop What is Coming)
Is the head of this one world government an individual that received a deadly wound and is resurrected? Or can this decapitated head it be identified as an empire that appears to have been vanquished but then re-emerges under the rule of the devil’s man in final, unrestrained fury?
The Deadly Demise of The Beast
This brings us to our present day. Has the seventh head of the beast been decapitated yet?
As we have seen, the power of the beast ‘is not and yet is’. That is, it is still exercising power over the nations but not yet in the form of a centralized world government. However, the deadly wound appears to imply that its power is completely broken so that its activity is quieted and its power is taken away for a time.
Yet it will not remain so but It will be revived through some auspicious global revelation that will cause the whole world to wonder after the beast. (Revelation 13:3) It will be so amazing that the world will gladly identify itself with this wonderful new world order. Nearly every individual shall willingly take a mark of the beast on their hand and on their forehead. (Revelation 13:16) As mentioned in a previous post, there will be the strong delusion offered of becoming as gods.
Few There Be…
There is a pattern of truth found throughout scripture that God always makes an outpouring offer of grace before judgment comes. Sadly there are few that find their way to the throne of grace.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Nevertheless, I believe that there will be a great outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to bring conviction and salvation to whosoever will before the man of sin is revealed. That man to be revealed will be the one to whom the number 666 will apply. (Revelation 13:18) He will be the eighth head who is the devil’s man fulfilling the desire of the previous seven heads for control of the world. (Revelation 17:11)
It is my hope and expectation that the public slaying of this beast will awaken many to the truth of God’s Word. Even as a I write this in November of 2022, the power of this beast is being taken away. The pervasiveness of its power is being revealed and astonishing horror of its evil is starting to be put on full display.
It is possible that the slaying of the beast will bring the world into a brief new era of prosperity and freedom. This would establish the cooperative sovereignty of nations and a restoration of their stolen wealth. It would also allow geographical Babylon to be rebuilt as a center of commerce for the world.
On the other hand, these events could take place quickly after the restraining power of the Holy Spirit is taken away. This event will remove the salt and light ministry of God’s church from the earth.
Although Israel is still gathered in unbelief, before the time her great tribulation begins, she will become a nation of unwalled villages and prosper greatly through the use of her natural resources. (Ezekiel 38:11,12) This will cause the confederacy of nations known as Gog and Magog to make plans to invade Israel and take a spoil. (Ezekiel 38:3-6)
It may be that during this brief interlude before the man of sin is revealed, there will be many who will turn to the broad road of new age spirituality as they witness with revulsion the grotesque nature of the beast. Yet comparatively few will embrace the truth of the gospel that declares salvation is found through grace alone in Christ alone. Nevertheless this provides a tremendous opportunity for every believer to preach the gospel and declare the worthiness of our Savior.
Will you dear reader be among the many or among the few?
“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
1Forward, “The Bible and King Solomon’s Temple in Masonry” by John Wesley Kelchner, 1968, A.J. Holman Company
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