By Pete Garcia
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name… So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” – Revelation 13:1, 4
Given the context of Revelation 13 we understand that the beast rising up out of the sea is that final world empire. We know this is an empire because of the consistency in the symbolism between Revelation 13 and Daniel 7-8, which portrays these beast (chimeras) as representing actual kingdoms. At this particular point in time, the people worship the beast (whatever system this ends up being), but in actuality are worshipping the power behind the throne. But how many people do you know today who actually worship government? Aside from North Korea who mandate the worship of the ruling Kim, governmental worship doesn’t really exist anywhere else in the world at the moment.
We know they are really worshipping Satan, because Revelation 12 confirms the identity of the dragon as Satan. My assumption is that they worship this final world system because there is some type of technological breakthrough that completely revolutionizes the way we live here on planet earth. It could be something supernatural, or technological, or both. It could be what the transhumanists refer to as the Singularity. For those who don’t know what the Singularity is, here it is described by one of its biggest proponents, Google Director of Engineering and futurist Ray Kurzweil as:
“The Singularity is an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today—the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity.”
Whatever it is, we can’t be 100% sure, but we do know that this final system comes up out of the sea of humanity…meaning, it’s a transnational system. This could represent a coalescing of regional autonomy within a global organization like the United Nations. It has seven heads (regions of authority) and ten horns (seats of power), and ten crowns (people who sit in these seats of authority). It is a regional system that is governed by a small body of ten leaders. The Antichrist, who then comes from out of this group, and is able to subdue three, and secures a majority rule which he ends up taking over completely. (Rev. 17:9-14)
So given that introduction, we know according to Scripture, that it is not until the mid-way point that Satan actually comes down to inhabit this man we know as Antichrist. But why does he (Satan) wait until the midpoint? Clearly, the Antichrist is Satan’s ‘go-to’ man from the outset, but I believe (along with many others) that it is only at the midway point that a number of different events transpire simultaneously forcing Satan’s agenda in a direction he doesn’t want to go: the angelic war in heaven, the Two Witnesses assassinated, the Antichrist’s “miraculous” recovery after an assassination attempt, and now the earth-bound Satan, personally inhabits this man Antichrist.
Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. Revelation 12:12
Undertow: noun un·der·tow \-ˌtō\
1. the current beneath the surface that sets seaward or along the beach when waves are breaking upon the shore
2. an underlying current, force, or tendency that is in opposition to what is apparent
It appears to me that there is a bit of foot-dragging by Satan in wanting this all to play out. Yes, he wants to thwart God’s plan by destroying and corrupting humanity, but he also has read the Book (see Luke 4:9-11) and at least peripherally knows where this is all headed. I’m not saying that he agrees with the Bible, or understands it, or even believes it…but at the very least, he’s aware of what it says. Revelation 12:12 confirms that he knows he has very little time left to fight this.
Given that premise, we should know that the frustration amongst many prophecy teachers, particularly over the past 16 years, is the frustrating mixture between the seeming immediacy of clear prophetic events such as a one-world currency/ religion/government, the Psalm 83-Ezekiel 38 wars, etc., and the lack of fulfillment of these same prophetic events. At the same time, there is still that unstoppable march forward making these events more of a matter of when, and not if. There is a war to both move the satanic agenda forward, but also a satanic attempt to frustrate the fulfillment by trying to circumvent it through schemes and plottings.
For instance, we know that Satan doesn’t know the future, so he always has to have a man in the wings ready to play the role of The Antichrist. During the 1920’s-1940’s, the man seemingly being groomed for that position was Adolph Hitler. It seemed initially, that the tide of time and events were on his side until God raised up the United States to thwart his (Satan’s) plans to exterminate the Jewish race via the ‘Final Solution’.
But despite Hitler’s best efforts with the Holocaust and 6M dead, what his actions really brought about was the prophetic fulfillment of the Jewish state of Israel. Had he not attempted to exterminate an entire race, the world would not have supported the political rebirth of a once-dead ancient nation. In fact, the newly formed United Nations still only supported this initiative by a very slim margin…but it was just enough for God’s purposes to work out…as predicted! (Isaiah 11:11; Amos 9:15)
Even the disciples had a difficult time understanding the Messiah’s divinely appointed task and purpose. They didn’t know because the Old Testament (OT) for the most part (one exception being Daniel 9:24-27) does not present the prophetic events linearly and/or chronologically. Prophecy in the OT is sort of all over the place, and it really does take God’s help for us to understand how the OT prophecies fit into and complete the events in the NT. This is why when Peter stated that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 16:17)
The main distinction from the OT prophetically speaking, is how the NT presents the information. For instance, Matthew 1:21-23 points back to Isaiah 7:14 as the clear fulfillment of the arrival of the Messiah. Jesus outlines the order of end-times events systematically in the Olivet Discourse. In his letters to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul clearly outlines the order of events between the Rapture and the Tribulation (chapters 4-5) and again in his second epistle to them (chapter 2). The Apostle John was given the Revelation in a highly symbolized, but also decidedly chronological and structured order of events beginning with the first Seal Judgment all the way until the last Bowl Judgment.
So compared to the OT’s Major and Minor Prophets, the New Testament is very clear, both chronologically, and contextually. True, there are still some concepts and doctrines in the NT that are not completely understandable by us finite beings such as the Incarnation, the Trinity, and the timing of things, but there is definitely an order and a chronological method to the makeup of the prophetic NT Scripture.
Given what the Bible has to say about Satan, we know that he was the highest order of creation before the man Adam was formed out of the dust of the earth. We also know that he is exceedingly intelligent, deceitful, and crafty (Gen. 3:1-2, Ezekiel 28:12, Rev. 12:9). Remember that at the beginning (tower of Babel), this one-world concept was initially his. It was his evil plan then, because he didn’t understand what God’s plan was yet.
But now, Satan knows. You want to know why the world is as divided, violent, hateful, and broken as it is, it’s because the last thing Satan wants, is a one-world system. Don’t get me wrong on this, the world has been given over to Satan (Luke 4:5-6; 1 John 5:19), and he hates God, hates Christians, and really hates the Jewish people. This is why one of the most prevalent and undisputed prophetic markers we see today is not some major war or supernatural phenomenon, but apostasy. Satan realized early on, that persecution causes Christianity to spread like a wildfire…but spiritual and theological corruption…oh that was much more effective.
A one-world system is what man wants, and man is still a free-agent in this game. Satan knows where this will all lead, and he will continue to attempt to frustrate this march towards a final, one-world system. He is being dragged kicking and screaming out to sea. The sea, which represents this final, global system and the closer we get to it, the more it validates what the Bible says about his impending doom.
There have been three key, technological inventions/discoveries that have made this march towards globalism not only possible, but inevitable: the harnessing of electricity, the mapping of human DNA, and the Internet. Each of these have been monumental paradigm shifts in human history and have unlocked so much potential change, that it can’t be undone. Obviously, harnessing electricity has allowed the world to advance its technological processes. Mapping the human DNA has unlocked the potential for man to alter himself through some misguided ideals on evolution. The internet has leapfrogged man’s ability to gather, assess, and use information in ways never possible before.
There is also one geo-political issue that is a clear reaction against globalism, and that is regionalism. I know that might sound odd given the recent rise in populism and nationalism, as well as the Brexit and Donald Trump victories. But the world is way too interconnected these days to ever go back to that type of pre- World War I global model. We (the United States and western powers) want to partner with like-minded nations. The same goes for Islamic, socialist and communist nations as they help prop up like-minded countries.
With that said, leftist globalism has for the moment, swung back hard right to pockets of populism, which will lead right back to where the Bible said we would be…regionalism. This regionalism is represented by the seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns, but will ultimately fall under one system led by a single man, Antichrist. How does this happen if Satan is actively working to postpone it? Well, like most everything else, there is a process.
1. The Rapture will force a massive paradigm shift on to the world. Global and regional powers will have to realign in order to adjust to the reality that millions, perhaps even a billion persons suddenly disappear from the planet. The nation most affected by this will be the current world’s superpower, the United States.
2. In the post-Rapture world, a supernatural delusion will be divinely enforced on those unrepentant left behind. God does this…not Satan. 2 Thess. 2:9-11
3. The new geo-political paradigm shift will recognize that global organizations like the United Nations are too cumbersome and bureaucratic to ever be truly effective, so the next best thing would be to go to regional alliances.
4. We know that at some point between the start and the half-way point of the Tribulation, there is an assassination of one of the leaders, who is then miraculously “resurrected” because Satan is permanently kicked out of heaven and needs a body to possess (again, not his choice) and three of ten regional leaders end up submitting/ceding their authority to him thus ushering in the era of an absolute, one-world system.
So take comfort in the knowledge that despite the chaos, despite the seemingly endless tide of evil that is flooding the world we live in…that God has us exactly where He intended us to be at this final juncture in history. My intent was not to give the devil any credit, but to show that what we see on the surface, is not always what is really going on beneath. Therefore, let not your heart be troubled. Only God knows the future, and for those of us who are born-again, are hidden in Christ…
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” – 1 Cor. 2:7-8