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There’s a lot of fear over a new world order or an antichrist rising up. Does Revelation tell us there will be a man or empire ruling the world in the end? Let’s start with the belief of a man ruling then move to the belief of an empire ruling.

Besides a couple of obscure comments made by Paul and Jesus, we understand the Book of Revelation encompasses most of the detailed prophecies of the end. We are going to look at this book.

The majority of the belief of a single man ruling, in the end, comes from Revelation chapter 13.

"This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666." Revelation 13:18

Let’s look at what we are seeing in this passage then we will look at the beast in general. After this, we will look at the rulership.

When we look at verse 18, we see the connector “for”. We must ask, what is this connecting? A connector will connect something from just before it to something just after. We notice that this connector “for” does not connect the beast and the man; rather, it connects the number of the beast with the number of the man. It’s saying that the number of the beast is the same as the number of a man, and that number is
666. What is this beast?

God does not change, and He does not change His symbolism. He does not work to confuse His people. All through Scripture, from Old Testament to New, we see God using symbolism and prophecy to warn His people - not confuse them. Because of this, we need to look at Scripture to define Scripture and prophetic symbolism’s.

When we look at Daniel chapter 7, we see four beasts. Each of these beasts represents a different empire: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. This symbolism did not change in Revelation. When we look at chapter 12, we see a seven-headed beast, with ten horns, go after Baby Jesus and try to kill Him. We know this to be Rome. Understanding this fact, we then understand that the two beast’s of Revelation 13 are empires and not men. But, will one of them be ruling the world in the end?

We must understand that Revelation prophecy is a warning to the church. It’s not a warning of what the world will be, we should know this, but it’s a warning of what the church will become. We are told, over and over, that the church will fall away from God being a harlot, or whore, to God; like a bride unfaithful to her husband.

The belief of one of these two beast’s ruling the world, like a new world order, comes from a couple of verses in chapter 13.

"It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed." Revelation 13:12

"and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived." Revelation 13:14

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name." Revelation 13:16-17

It’s these terms of worship and death that causes people to think there’s a power that will RULE in the end. But, John uses the verbs “causes” with the worship and “makes” with the deceptive signs.

image would all the world worship? What ONE idol would the Buddhist, Christians, Muslim, atheist, Hindu, and the rest all agree to worship together? It’s this understanding that is key to understanding WHAT this worship is. Money is a large idol in the world and the church today. It does not mean that one is bowing down to the money. It only means that the person is putting the money before God. They may horde the money, buy a lot of stuff with the money while rejecting the Kingdom of God, work hard for the money while rejecting service in the Kingdom of God. Anything that comes before service to God is idolatry.

Revelation is a warning that explains the difference between the narrow, and difficult, the road that leads to life versus the wide road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

two beast’s, of Revelation 13, are paralleled with the whore and her harlots of Revelation 17, along with the seventh king, and the beast and the false prophet of Revelation 19. We are being warned, throughout Revelation, that these are not just political empires, but empires that manipulate worship from a Holy God. They don’t FORCE the worship, they CAUSE the worship. The image, the mark, the worship, are the only idol which all would agree to worship together; and that idol goes hand in hand with buying and selling and death for those who refuse to give up the will of God for the worship of this idol - the idol is the pursuit of money, riches, and power above the will of the Father.

Revelation is not a warning about a man, or empire, that will rule the world, but of a harlot system of the church that will play the whore to God while worshiping the money and things of this world.