Government at the End of Days

The chapter of Revelation, a vision given to John, tells us quite a lot about government at the end of days: 

I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads. There were ten crowns on his horns. On each head was an evil name that was displeasing to God. The beast I saw looked like a leopard. But he had feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority. One of the beast's heads seemed to have had a deadly wound. But the wound had been healed. The whole world was amazed and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon, because he had given authority to the beast. They also worshiped the beast. They asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"
Revelation 13:1-4

The beast has been suggested by Christian scholars to be a form of government.  This is because Revelation 18: 9-10 explains that the seven heads represent seven kings, and the ten horns are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule but will rule for one hour with the beast.  This suggests the government at the end of days may be a series of countries (or part-countries) working together, with ten more joining in for a short time at the end.  This government need not be in existence yet. 

So does this mean an EU-style government will be in power at the end of days? Possibly (although by no means am I making any suggestion either way about the EU specifically).  However, we need to remember that the crowns and heads were i) a vision representative of something and ii) the words John used were necessarily those of his culture at the time.  Therefore, it is entirely possible that this future government is not made of leaders from groups of specific geographic areas, but instead may be composed of cross-border cyber-assocations (the crowns signifying big leadership roles rather than heads of state specifically).  For instance, the leaders of several big internet social groups acting together may quite well fit the bill (although again I'm not making any suggestion either way about any specific social networking sites of today).  Or as is more likely, just as John could not conceive of cross-border cyber-assocations in his culture of the past, we today may equally well not be able to conceive of the exact type of the conglomeration of leaders at the end of days.

This government is very powerful, according to the scripture reading above. Elsewhere in Revelation God makes it very clear that we should refuse to bow to this organization. It is not benign; this government will persecute Christians or Jews (or both), and also will kill anyone who refuses to bow to its authority, as seen further along in Revelation 13:

He opened his mouth to speak evil things against God. He told lies about God's character and about the place where God lives and about those who live in heaven with him. He was allowed to make war against God's people and to overcome them. He was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

Revelation 13: 6-7

The second beast did great and miraculous signs. He even made fire come from heaven. It came down to earth where everyone could see it. He did the signs the first beast wanted him to do. In that way the second beast tricked those who live on the earth. He ordered them to set up a statue to honor the first beast. The first beast was the one who had been wounded by the sword and still lived. The second beast was allowed to give breath to the statue so it could speak. He was allowed to kill all who refused to worship the statue.
Revelation 13: 13-15

Take-home message
The government at the end of days will be an extremely powerful association of leaders which will rule over the whole world.  This government will persecute God's people and will kill anyone who refuses to worship it.  As of January 2011, we are clearly not living in these times (yes, such governments do exist in small isolated areas but do not rule the whole world).  However, we don't know when the end of days could happen; it could be very soon for all we know.  Or not.  Ultimately, it's important to know what we should be looking out for, because God makes it clear that under no circumstances should we even think about placing our allegience with that government, no matter how desperate or dire our material circumstances are.

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Comments

  1. Three beast are rising to rule mankind

    The beast system, a blasphemy of God the Father, Revelation 13:1-4

    The beast ruler, a sovereign, a blasphemy of Jesus Christ, Revelation 13:5-10

    The beast religious leader and banker, a seignior, meaning top dog banker who takes a cut, a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Revelation 13:11-18

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