Final Beast Empire
An Empire is an extensive set of territories under a single supreme authority. We are rapidly losing our right to freedom of religious expression here in the United States. But did you know that in Jerusalem it is forbidden for the men of Judah to worship on the Temple Mount? That is because the Temple Mount is under Islamic control. The Muslim community of Jerusalem has managed the site without interruption for hundreds and hundreds of years. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said of those in Judea, and particularly in Jerusalem?
“They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trampled down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled... [Trampling down with the feet is the characteristic of the Final Beast Empire.] And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near.”
(Luke 21:24, 27-28)
We have had a preoccupation with the “beasts” of the Bible. Most of the time when the Bible uses the word beast, it simply means an animal—as in a beast of burden—a donkey for instance. But there has been an obsession by some artists to depict the beast of Revelation in religious artwork. I do not think that is particularly constructive, and in fact could be counterproductive for some. For example, if you are waiting for the emergence of a terrifying beast that looks just like the one on the cover of the August 1984 The Good News magazine, you are not going to recognize the Final Beast Empire that is going to engulf the entire world.
That beast on the cover of The Good News looks somewhat like a Hollywood depiction of a stainless steel – prehistoric spade headed Triceratops dinosaur on a leopard’s body with wild animals’ heads and horns coming out all over the place – standing in the ocean surf. An interesting fact is that the Triceratops lived only on the North American continent – and never in the Middle East. It makes great art, but it does not help us understand what we are to be looking for. Who is going to recognize the Final Beast Empire?
Everyone on earth would be terrified of that fearsome monster traipsing and tramping across continents, but the truth is that the vast majority of mankind is going to be a part of this Final Beast Empire that is even now shaping up.
Since Herbert W. Armstrong died 30 years ago (January 16, 1986), world conditions and geopolitical relations have changed drastically. Our Received Prophetic Narrative of the end-time European nations could use some scrutiny if we are to be able to recognize events for what they really are. We are seeing China’s and the Pacific Rim’s ascendancy, the sunset of the United States’ supremacy and hegemony, all under the increasing threat of a world reaching Muslim caliphate.
An immense clash of religions and cultures is on the verge of taking place. We could easily be caught off-guard. Our Received Prophetic Narrative is not measuring up to our anticipation. Perhaps at the very last moment there will be a backlash against a Muslim refugee invasion, but that does not answer all the prophetic questions.
Today, Europe is aggressively secular, yet our classic end-time expectation is of a Europe fully under the control of the Roman Catholic Church’s False Prophet. If that were a correct narrative, and there were no other viable candidates for what religion the False Prophet is associated with, then there must be a plausible means by which a secular Europe becomes a Roman Catholic Europe. That is, unless the Final Beast Empire is not Catholic—but something else instead. Is there any evidence to support such a major shift in our paradigm? Keep in mind that the coming caliphate has as much veneration for the Catholic version of the Virgin Mary Mother of God as the Catholics themselves do.
I’m concerned that if circumstances do not shape up the way we have always thought they would, some brethren could find themselves in a precarious position. The allure of the Final Beast Empire is going to be virtually overwhelming—and add to that the signs and wonders, and there exists a lethal mixture. We need to recognize the Final Beast Empire when it arrives in full force. Jesus said,
“Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” (Matthew 13:16)
This tells us that the world cannot put the Scriptural prophecy together, but we, brethren, who know the Plan of God, are able to understand the end-time sequence so much better. The point is that God intends for His people to know! Paul said it this way,
“For yourselves know perfectly that the [end-time] day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)
In today’s sermon we will take a look at what God has revealed about the Final Beast Empire.
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