Sunday, March 5, 2023

Beastly Economics

The book of Revelation warns of a future entity that will use economic control to suppress all those who refuse to render homage to the “Beast from the sea.” And today, there is a government that issues economic sanctions promiscuously and unilaterally against those nations and individuals that resist its dictates.

Dollar Sign - Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
[Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash]

This present reality ought to raise the question among the followers of Jesus - Is the “
Beast” at last rising from the sea? Is the church about to experience Satan’s final attempt to annihilate the one people of God? Only time will tell.

As for the identity of this government, it does not take the gift of prophecy or a degree in rocketry to see what is plain as day. And I am not referring to a nation or people, but to a political entity that intends to rule nations and peoples.


In Revelation, the “False Prophet” employs the economic power of the first Beast to coerce men to give total allegiance to the “Beast,” and its “mark” is its primary enforcement mechanism.

The ability to level economic penalties and sanctions against nations, communities, and individuals is the key to the False Prophet’s power, though he also performs “great signs” in imitation of the “Two Witnesses” when deceiving populations. There are religious and political elements to this beastly program.

Too often we assume the power of the “Beast” and its minions lies in its military might. And while the “Beast” may indeed possess the ability to subdue nations through naked force, the key to its domination over the “inhabitants of the earth” is control over world commerce.

In Revelation, the “inhabitants of the earth” take the “mark of the Beast,” and therefore, they are legally authorized to engage in trade - to “buy and sell” - (Revelation 13:16-18).

In contrast, the followers of the “Lamb” are excluded from the economic life of the World Empire because they bear the Lamb’s name and the seal of God.

Thus, humanity is divided into two groups: the men who follow the “Lamb,” and the “inhabitants of the earth” who give their allegiance to the “Beast.” There is no middle ground, no neutral position. And to which group one belongs determines whether one’s name is included in the “Lamb’s book of life.”

And placing the beastly “mark” on one’s “forehead” or “right hand” mimics the ancient summons to Israel to worship Yahweh alone, and this provides a clue to what is really at stake. In other words, this final political power demands the kind of loyalty that belongs to God alone. It demands our homage and will not tolerate any rivals - (Deuteronomy 6:5-8).


And if the “seal of God” in chapter 7 of Revelation is figurative, so is the “mark of the Beast.” By default, anyone who gives his allegiance to the “Beast” takes its “mark” already, just as everyone who follows the “Lamb” receives the “seal of God.”

The fundamental choice is between who one worships – To whom and what a man gives his allegiance – the “Dragon” or the “Lamb.” And make no mistake. Satan is the power behind the throne and whatever ideology and slogans the “Beast” may employ to mask its real agenda - (Revelation 7:1-3, 14:9-11).

If there is a message to the church, it is twofold. First, a warning to exercise painstaking discernment before blindly embracing the values of this fallen age, especially its political order. Second, to watch vigilantly for the rise of a beastly system that uses economic might as its primary instrument of control.

When such a political entity appears, that will be our first clue that the “Beast is ascending from the sea.” And such an entity is active even now on the world scene, one that exercises enormous influence over every aspect of the world’s economy.

This does not mean this present political power is the final incarnation of the “Beast.” The “Dragon” cannot unleash his final war until authorized to do so (“And it was given to the Beast to wage war…”).

But the Devil has been pushing this same program for thousands of years, and this is why history “repeats” itself with one attempt at global conquest and empire after another. Specific tactics change with circumstances, but the goal remains the same.

It boils down to how close we are to the end of the age, a question I cannot answer. Nevertheless, world events are lining up for another attempt at world government, and at no point in the past has there ever been a political power with the level of economic control exercised by today’s dominant world power.

And so, today, disciples of Jesus must exercise caution and discernment as never before.