feast: The March Toward Globalism (Part 1)
The End-Time System Is Forming
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 25-Sep-10; Sermon #FT10-07; 77 minutes
The cat has been let out of the bag in terms of plans to establish a New World Order, possibly the precursor or foundation for the Beast of Revelation. The disappearance of our personal liberties is largely a result of the machinations of the architects of this evil system. The appeal of the New World Order is the promise of obscene economic power attained by a handful of unscrupulous movers and shakers. The erosion of our industrial might has been planned and engineered by members of this shadow government, an entity that mysteriously retains control despite the dominance of Republicans or Democrats. Predecessors of New World orders occurred in the Bible when populations, concentrated in small areas of land (defying God's command to spread out), submitted to a despot, tyrant, or dictator (such as Nimrod), engaged in massive socialist public works projects (such as the Tower of Babel) for the public good. We are admonished by scripture not to band together in a mob. Satan can influence peoples' attitudes over many successive generations. The world with its attitudes is everybody's matrix; we have all been in bondage to the elements of the world. After God has called us out of this evil system, we dare not go back to this matrix.
Amma Antiochus Epiphanes Anti-God Attitude Beast Cabal Concentration of population David Rockefeller Dragon Ephesians 2:1-3 European Union Ezekiel 28 I John 2: 15; 5: Galatians 4:1-3 Genesis 10: 8- 11; 11:7-8 Germany Henry Kissinger Henry Kissinger Isaiah 14; 49:1 International law Matriculate Mayor Rothschild Metropolis New World Order Nimrod President Obama Proverbs 1: 10-19; 24:1 Red shield Revelation 13:1-8; 11-13 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Satan II Corinthians 4: 4 Semiramis Shared spiritual characteristics Sons and daughters Tower of Babel United Nations United States Virgin birth Zbigniew Brzezinski
I think that enough evidence has come to light that the cat is not entirely out of the bag yet, but is at least part of the way out so that we can easily see clearly what it is: The New World Order is on top of us. It is not entirely here yet. It is not evident what its final form will be, but at least it has come to the place where it is being recognized openly as a conspiracy, and that it indeed is coming to pass.
There are many prominent Americans and Brits involved in its formation all the way up to their eyeballs, as we might say. David Rockefeller openly declares, to anybody who will listen, that he is a New World Order aficionado [a devotee], and he says he is proud of it. Zbigniew Brzezinski too is one of the leaders pushing very hard for it, as is Henry Kissinger. We might have known this for a long time. He is kind of a mysterious character to begin with, and he is operating in what has been largely a mysterious operation.
These conspirators and their cohorts do not always get their way. They do not have complete control yet. In fact, a great deal of it still hangs in the balance. It is pretty evident right now that their main opponent to this point is the Tea Party. They stand in the way of pretty much complete domination.
It is clear that the pendulum has swung all the way to the other side of the arc, and very much of what is happening in the disappearance of our liberties here in the United States is due to the pressures these people are putting on the administration. It is becoming more evident, if one is looking for such evidence, that the United States' position as a stand-alone sovereign nation is slowly dissolving. I am not saying that it will ever totally dissolve, but this present administration is endorsing it enthusiastically, and that is at the bottom of many of these changes which are taking place so that our liberties are disappearing.
I do not want to suggest to you in any way that if the election swings to the Republican Party in this November election that things are going to change, because even though they are less dominated by this group of people, they still nonetheless are strongly subservient to them.
In the past we have always handled problems internally, but this is changing. I wonder if you are aware that President Obama did something unprecedented in American history very recently. Just a few weeks ago he officially charged the State of Arizona with civil rights abuses before the United Nations and not before American courts using the United States Justice Department, but the body of international bureaucrats for them to investigate, evaluate, and render a decision.
He might have done this because the civil rights issue involves Mexican citizens. I do not know this. I do not know his motivations for using the United Nations. It is sort of a unique ploy. It is unique. It is the first time in American history that this has happened, because the news bulletin did not say why. The alleged abuses are being committed in the state of Arizona, and the state of Arizona is attempting to defend its citizens from the invasion of illegals streaming across the border. This is interesting, because the Constitution of the United States assigns that responsibility directly to the president, but he is not sending his army out there to take care of it. After many appeals to the federal government to be more aggressive, Arizona has moved more forcefully to do it itself.
The term "civil" as used here means "belonging to the citizens"—that is, citizens of the United States. In other words, the president has taken an internal problem to be evaluated and judged by citizens of other countries.
In an entirely unrelated incident some months ago, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged judges, including others in the Supreme Court, to place greater weight upon international law and decisions when rendering their decisions regarding American business. For over 225 years American court decisions have been rendered on the basis of our federal Constitution and state laws and on decisions that have their foundation in the Bible, but now other judges are being urged to nudge the Constitution aside in favor of international law. This is another piece of evidence that tells me that the international camel has its nose under the tent flap, that it cannot be all that long—maybe a decade or so, I do not know—before the entire camel is taking over the country. Now Justice Ginsburg is not alone in this movement. Businessmen and academics have been promoting similar procedures for decades.
Under former president Bill Clinton, huge amounts of American acreage has been turned over to United Nations control. To the best of my knowledge, much of this acreage is in our beautiful national parks. Now what circumstance is so urgent that we need to do such a thing? Are they preparing for the future? I do not know, but it is another piece of evidence that movement by the United States of America toward being a part of a New World Order is a reality.
A New World Order means a new arrangement, a different way in which affairs between nations are handled. It is not merely planned. It is already on the design board, if I can put it that way, even though it is not always clearly visible and open before the public. But as early as 1991, George H. W. Bush spoke openly of the New World Order publicly as a coalition of nations was being put together to fight that war in Iraq. It is, in this man's opinion, within a few years of being more firmly upon us. Its control mechanism has already been influencing us in business for decades. The European Union is the model.
Each of the 26 nations now united within it has already given up much of its national sovereignty, and thus has subjected its citizens to the European Union's collective purposes in order to harmonize into a single political and economic union having common laws and objectives. We need to face some of these objectives. The purpose of this Union is to concentrate power—political and commercial power especially—in order to promote, they say, the general prosperity.
Many, many of the difficulties have had to be overcome, and many sacrifices have had to be made by the individual nations and its citizens in order to get as far as they have. It has already taken them about 60 years for those actively involved on a daily basis to frame it as it is today, and the United States is slowly being drawn into the same sort of thing through much intrigue. Now how did this happen?
The mechanism of the New World Order's appeal is actually very simple to anybody familiar with human nature. The appeal is toward personal advantages of economic wealth, political power, being made to the movers and shakers of American life. This appeal is for personal gain for them and is why American industry has been stripped from the United States and sent out to Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, China, Chile, you name it. Where have we sent our industries?
I had a personal experience in this, because in 1968 I resigned my job as a welder at the Homestead District Works of United States Steel. This was to clear the way for me to go to Ambassador College. When I left that place it was United States Steel's best producing steel unit. Just in one open-hearth shop we had eleven huge furnaces, each one producing 350 tons of steel every six to eight hours, and on almost any given day at least 9 to 10 of those furnaces were going every day and producing 350 tons of steel every eight hours. That place employed twelve thousand people. It stretched along the borders of the Monongahela River for four miles, and included all other kinds of works in which people were involved in the production of some aspect of steel.
It was in May of 1968 when I resigned. In 1977 my mother sent me a front page picture from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette of the Homestead District Works where I worked. It was absolutely gone! It had been torn down to the foundation, and was gone. Do you what was there? In one little tiny spot of that great big plant was a water park. Now that kind of thing has happened all across the United States.
We no longer produce anything now, practically, except information and consumption. We buy from everybody else. No wonder we are going broke. How long can you spend without producing anything that anybody else wants? I am here to tell you that the people who engineered this are the very ones who are moving everything toward globalism in the United States as fast as they possibly can, because that is the next step. You get rid of our industry, and the next thing that goes is the political area.
This appeal that these people have made has become so strong and has advanced so far in the past 75 years. Historically, that is a short piece of time. Actually, (and I might say a little bit later) some parts of it have taken 150 years that Satan has been working on it. It has produced a situation in which nothing substantive changes whether there is a Republican administration or a Democratic administration.
Do you know what that gives evidence of? It gives evidence that there really is a shadow government running this country. That is why nothing changes. Nothing changes because the same body of thought is not being removed, and this is because, in their heart of hearts, the majority in both parties is headed in the same basic direction. They have different ideas regarding how things should be accomplished. That is certainly true, but they are being pulled along in the wake of what is happening, and what is happening is prophesied, and they cannot resist it. Right now the only major enemy standing in their way is the American citizen who feels patriotic and loves this country—the Tea Party.
The number of these people—the movers and shakers—is not large. Perhaps a thousand or so. Like I said earlier, they are not all American, because the same thing is being worked in Europe as well. Many of the people over there—the French, the Brits, the Belgians, the Swiss—do not all agree all the time. They have different ideas and different concepts about the way to accomplish things, but the basic idea is always the same. Brethren, they are out to get for themselves, and they are going to pull us along with them. I have no doubt that they probably think that what they are doing is the best. I doubt very much that any of them think about God, and that He has something to say about this. They are focused in that direction.
I do not believe that this concentration of international power is what God intended from the beginning. We all know that there is a union of nations the Bible calls the Beast, and they are going to play a large role in end-time events. It appears that the European Union will play a large role in that entity. This sermon is the first of several on this subject. The second one will not be given until after the Feast. I still have to prepare it. This particular one is foundational, and in this one I want us to see the elements the Bible shows that work toward the configuring of the nations and their peoples into the circumstances that we see forming in our time.
I want you to turn to Revelation 17. I am just going to read two verses because I want to get a number out of here.
Revelation 17:10-11 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
That number eight is helpful to this sermon because it is telling you that before this is over there will have been on earth eight Beast powers, and so there is information to be gathered throughout the Bible of the factors that took place in order to bring these to pass. We are not going to go through all eight. It is not necessary to do that. We will just start with the first one because it is the most basic, and I think that you all know what that one is.
God is telling us there that when this is all through we will have had eight of these things, and this last one is going to be by far and away the worst that will have ever existed, but we can at least see the elements that it takes in order to produce this kind of thing. I am partly giving this because I think we need it to help us to grasp these things in order to help us be alert.
Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
I just want to concentrate for a few moments on the word "fill"—"fill the earth"—"fill the sea." This word "fill" has very broad usage in the Bible. It is translated into eight different English words depending upon the sense that is needed in a given context. It does not mean here though to fill in the sense of filling something up and overflowing. You fill a coffee pot up, you fill a cup up, and if you keep going on with things, it overflows. That is not what God means here.
The sense we should get from the word here is "penetrate." It means more to penetrate and spread out. If it meant "to fill totally," for example in verse 22, there would be no room for water. It would be all fish. God is saying, "Penetrate the water and live there." The same sense is intended in Genesis 9:1 where after the Flood God said basically the same thing.
Genesis 9:1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth [spread out].
The sense I want you to get from this is that God's command suggests much more strongly that He did not want people to concentrate where you would have high density numbers of people living in any given area. In Genesis 11, verses 4 and 8, notice though what the people did.
Genesis 11:4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
Here we have a statement indicating a direct rebellion against what God said to Noah and his family immediately after the Flood. "Spread out! Make use of this great green earth that I've given to you."
In verse 8 we find that afterward God destroyed the common language they were using, and He scattered them.
Genesis 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.
But what did they do in the meantime? In disobeying God's command, they instead unified, thus concentrating population, wealth, and power in one area. We see God's intention again in another instance when He led the children of Israel into Canaan from their wilderness wandering. What did He tell them? "Fill up the land. Push those other people out." Even if there were six million Israelites rather than the two to three million that we usually conservatively estimate, huddling into the area God set aside for them, there was still plenty of room available in the land God sanctified for them. Israel would not have been a concentrated group of nation. God shows in Joshua that He had very definite plans where He wanted each tribe to live.
Now the first element is beginning to take shape here. The first element needed for a Beast to form is clear concentration of population—a large demographic base. Do you know how many people are in Europe? A large demographic base is bigger there in terms of population than in the United States. We are far bigger than they are area-wise, but they have got 425 million people in that area. So there is a large demographic base there. I think that God has already shown us that He did not want high density population, and because God is a God of love, it is His creation, and He knows what He wants out of it. When He said that, it was for their good for them to not live close together. It was good for His purpose as well.
That is the first element that is needed. What is needed next is a combination of two factors working together that will be the reason used to produce the will to form such a union in defiance of God's command to spread out over the whole earth. This element will indeed arise from a large demographic base.
The two factors are a need to accomplish such a goal from that large population, combined with sufficient potential reward to support the motivation over a considerable period of time. Regardless of how contrived the need truly is, it will be sold to the people by means of propaganda to quell any suspicion and to gain public support. All you have to do is look back to Germany. Hitler and his henchmen did a marvelous job on the German people. Everything they did was going to be for their good. Do you think that is not going on in the United States of America?
You had better listen to what you are hearing over the propaganda machine of the big media television and radio outlets and newspapers in the United States. Brethren, they are doing everything "for our good" as they take the liberties away from us, and we barely will be able to move around after awhile without checking to see if it is all right if we do this.
Now whether people know this will be in defiance of God's will is not necessary for the proposition. All that is needed is some small measure of truth and logic to propagandize the people. Apparently in Nimrod's day the need was protection from animals. That was enough to calm resistance, and at the same time was the right motivation for some measure of cooperation in the central group as long as the potential for reward was great enough.
In the globalism movement, the reward is political and economic power. Do you know what Mayer Rothschild said? Mayer Rothschild was the founder of the Rothschild's banking giant. He said, "I care not who is king as long as I control the money." And so he established his empire in Germany, spread it to France, and spread it to England through his sons, and through them it leaped the sea to the United States.
Incidentally, do you know what "Rothschild" means? That was not the original family name. The name Rothschild came into being after the banking got started. It means "Red Shield." Now exercise your brain and think of some possibilities why they changed their name to "Red Shield." Who knows? It may have been God who forced that name on them so that we might know who these people are. I will give you a clue. There is some indication that these people are not really Jews.
Turn with me to Proverbs 1. You might think that these verses have nothing to do with the New World Order, but I think that this instruction here is kind of interesting. Incidentally, as we go through this, look at all the pronouns. They are all plural. That is what happens in a unity.
Proverbs 1:10-19 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; we shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse"—My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood, they lurk secretly for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
As I read over that word "greedy," I just thought of the movie "Wall Street," which came out about 20 years ago. The character in the movie, Gordon Gekko, said, "Greed is good." Guess what? Gordon Gekko is back in a new movie that is opening this year. I saw an advertisement for it, and he had another saying that I think is somewhat appropriate. He said, "It is not just greed. What is more important is time." Is time running out? Who knows? But it is interesting to think about anyway.
Why did I just read these verses? Solomon is giving advice to his son. Actually, it is God giving advice to His son. Immediately after the first eight or nine verses there in which he is stating the purpose of the book of Proverbs, the first thing he goes into is, "Do not join together with other people in a nefarious scheme to make money." That is exactly what is happening here. They are joining together in order to make money and to gain political power.
You see, by this God, through Solomon, is showing us that what these people are doing is creating a "them and us" situation. Unfortunately, we are the "them." They are the "us," and things are being moved to profit them. In the end, God says what they are doing is going to earn them death in the long run. We know God is going to defeat the Beast, and it applies in that kind of a situation. It also applies in much smaller personal things as well. We are not to join together in business with somebody who is scheming in some way.
Proverbs 24:21-22 My son, fear the LORD and the king; do not associate [join together] with those given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly; and who knows the ruin those two can bring?
I chose this particular proverb because it is aimed directly at the subject of this sermon. Keil-Delitzsch says this verse means, "Don't join with dissidents, rebels, and revolutionaries. They are plotting the overthrow of government." This is what these New World Order people are doing. They are people working toward the doing of that very thing. They are going to overthrow nations to bring them under their authority. They want to reconfigure the government, religion, and the economy of the world in their image. These people are so full of themselves. God is not really in their picture.
One of the reasons why Solomon mentioned this thing—"Fear the Lord, and the king"—is that these people, without realizing what they are doing, are bringing themselves in direct opposition to God because they are going to overthrow, or intend to overthrow, the very people God Himself may have ordained to be in those positions in those governments. So that brings them against God directly.
Doing something of this nature requires a fairly strong unity of wills to do so. We can see from the unity thus far obtained in Europe that it has been a struggle of almost six decades long, and it has required a vision embraced by some of these people for a period of time even longer than that. It has taken much in the way of negotiation and many sacrifices, and even so, to this very day every decision made by these people is not accepted gracefully. They do not have everything under their control. Not yet anyway, and so some individual nations will rebel about some things.
Very much grumbling is heard of unfairness here and there. Yet even so, brethren, it is off and running and it is beginning to make its mark. Thus the second element that is needed is the combination of the vision to set the goal, and then some small measure of good needs to attain it for the public good and the hope of sufficient reward to provide motivation.
The third element that is needed is human leadership. Genesis 10 and 11 inform us that the people had human leadership that persuaded or manipulated them to disregard God's command, and instead concentrate their populations in one central area: the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. The ploy used was that it was for their own good, and thus for their own safety and well-being, and for those two things to be accomplished it was best for them to do as the leadership suggested to them. The head of that leadership was Nimrod, and Nimrod becomes the original type, and also even the final end-time type of the Beast that defies God. So that we see this clearly, let us turn to Genesis 8.
Genesis 10:8-10 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD." And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
The word "before" is the one we are going to focus on here. It literally means "face." Nimrod faced God. That is what it literally says. The context of chapters Genesis 10 and Genesis 11 shows that he faced God as an enemy. The Sperling Translation, referring to Nimrod, says this: "He began to be a despot. He was against God."
It should not be assumed that Nimrod stood alone. Rather, there undoubtedly were others who formed a formidable group of which Nimrod was leader. It was this group of trusted allies of his who became the elite governing figures of his rebellion. History shows that Nimrod was followed by a number of others of the same type who accomplished similar coups, and from them we can learn bits and pieces in order to better see the end-time configuration.
Let us go to the book of Daniel where we will look at one of those people. I am going to read these verses to you, first from The Revised Standard Version, and then from The English Standard Version.
Daniel 11:20-21 [RSV] "There shall arise in his place one who imposes taxes on the glorious kingdom, but within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle. In his place shall arise a vile person to whom they will not give the honor of royalty, but he shall come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue."
Now I am going to read from the English Standard Version where you will begin to see some changes of wording.
Daniel 11:21-23 [ESV] "In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning, obtain the kingdom by flattery. Armies shall be utterly swept away before him and broken, even the prince of the covenant. And from that time an alliance is made with him, he shall act deceitfully, and he shall become strong with a small people."
That is a very interesting translation. God is telling us that what is going to be accomplished is not going to be accomplished by a huge number of people, and that this person is really going to be "silver-tongued," and he is going to make all kinds of promises with which he is going to benefit the people. God is also telling us that he is contemptible in his character—a deceitful person, smooth as oil, like David says in the psalm. "His words were like butter, but in his heart was war."
What does it mean to us in regard to the end-time? If this pattern is going to be followed, we are not going to see this person come into power through an overthrow of a series of governments. This person will probably be the politician of all politicians that ever lived.
Incidentally, the person being described here in Daniel 11 is Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He was that kind of a man. That is what is being described, and so we can see that the end-time Beast is going to come in with a small group of people—a very compact, solidly organized group of people—at the very fulcrum of everything.
It is good to note in Genesis 11:7-8 that God moved to destroy this first configuration, and from that we can understand this is how God clearly establishes His attitude toward any of these Beasts. It will be that way with the last one as well.
The third element that is needed is human leadership.
The fourth element is there will be a spiritual leader accompanying the Beast. A spiritual leader stood with Nimrod, supporting him. This is not shown in Genesis 11, but secular history and the book of Revelation regarding the end-time shows this very clearly. We know there was spiritual leadership with a companion of Nimrod, and I think you know who that was.
Revelation 13:11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
Revelation 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
We still do not know who this person is going to be, but we know that he is going to be there. In Nimrod's day the spiritual leader at his side was his wife, Semiramis. It is interesting that neither the Bible nor secular records show her as supernaturally empowered as Revelation 13 shows the end-time spiritual leader; but regardless, this is recorded of her. She claimed that supernatural things occurred in her presence. You might recall [she claimed] that she gave the original virgin birth. She claimed that she supernaturally gave birth to the savior, her son. Her husband was already dead by this time, which is very interesting.
So the fourth element is that there will also be spiritual leadership accompanying the Beast. Now, as a politician, that is something very good to have. You cover all your bases. Whether you believe it or not is another thing altogether, but you have to have somebody there who will take care of and supply the need for those who are of a religious bent. So you have got industry, you have got politics, and you have got religion and academia all at your beckon call.
Element number five is by far and away the one most essential to any success that the rebels might accomplish for any period of time, and this of course is the backing, the inspiration, guidance, and the education, instruction of Satan. The Bible clearly shows his position, his leadership in the entire affair.
This was in Nimrod's overall leadership in his time, and in this time as well. Satan is the ruler of this world, and it is he who is spiritually worshipped by the vast majority, and it is he who is leading them politically, academically, commercially, as well as religiously.
Without going into Satan's background as shown primarily in Isaiah 14 and in Ezekiel 28, we know enough that for virtually the entirety of his considerable lifetime he has been God's enemy, attempting to displace God and take God's place. One of the greatest advantages he possesses is his long life, so he can stretch out the period of time he needs to accomplish what he wants to accomplish regardless of having to replace one leader with another.
Because of that he is able to sustain his program of rebellion against God through men over long periods of time simply by replacing a human leader who dies with another human leader he has already prepared. This ability is the major reason why that unless God directly steps in to change the direction of events, nothing ever happens in human cultures to improve the quality of mankind's existence.
Revelation 13:1-2 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. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
There it is. The dragon is leading the whole rebellion.
Revelation 13:3-5 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 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?" And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
You can see here that the actual leadership of the Beast is not going to be all that long, but it is going to be tumultuous.
Revelation 13:6-8 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
It is Satan who elevates the Beast into his position of ruling authority and supplies the powers to carry the demands of that office, even to miracles being done in and through him.
Verse 8 shows that the Beast is so dynamic, so electrifying, and so carnally attractive as a political leader that people are emotionally moved to give him worship. This is something beyond mere imagination, and this is greatly helped by what we find in the preceding chapter, which you also know well.
Revelation 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
We see an unfolding, a very brief overview of the history of God's people, and all the way back where this is describing Satan was alive, and he was plotting then. He was a leader of such quality that he was able to deceive one-third of the angels who could look at God, in a sense, face to face, and he still managed to deceive them.
Revelation 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child [the Christ] as soon as it was born.
Revelation 12:7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The inspiration and the leadership of Satan are so great that he manages to convince one-third of the angels to follow him. On earth he moves invisibly to deceive all of mankind spiritually, except for those to whom God reveals Himself. Thus the populations of humans are also prepared to accept the human leadership, convinced that he is going to lead them to a better life. Now how does he manage to do this? You know these things, but they are essential for us to continue to build on the operations of Satan through humans.
Turn to Ephesians 2:1-3. As these verses show, Satan does this by his spirit.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Never forget that he has plenty of time to accomplish his spiritual labor, and he does his deceiving by means of his spirit influencing mankind to disbelieve God and His Word.
"Spirit" is simply the term that indicates an immaterial and invisible power that influences the humans capable of receiving its influences. In this case, to influence people's attitudes at what they believe to be guides for their life's conduct. Now how successful has he been? He has been greatly successful because I John 5:19 says this:
I John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
How does this occur? It is really not all that hard, especially where you have mass concentrations of people. All you have to do is get the ball rolling is to turn a people's mind against God, and they pass on the influence, the attitudes—attitude by attitude, act by act, word by word, person to person, family to family, generation after generation until virtually the entire world is anti-God.
Now here, I think, comes a very interesting stretch in this sermon. Let us go to Isaiah 49. This is a prophecy of Jesus Christ and of His birth.
Isaiah 49:1 "Listen, O coastlands [usually meaning Israel], to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar [from Jerusalem]! The LORD has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
Here we have a prophecy about Jesus Christ, and this prophecy refers to Mary's womb as Jesus Christ's matrix. It was in Mary's womb that He was prepared to be born as a human.
Here is something I think we need to consider regarding the world, and it is partly why God gives us so many warnings about the world. It is this: The world is everybody's spiritual womb. Let me change that. The world is everybody's spiritual matrix.
Now how deep and important is the deception that the world has undergone? I am sure many of you remember the movie trilogy titled "The Matrix." The world is in somewhat of a loose parallel position of that malevolent computer program of that movie. In "The Matrix" people were born into a slave state that they thought was reality, but it actually was a powerful computer-generated virtual reality program. The people lived in constant and deep delusion in which they were reduced to sheer servitude to fuel the need of the rulers.
The Reader's Digest Encyclopedic Dictionary defines matrix as "that in which anything originates, develops, takes shape, or is contained." The Origin of English Words by Joseph Shipley, page 7, traces matrix's root to the transliterated word amma. Do you know what amma literally means? It means "baby talk." But from amma comes the Greek word "meter." Is it beginning to take shape? "Meter" means mother. It is also the root for metropolis. Superman was from Metropolis. Do you know what that word means? Mother-city. It is also the root of the word matriculate, which means "register or enroll in, as in a school, a place in which we are prepared for adulthood." These definitions all indicate a place of development. Shipey's final suggestion regarding the meaning of this word is that amma directly points to the uterus—the place where we are prepared for human life. But brethren, spiritually everybody's matrix is the world!
Galatians 1:1-4 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
The key words are "deliver us from this present evil age" or world.
Now go to Galatians 4 where Paul is continuing on the same theme.
Galatians 4:1-3 Now I say that the heir [You can put yourself there.], as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
That is where our spiritual roots were before the time God called us. Every single one of us has had our matrix in the world.
Galatians 4:4-6 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"
You see, as our matrix, matrix began to change.
Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave [We have just come out of the womb of the world.] but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The matrix that forms us, that molds us, that shapes us is the world, and it frames us, just like in the movie, to a life of bondage to the ruler of this world, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. Brethren, that was all we knew until the true God of heaven and earth, in His mercy, chose to reveal Himself to us. By that time, brethren, we were already adults and thoroughly deceived.
Now a series of summary verses.
I John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
That person is not showing the characteristics of His family, nor of His Spirit. They are trying to go back to where they came from. Do not go back to the matrix—the world!
I John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Thus we are warned where the repository of the spirit of Satan the Devil is. He is alive and actively infecting others with his deceitful perception, attitudes, and conduct. The world is so deeply deceived by Satan, that in John 8 he is directly called "their father" by Jesus Christ. People cannot believe their ears—especially those who are of a religious bent, and sincerely believe that they are worshipping God.
Let us take a look at that.
John 8:38-44 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. . . .
Can you imagine that? There is no truth in the father of this world. Everything is cunningly deceitful. That is hard to imagine. When Jesus said "no truth," He was not talking about any old thing. He was talking spiritual truth.
John 8:44-47 . . . When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
I bet that was a shock because these people really thought highly of themselves—spiritually.
The terms sons, daughters, and children is used to identify those who are direct blood descendants of a named "father" or "mother," but they are also used to identify those who share the same spiritual and moral characteristics, regardless of whether a blood tie exists.
God names people what they are, and in Revelation 9 "Satan" means "enemy" or "adversary," and both of these names mean "destruction" or "Destroyer," and they are the dominant features of his character. So ingrained is this in his character his every thought is given to destroy whatever it is he is working toward. Even as God takes pleasure in creating, Satan takes pleasure in destruction.
Sometimes it is hard for us to imagine a being so violently twisted in his thinking that he lives to destroy. He hates God to such a degree he literally lives to destroy God, to destroy God's purpose, and any possibility of a relationship any in mankind might have with God. He lives to destroy any possibility of unity, harmony, and peace with God and with each other.
It is Satan's desire to deceitfully create and promote confusion, anger, envy, covetousness, and to make people feel that they are being taken advantage of, mistreated, especially from God or from any of God's people. He holds authority over all the operations of all the cultural systems on earth that the Bible calls "the world." He is a spirit being who is so supremely "full of himself" that he believes, and still believes to this day, that he can conquer God and displace Him on His throne.
The Beast that is beginning to rise in our time is going to be the supreme effort that is made on earth in his attempts to destroy God and His purpose. He has already tried it in the heavens and he lost that, but he is not giving up. He hopes to destroy you and me in this mess that he is creating in our part of the world.