A group was discussing Revelation as part of its final “Through the Bible in a Year” study…It was speculated that the beast that rises from the dark, fearsome, and unknown abyss of the sea (that gets its authority and direction from the dragon) and the beast of the land that rises up to serve the beast of the sea, represent forces at work in the world most all of the time and that are especially observable in the world now. One observed that the beast of the sea is likely a philosophy that is anti-Christian, secular humanistic, and militant in its persecution of Christ (propagated by and promoted by demonic forces) and the beast of the earth (where the institutions of humankind are in authority) embracing and enforcing such a philosophy through its institutions- government, education, military, financial institutions, and yes, even some religious institutions, etc. A FB friend from South Africa posted about this same interpretation on her FB page. Interesting how the Spirit moves across the world transcending ages, cultures, people groups, etc. and brings a similar understanding among believers (those with eyes to see and ears to hear.) This is not crazy conspiracy theories. Nor is it a reason for panic or fear. It simply is a way that Christians have understood the battle that exists in the world and that will continue until the day of Christ’s return. Jenny writes: “Who is the Beast, or rather what is the beast? Simply: the State…..We see in some countries that persecute Christians, this demand to forsake your Christian beliefs and values for the rights of citizenship o the state….forsake it or be cast out or imprisoned or killed etc.” In a more subtle way, it can simply be a mocking spirit and dismissal of the intellect and worth of people of faith.
The Spirit had led me to an understanding of these two forces, represented as “beasts” in John’s revelation, years ago. Occasionally, I see others posit the same understanding. The current circumstances in our world and others who are seeing this dynamic confirms for me something the Lord had told me in prayer a few months ago….that the Spirit is starting a new move within Christ’s church. I see evidence of it in a number of ways and places. It makes me excited and hopeful, not fearful or despairing! .I think that is the response intended for those who received Christ’s Revelation to John 2000 years ago!
The author of the article below, Dr. Robert Luginbill, is apparently disliked by Evangelical Universalists because of his defense of the doctrine of freewill, and suggestion that “salvation” can be lost. The fact that Luginbill is so enthusiastic and voluminous in his defense of his beliefs is another criticism of him by universalists. I point some of you to these discussions so that you know what some of the struggles are within the Body of Christ and to challenge you to read the Bible and be led by the Holy Spirit to discover God’s mind, heart, and will for yourself. I was told by someone that a group she was in nearly came apart when they studied Revelation because of some of these same debates. Reading Revelation is supposed to bless and comfort us, not divide and discomfit.