Today the angel continues and completes his explanation of what John is seeing with the beast, the horns, the prostitute, and the water. Lots of symbols and lots of imagery…
15 And the angel said to me,
“The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. 16 And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, 17 for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”
First he explains that the waters…are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. The Antichrist will come and join them all in a one-world religion, he demands and accepts worship and will seek to unify people under one global, all-encompassing world religion.
Then, in a turn of events, the ten horns…and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire…So, here is a tyrant using religion to get what he wants, then throwing it away when he has no need for it. The worldly, worldwide, weak willed false religious system that the Antichrist has unified and glorified is then tossed aside when it is no longer required for his purposes, and, in 2 Thessalonians 2.3-4 we read
3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
So, from joining everyone together, this man of lawlessness now exalts himself against everything that could be considered religious or of faith and actually takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Just think on that for a moment…the Antichrist will stop all worship of anything else in the whole entire world and have it all directed to himself as he sits on God’s throne in the temple.
Think about this; for this to happen, people have got to be SO enthralled with who he is, what he is doing, we read of no violent takeover, which means that people are on board with what he is doing. How great a deception is this!
For us, then, do we want to push towards a global, one-world religion?
Do we want to strive to overlook basic, fundamental, contradictory differences in the name of peace, when, in actual fact, what we are hastening is not peace, but this?
Love people, yes.
Spend time outside of your Christian bubble, yes.
Respect other people’s freedom to choose a religion (a forced freedom is not freedom, is it), yes.
But, paper over the cavernous differences in how we see the world, no.
Pretend that my truth is my truth and your truth is your truth but we all have truth, no.
Consider the possibility that there may be another way to eternal life other than Jesus, no.
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, modernised, and global, we need to hold to the timeless truths of the Word of God, including the clear and cogent warnings about what is around the corner, what it will look like, and ultimately, how it will end.