We left off last time while conducting scriptural tests to determine the possibility that America (the superpower) might fit as the Beast of Revelation 13. (If you missed the discussion of the previous tests, please read the BLOGS for part 1 and part 2 of “The Beast of Revelation 13”).
Test #5: “ten crowns on his horns.” Of all the characteristics of the “beast” or superpower in Revelation 13, “ten crowns on his horns” is truly unique. It is a demanding characteristic. The word “crown” (or “diadem” as some versions read) was a distinctive mark of royalty among the early Greeks and Romans. If the word crown or diadem is used, something is being said about its political position.
To use the word crowns with horns indicates this prophetic phrase is describing the political position of these horns or nations that the superpower in Revelation 13 influences. Allow me to break down this phrase. Ten means all-encompassing, crowns means political position, and horns references various powerful countries. When John writes that the crowns (political control) were positioned on the horns (each nation), he means that each country has its own governing political body. So this superpower in the last days allows those nations under its influence to retain political autonomy.
If the superpower described in Revelation 13:1 politically controlled these other countries, then Scripture would have said ten crowns on his head to reflect the beast’s political leadership over these countries. It would not have placed the crowns on the horns.
The U.S. is the only superpower I know of that has met this distinctive characteristic. For example, we helped defeat both Japan and Germany in World War II, yet we allowed each country to retain political autonomy. In fact, we helped rebuild the countries we conquered.
This imagery of crowns and horns, of politics and nations, is a telling description of our relationship with other nations. America’s influence reaches across the globe. Missionaries have journeyed to the remotest parts of the Earth and found American brand names, TV shows and popular music. The United States maintains more military bases and foreign embassies than any other nation, and its technological, industrial and commercial influence draw even more of the world’s population into its grasp. Yet none of these people owe allegiance to the American flag. Few of those under American influence are actually U.S. citizens.
How aptly John’s phrase of crowns and horns describes America’s influence: These nations are heavily influenced by our culture and commerce, but not ruled by our laws. We pass this unique test God gives to describe this end-time superpower.
Test number six: “on each head a blasphemous name.” We need to examine the word blasphemy. Without a proper understanding of this sin, it would be difficult to comprehend how it relates to the heads of the beasts or to aspects of their leadership.
Throughout the Old Testament, blasphemy was one of the gravest sins one could commit. To blaspheme is to make light or sport of the name and sovereignty of God. In the New Testament, the Greek word for blasphemy means to injure one’s reputation. The Scriptures are strict in teaching that the holy name of God is sacred. To misuse His name in any way that is not marked with a sense of awe and majesty is viewed as blasphemy.
To better understand blasphemy, think about what happened prior to the Crucifixion. Jesus was true deity, but the Sanhedrin did not accept Him as such, and the high priest condemned Him to death for what this religious leader deemed blasphemy. The seriousness of this sin is shown by the fact that it was punishable by death. So when Jesus acknowledged His deity, the religious leaders claimed he had misused the name of God, or blasphemed.
In describing the superpower in Revelation 13, when John speaks of the blasphemous name on each head, it means the leadership of our government will misuse the sacred name of God after becoming the world superpower. John indicates that in each area of leadership—each head—this last-days superpower will use the sacred name of God irreverently in carrying out unrighteous acts. This would mean our government promotes a worldly cause while claiming an association with the name of God. This is, in fact, what has begun to happen in this last generation as our government started to pass laws that promote sin. Examples include promoting sexual promiscuity in schools by passing out condoms, sponsoring the murder of millions of unborn babies through abortion, and outlawing praying aloud in school.
Undoubtedly, many of our nation’s founders submitted to the Lord’s direction. But on our way to worldwide superiority in this last generation, we have abandoned our forefathers’ godly principles. Other governments engage in wicked activities. But no other nation claims God’s blessing while it commits such evil. We easily pass the sixth test of Revelation 13:1 that the Lord gave us to identify this superpower in the last days.
If this verse had been written in contemporary English, and the symbols were replaced with their contemporary explanations, it might read something like this:
And I saw a world superpower develop in a new country made up of people from many nationalities. It influenced other powerful nations throughout the world; it held a position of leadership in every area of world affairs, although it did not try to politically rule other countries—they were allowed to govern themselves. It used the name of God freely and irreverently in many of its worldly activities.
The following is a quick reference to the words and phrases in verse one that characterizes the superpower in Revelation 13.
Beast: Empire or superpower.
Out Of the sea: A nation of peoples from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Numeral Ten: All-encompassing.
Horns: Nations with significant power, authority and influence, but not superpowers.
Numeral Seven: Completeness.
Crowns or Diadem: A distinct mark of royalty or political position.
Blasphemy: To supposedly diminish God by misusing His holy name.
In these last days the beast that Satan will give his complete authority to will no doubt be the greatest superpower in the history of the world. This makes a lot more sense than the devil forming an alliance with a second- or third-rate power.
America presently not only holds that position of supremacy, but also fits all of John’s descriptive characteristics he gives to identify this “beast.” Therefore, I would conclude that America fits into the prophecy Jesus gave to John in Revelation.
I fear Satan’s ability to deceive is greater than most of us acknowledge. He is far better at pulling off the unexpected than most of us think. Because of our personal experiences with spiritual failure, we may comprehend this as individuals. Anyone who has been in a position of church leadership can also understand how all too often this scenario plays itself out in congregational settings. But few realize how true his evil ambitions are regarding nations. For American Christians to fail to heed what is being revealed here would be an error of great magnitude. Nothing would please the enemy more than to continue to deceive Christians, and increase his control of the great assets of the United States of America for his own evil purposes.
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