Dragons, beasts and creatures strange,
Are found within the pages
Of ancient script and holy writ,
From prophets, seers and sages.
In shocking visions they beheld
The rise and fall of nations.
Yet few believe or can perceive
Their signs and revelations.
Though skeptics brush such words aside,
As myths and senseless stories,
Wise men attest the future rests
Within these allegories.
So hearken to the mystery
Of the Lion and His foes,
And you will see what soon shall be,
As time draws to its close.
A startling picture of our planet's future is presented in the Bible's Book of Revelation (also known as The Apocalypse), written 19 centuries ago. Even skeptics who have studied the ancient prophecies of Revelation admit that they are uncanny in their accurate depiction of a number of events and developments which have only become possible since the advent of the microprocessor.
What many people find unsettling is that Revelation warns that the fulfillment of its predictions will signify that the world as we now know it has entered its final era. This period is referred to in prophecy as the Last Days or the Time of the End.
A large number of prophecy scholars agree that the world stage is rapidly being set for the final showdown between the forces of good and evil, an awesome event known as Armageddon. The principal characters in this cosmic conflict are symbolically depicted by Saint John the Revelator as a Lion, a Dragon and a Beast.
The Lion is introduced in Revelation as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah [who] has triumphed" (Revelation chapter five, verse five). This majestic heavenly figure is portrayed elsewhere in Revelation as the Lamb.
Although a lamb is usually considered one of the meekest and weakest of all creatures, this unique lionlike Lamb is the mighty Conqueror who ultimately vanquishes all evil. His power knows no limits. The mere mention of His name causes Hell and its minions to tremble. Though the Dragon and the Beast will array all of their forces against the Lamb and His followers, their efforts will prove futile and their defeat will be utter.
These [the armies of the Beast] will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them: for He [Jesus Christ] is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful (Revelation 17:14).
The Dragon's debut is described in Revelation. It reads as follows:
And there appeared another wonder in Heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. ... and there was war in Heaven: Michael [the archangel] and his angels fought against the dragon ... and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world ... and the dragon was wroth and went to make war with [those] who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:3,7-9,17).
The Dragon is the evil spiritual entity commonly known as the Devil or Satan. Because he is a spirit, in order to effectively operate in Earth's material realm, he works primarily through human agents. Throughout the ages he has energized and possessed individuals who yielded to his evil influence and power. Most of the tyrants and demagogues of history were instruments through whom the Dragon carried out his program of oppressing, enslaving and destroying mankind.
The Beast was symbolically envisioned by St. John as an unearthly creature rising from the depths, a monster that derives his power from the Dragon:
I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority (Revelation 13:1-2).
According to numerous prophecies, the Beast is personified in a powerful political figure who will soon appear on the world scene. He will become the leader of a New World Order that will govern the globe and demand the allegiance of all nations. He is also known in Scripture as the Antichrist or the Son of Perdition. He will be fully possessed by Satan. Once he has secured his position as the head of the One World government, the Beast will demand his subjects' worship.
And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" ... All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb (Revelation 13:3,4,8).
The Beast will come to power with a seven-year agreement, a covenant (which could possibly be put into effect secretly). He will promise world peace and religious freedom, and will temporarily resolve the Middle East crisis, working out a compromise between the Jews and the Arabs regarding Jerusalem and its holy sites. A focal point of this covenant will be Mount Moriah, Jerusalem, where the Jews' ancient temple stood before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and where the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Mosque of Omar stand today. Scripture indicates this covenant will enable the Jews to rebuild their temple on this hotly contested holy site. (See Daniel 8:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Daniel 9:27.)
Initially, most of the world will hail the Beast as a political savior. But three and a half years after the enactment of the seven-year covenant, he will revoke it, and forbid and abolish all traditional religious worship, declaring that he himself is God, and demanding that all the world worship him! (See Daniel 9:27; 8:9-12; 11:21-24,28-31,36; 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4,8,9.)
At this time, an extraordinary idol, described in Revelation as the image of the Beast, will be erected, apparently in Jerusalem on the grounds of the rebuilt Jewish temple. Jesus referred to this image as the "Abomination of Desolation" (Matthew 24:15). This image is likely to be an incredibly high-tech supercomputer, intrinsically linked to the New World Order's telecommunications network. Scripture says it will speak and somehow "cause those who refuse to worship it to be killed" (Revelation 13:14-15). Jesus said that when you see this image standing "in the holy place ... then shall be Great Tribulation such as the world has never known" (Matthew 24:15-21). It will be a time of ruthless repression and persecution of believers in God by the Beast and his regime. (See Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Revelation 13:14-15.)
During this three-and-a-half-year Tribulation period, a universal credit system will be instituted, rendering paper money obsolete. Revelation says all those who submit to the Beast will receive a government credit number implanted in their right hand or forehead (probably in the form of a tiny microchip inserted under the skin, something quite feasible with today's technology). The number 666 will somehow be central to this system. Opponents of the Beast will be singled out, as no one will be allowed to legally buy or sell without this number or mark of the Beast. But God's true children will refuse it, and will be supernaturally provided for by God Himself. (See Revelation 13:16-18; 12:6,14.)
Exactly 3-1/2 years after the Beast breaks the covenant and begins his rampage against believers in God, the mighty "Lion of Judah," Jesus Christ Himself, will suddenly "descend from Heaven with a shout," returning "in the clouds, with power and great glory" to supernaturally rescue all of His people from the clutches of their bestial persecutors. Everyone who loves Jesus and has received Him in their hearts will instantly be transformed as they receive supernatural resurrection bodies, just like Jesus' body after He was resurrected! They will sail up towards the sky in a climactic event commonly known as the Rapture, "to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord!" (Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). (See also 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:21.)
Jesus will then whisk away His "Bride"-all those who love and follow Him-to the greatest, most thrilling party that has ever been held, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven! During this time God will pour out fierce judgments and wrath upon the Beast and his evil forces on Earth. God delivers the final blow to the Dragon's minions when the Beast's armies gather together in Israel, near the site of the ancient town of Megiddo, in a place known as "the Height of Megiddo," for which the Hebrew word is Armageddon. Then Jesus, along with His followers, will return to Earth on supernatural flying horses to utterly defeat and destroy the forces of evil in the catastrophic Battle of Armageddon. (See Revelation 9:13-21; 19:11-21; 17:14; 16:12-21.)
Jesus and His followers will then take over the world and organize and rule and run it the way it should have been run all along. Only then will all wars finally cease and the world will at last be governed fairly, with true justice, liberty, peace, plenty and happiness for all! This amazing period will last for one thousand years, and is therefore known as the Millennium. (See Revelation 20:1-4; Daniel 2:44; 7:18,26,27; Isaiah 2:2-4; Psalm 22:27,28; 47:2,3,7,8.)
At the end of the Millennium, God will completely renew the face of the Earth, resulting in a paradisiacal Garden-of-Eden-like New Earth. God's great heavenly city, New Jerusalem, will then descend from above to settle on the recreated planet. This magnificent Space City is an astounding 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide and 1,500 miles high! It will be inhabited only by the Lord's saved children, who will enjoy unlimited heavenly happiness, pleasure and paradise forever! (See Revelation chapters 21 and 22.)