For over two thousand years peoples of all kinds and places have longed for a leader to guide them into a better life. Now in the early part of the 21st century wars are fought over the issue of leadership. Europe and the middle East struggle to find a leadership which will guide them through this early part of the 21st century. Political disagreements have caused one world power -- with leadership problems of its own -- to warn of a World War III.
Does the Bible point to a future leader who will affect the entire planet? Does the Bible characterize such a leader who can control both global worship as well as the world of commerce? Does the Bible indicate this leader will bring a form of peace to the globe? Is there a leader who will guide mankind through the first decades of the 21st century with blessing to themselves? We are happy to announce that the answer is, "Yes!"
The answers to the above questions may not be the ones that the majority of mankind seek. At the outset we can say that two kinds of world peace, two kinds of global control, two kinds of earth-wide worship are likely to occur. However, the Bible indicates this will take place by means of two quite different "lambs."
One 'lamb' will use economic and military means along with oppression to control humanity and lead it into the new world order it envisions. The other 'lamb' will also deem to bring world peace by undoing a centuries-old system, both religious, political and commercial. Who are the "lambs" that humanity will follow in this 3rd millennium?
Many people around the globe feel we are on the verge of great political, commercial and religious upheavals. Wars and national animosities caused by differences in religion now affect various parts of the earth. The news of these conflicts are highlighted on television, the radio, and the printed page. Historical commentators and political analysts search and speculate regarding what person or what agency may lead mankind out of the chaos into a peace lasting a millennium or longer.
Interestingly, the Bible actually predicts a political power and supporting agencies which will bring world peace, a stable global economy, and one unified religion.
The first prophetic lamb is described as a supporter of a great Sea-Beast in the apocalyptic book of Revelation. This lamb is an Earth-beast which carries out the programs of the Sea-Beast. Read about these in Revelation 13:1-4 and note the following characteristics:
This Sea-Beast in Revelation is a parallel of what Daniel 7:7, 8 calls a "small horn" -- which seems insignificant -- but rises after ten historical cousins traceable to Rome. This "little power" fells and humiliates three of the original fragments of Rome. It is this "little horn" in Daniel -- called the Sea Beast in Revelation -- that will bring the great holocaustic oppression on end-time Christians, and this for three and a half years. (Daniel 7:21-25; Revelation 13:5-7)
A second lamb-like Earth-Beast becomes the prophet or agency which carries out the Sea-Beasts great pronouncements. Note this in Revelation 13:11-17 and what characterizes its lamb-like association with the Sea-Beast:
Many are the views expressed by Bible interpreters on these subjects. Without being dogmatic we suggest a possible historical scenario which seems to harmonize with past and current political developments:
Can anyone fail to see that presently America (supported by the United Nations and NATO) is becoming the only world power with which no one can reasonably do battle? Can anyone fail to see that America (supported by the United Nations and NATO) can already call fire down out of the sky? Can anyone fail to see the future potential of global economic control? Can anyone fail to see that a single religio-political form of worship might be forced upon all mankind?
Will this lead to a lasting world peace with one economy and one religion? Based on our knowledge of he Bible we can say, No? The reason for this future failure is because there is another apocalyptic Lamb who will prove to be earth's new King, not for a millennium, but forever.
The most oft-mentioned 'lamb' in the book of Revelation is the glorified and enthroned Jesus Christ who left his footprints along the shores of Galilee. No one could have predicted that an obscure carpenter from little Nazareth would today have over three billion adherents. No one could have predicted that most modern nations count-down to the year 2,000 based on their understanding of the birth date of Jesus Christ.
Whatever turn outs to be the actual fulfillment of the Apocalypse, this same book of Revelation that foretells future human developments also points to the one true Lamb who will finally lead mankind into a blessed millennium. Before he begins his own Thousand Year reign over the world, the Lamb is foretold to destroy those powers which have oppressed and polluted the earth by their commercial greed. The Bible describes what the Lamb will do (we suggest one possible fulfillment):
"These ten (European powers) all have the same purpose, and they give their power and authority to the (sea) beast (America). They will fight against the Lamb; but the Lamb, together with his called, chosen, and faithful followers, will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. .. "The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth!" ... Then I saw heaven open, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True; it is with justice that he judges and fights his battles. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and he wore many crowns on his head. He had a name written on him, but no one except himself knows what it is. The robe he wore was covered with blood. His name is "The Word of God." The armies of heaven followed him, riding on white horses and dressed in clean white linen. Out of his mouth came a sharp sword, with which he will defeat the nations. He will rule over them with a rod of iron, and he will trample out the wine in the wine press of the furious anger of the Almighty God. On his robe and on his thigh was written the name: "King of kings and Lord of lords." (Revelation 17:13, 14; Revelation 11:18; Revelation 19:11-16)
Following what Revelation 16:14, 16 calls Armageddon, the real enemy of mankind, "the god of this world," Satan, will be imprisoned and locked up in a Thousand Year abyss. The King Messiah will rule for a millennium, a Thousand Years, without the influence of the Devil. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 20:3) Isaiah 65:17-23 describes this period:
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall Not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of YHWH, and their children with them.
Surely, the Lamb will lead mankind into a genuine and godly peace with the full opportunity for the world and its nations to "learn righteousness." (Isaiah 26:9) This will occur under the loving rule of an inspired King where all will be treated justly and without any prejudice. (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:1-9) For a Thousand Years the rightness of God's rule by His Messiah will result in universal praise as described in Revelation 5:9-13 (TEV):
They sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race. You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they shall rule on earth." Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, and sang in a loud voice: "The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!" And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea-all living beings in the universe-and they were singing: "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!"
At the end of the Thousand Years the living proof will be universally visible that the Lamb of God has proved to be the One to follow in, not only the third millennium, but all millenniums to come!
"That is very fine for the future," someone will say, "but what about now?"
The Good News is that the King already reigns from his heavenly throne! Daniel 7:13 foretold that a human being would ascend to heaven and take up celestial rulership from the hand of the Most High. This proved to be none other than Jesus the Nazarene. (John 6:62; Acts 1:9-11) The authority of his rule is described by Paul at Ephesians 1:19-22, "This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which (God) used when He raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world. Christ rules there above all heavenly rulers, authorities, powers, and lords; he has a title superior to all titles of authority in this world and in the next. God put all things under Christ's feet and gave him to the church as supreme Lord over all things." (Compare Matthew 28:19.)
This reign began in the year 33 CE when Jesus ascended to heaven. He was to begin his rule waiting for the ultimate subjugation of all his enemies. (1 Corinthians 15:24; Psalm 110:1) The last enemy to be destroyed will be death itself. Though this will mean a glorious resurrection to life on an Edenic planet, the King Jesus is presently the "one leader" of the Christian Church. (Matthew 23:10) Persons who have repented of their sins, confessed them to God, begun a serious course of discipleship, and expressed their faith in Jesus as Lord, already acknowledge the Nazarene as their Lord and King. There are even now within his kingdom and under his guidance. (Colossians 1:13)
Those genuine Christians who live up to that future historical and prophetic moment called "the Day of the Lord" will find themselves snatched or raptured out of harm's way at the height of that future holocaust. (Daniel 7:22; Daniel 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 11:12) However, these so rescued from the "great oppression" (Revelation 7:9, 14; Daniel 7:22; 12:1) are described in Revelation 14:4 as "they are the ones who follow the Lamb no matter where he goes." Just how do they "follow the Lamb"?
These end-time Saints have chosen "one leader" and trust him to guide them throughout the coming millenniums. They recognize Jesus as their "model." (1 Peter 2:21) Indeed, "they follow the lamb no matter where he goes."
There are several ways this submission to Christ's leadership is manifest:
The Good News is that time remains to join membership in the Bride of the Lamb with the potential of becoming a citizen of the New Jerusalem. (Revelation 19:7, 9; 21:9, 10; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 3:20, 21) The Good News now is that there is "one Leader" who can guide us like a Good Shepherd through this dark world into a glorious New Dawn. (John 10:11, 14, 16) The Good News now is that there is a Leader who will guide honest hearted peoples in the third millennium and beyond -- and more importantly, during the Thousand Years, will lead and guide them to everlasting life with enduring peaceful prospects. (Revelation 7:17; 14:4, 5; 22:2, 14, 17)
Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller
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