According to Revelation 13, we could very well be in the last days, with the Antichrist gaining traction on the world stage.
Revelation 13:1-3 (NIV) tells us:
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.
"The dragon stood on the shore," refers to Satan summoning the deep forces of evil who precipitate Armageddon. The "beast" is a collective of seven heads, or powers.
Because it wears 10 crowns, three of the powers have more than one crown.
Since Russia, the European Union and China (for example) each have one supreme ruler, those three heads would have just one crown. All Islamic countries have two ruling authoritarians, a political leader and a spiritual (imam) leader. Thus, an Arab League, for example, could have two crowns.
A collective of Persian Powers (Iran, Iraq, Syria) would comprise another case of one head and multiple crowns. The caliphate, the former Ottoman Empire, headed by Turkey, could also be represented as one head with multiple crowns.
Saudi Arabia was never a power under either the Ottoman (caliphate) or the Persian reigns. It stood alone. Thus, Saudi Arabia (along with some of her subjugated acolytes) could be classified as one head with one crown.
The country is run by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is moving aggressively to dampen clergy interference in Saudi politics, effectively consolidating his position as the most powerful and unfettered monarch of the Middle East.
Today, Saudi Arabia is the most powerful of the Muslim nations and empires, possessing worldwide influence through its control of petroleum trade and pricing on a global basis. Following upon President Trump's sanctions limiting Iran's export of petroleum, Saudi exports have risen to all-time records, consolidating her role as unchallenged head of the OPEC nations.
This history could lead us to an interesting conclusion found in Revelation:
Note carefully that one of the heads of the beast suffered a fatal wound.
Is does not say that the wound was physical. It's ambiguous, but given the Bible's propensity for accuracy, it's strange that it doesn't present accompanying modifiers along with the words "fatal wound." One could surmise that one of the heads has lost its power over life-events rather than the assumption that it loses its life through a physical wound.
These assumptions are consistent with my belief that one head, in collusion with six other heads, taking orders directly from Satan, arises as a sovereign authority, directly coordinating eventual military onslaughts against the land of Israel and her small collection of allies.
Now let's consider Salman's rise to power and recent headlines surrounding his reign. His current involvement with the sanctioned execution of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi would certainly seem to be a wound that "kills" Salman's skyrocketing global influence as a bridge between the twinned worlds of East and West political and religious hegemony.
In my opinion, Salman seems now to be on his way out as titular leader of the Arab/Persian/Muslim world. But the public memory is notoriously fickle, and his continuing moderate stances on women's rights and attempts to otherwise modernize a continent stuck in 16th-century social, political and business habits could soon give him renewed traction.
Because of Salman's willingness to acknowledge the ancient Jewish right to a shared Jerusalem along with certifying much of the surrounding lands, stretching from Lebanon to the Red Sea, he could again emerge as an ultimate broker of peace, salving the planet's contagious and endless circuit of Israeli/Palestinian warfare.
This role as mediator (or interlocutor) could seem to all mankind the ultimate harbinger for a resolution to the world's longest-lasting and most intractable human dilemma: ownership of Israeli/Judean territories. With all this evidence, could Salman emerge as the primary ruling head of the beast, perhaps even the Antichrist incarnate?
We know from Bible prophecy that among the first public actions of the beast emerging from these tides of demonic derivation will be a seemingly munificent recognition of Israel's right to existence by the Arab/Muslim world. This action will disarm even the righteous, all those who fail to understand the ultimate goals of Satan.
And other world leaders are taking note.
At a recent ceremony in Paris acknowledging the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice, The Economist magazine reports that French President Emmanuel Macron prophesied before a scowling President Trump and a poker-faced Vladimir Putin that "Old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos."
One can only wonder at the irony of the man's name, "Emmanuel." And, does he ... does anyone comprehend the great truth of which he speaks?
Ronald D. Mallett of Milliken, Colorado, studied journalism and mass communications at Colorado and Stanford Universities as a Ford Fellow. A retired corporate executive, he was director of jail and prison, Mexico outreach and intercession ministries for 19 years.
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