5The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.bn
Satan does not come magically as a horned monster to frighten, hurt and destroy people. He needs humans to do his dirty work. The beast is a construct of man inspired by demonic forces. Not so long ago the beast was Nazi-facism, followed by Stalinism, Maoism and unbridled exploitative capitalism, Jihadism and so on. Satan is an anti-human entity and dehumanization in all its forms is its native language. Today the most succesful work of satan is seen in the evil political and economic structures of this world which excluded, marginalises, oppressed and hurts people so that those with wealth can prevent those who suffer hunger to share in their wealth. A system designed to protect those who live in peace and privilege from providing a safe haven for those fleeing war and danger fuelled by our weapon industry, foreign politics and lust for cheap oil and other natural resources. Our system is the beast that devours the globe and yet is obeyed and worshipped by many. To oppose it means hardship. Not to oppose it may mean losing our integrity and our soul.