In this vision, John sees a beast rising out of the sea and gaining great power and authority (Rev. 13:2).
One leader, known as the 'beast' or the 'anti-christ', seemingly resurrected from the dead, speaks “arrogant words” (Rev. 13:5).
He attacks believers and gains authority over “every tribe and people and tongue and nation” (Rev. 13:7). All except true believers worship him.
The worship of this satanically inspired perversion and overreach of secular authority is the ultimate offense against the one true God.
“...We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
The temptation rejected by Jesus - to "fall down and worship me" (the devil) - at the outset of his public ministry reappears at the end of history in its most persuasive form and gains the allegiance of all but the elect.
Note the response that Jesus gives to serve only God, as should be ours also:
"Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10
Believers need to heed these biblical warnings about the abuses of government such as the ones we are clearly seeing today. Time after time governments throughout the Scriptures exceeded their bounds, clearly reflecting the need for government to be limited.
We are told in Romans 13 to: "…Be subject unto the higher powers.” However, we are also told that our ‘rulers’ should not be a “terror to good works, but to the evil.”
It is clear that many of our current ‘rulers’ today are just the opposite and many times they ARE the 'evil' in word and in deed.
"There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:" Ecclesiastes 10:5
The position the Scriptures uphold is one of biblical submission, with a Christian being allowed to act in civil disobedience to the government if it commands evil, and requires a Christian to act in a manner that is contrary to the clear teachings and requirements of God’s Word.
"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25
"Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13
Lastly, Christians are commanded to pray for their leaders and to pray to God for his intervention in His perfect time and will to change the ungodly path that they are pursuing.
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." 1 Timothy 2:1-2