A Mustard Tree
IN Evil, Too, Has a Name, I wrote that the goal of Satan is to collapse civilization into his hands, into a structure and system rightly called "a beast." This is what St. John the Evangelist described in a vision he received where this beast causes "all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave" to be forced into a system whereby they cannot buy or sell anything without a "mark" (Rev 13:16-17). The prophet Daniel also saw a vision of this beast similar to St. John’s (Dan 7:-8) and interpreted a dream of King Nebuchadnezzar in which this beast was seen as a statue made up of different materials, symbolic of different kings who form alliances. The context for all of these dreams and visions, while having dimensions of fulfillment in the prophet’s own time, is also for the future:
Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end. (Dan 8:17)
A time when, after the beast is destroyed, God will establish His spiritual kingdom to the ends of the earth.