Christ and Caesar

Satan offered Jesus unlimited political power to achieve his messianic mission if only he accepted him as his overlord.  Satan tempted Jesus by offering him political power over “ all the kingdoms of the world ,” but he refused the offer. Instead of power and grandeur, he submitted to the way of the ‘ Suffering Servant .’ Arguably, the most startling detail of the encounter is that he did not dispute the Devil’s claim to have jurisdiction over the political systems of the world - [ Photo by  Nemanja Peric  on Unsplash ].

Season of the End

Because the timing of the end is known only to God, disciples of Jesus must be prepared every moment for his sudden arrival .  Jesus did not command his followers to know the timing of his return and the “ end of the age ,” nor did he provide them with keys by which they can decipher that information. Instead, he exhorted them to be prepared every day since his arrival will come just “ like a thief in the night .” God alone possesses that knowledge - [ Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash ].

Inhabitants of the Earth

The “inhabitants of the earth” represent the men that are excluded from the “book of life” for submitting to the "Beast."  The “ inhabitants of the earth ” are unrelenting in their hostility to Jesus and his servants, even rejoicing in the violent deaths of his “ witnesses .” Unlike the “ nations ” and the “ kings of the earth ,” they are beyond redemption, and their names are excluded from the Lamb's “ book of life ” - [ Photo by GaĆ«l Gaborel on Unsplash ].

Beastly Territory

Rulers and nations that refuse to follow the “Lamb” render homage to the “Beast,” and his reign extends over all the habitable earth .  After its rise from the sea, there are no restrictions on the beast’s territory. ALL the “ inhabitants of the earth ” receive its “ mark ” and render homage to its “ image .” Not a single government resists the final incarnation of the “ ancient serpent ,” it is granted “ authority over every tribe, people, tongue and nation .” Other than the “ saints ,” there is no exception to the rule - [ Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash ].

Beggarly Rudiments

The new Messianic Age has dawned, therefore calendrical rituals and other Levitical rites belong to the old and now obsolete order .  In his letter to the Galatians, Paul chided Christians for their desire “to return to bondage under the weak and beggarly rudiments” of the world, including calendrical observations. Since believers now live in the era of fulfillment, resorting to outmoded rituals is inappropriate and constitutes regression to a state of slavery - [ Clocks photo by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash ].