The Beast's Reign

The kings and the inhabitants of the earth refuse to follow the Lamb. Instead, they give homage to the beast

Earth in Hand - Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash
In 
Revelation, there are no geographic restrictions on the reign of the “beast.” ALL the “inhabitants of the earth” take its “mark” and bow to its “image.” Not a single government resists the final incarnation of the “ancient serpent,” for it is granted “authority over every tribe, people, tongue and nation.” - [Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash].

Nowhere does Revelation mention any exception to this rule. No political ideology, form of government, or organized religion resists the authority of the “beast” or the economic inducements of the “false prophet.” Only the followers of the “Lamb” do not subjugate themselves to this beastly program.

The book details the attempts by the “Dragon” and its earthly vassals to destroy the “saints,” the men and women who have the “testimony of Jesus.” Humanity falls into two and only two groups - Those who follow the Lamb and those who render homage to the Beast. Nowhere is any third category or neutral ground described.

GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES?


When one of the “seven heads” of the “beast” is mortally wounded and healed, the “whole earth marvels after the beast and rendered homage to the Dragon.” In contrast, the “Lamb” redeems men and women “out of” every nation and ethnic group.

If this language is limited geographically or ethnically when applied to the “beast,” the same holds true for the extent of the “Lamb’s” authority. Just as Christ’s redeeming activities extend over the entire earth, so Satan’s efforts to persecute the church and keep the world in deception reach every corner of the planet - (Revelation 7:9).

Not only do “all the inhabitants of the earth render homage” to the “beast,” the same group is identified further as “those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.” Therefore, all men whose names are not written in the book will “render homage to the beast.”

Whether one’s name is excluded from the “book of Life” is determined by how one responds to the “Lamb,” not by geography, nationality, or political affiliation. The statement - “all who dwell upon the earth will render it homage” - cannot be limited by geography or nationality.

In chapter 13, another “beast” ascends- “from the earth,” the “false prophet.” He uses deception and economic control to “cause the inhabitants of the earth to render homage to the first beast.” Elsewhere, the term, “inhabitants of the earth,” refers to all humanity in rebellion against the “Lamb” - (Revelation 3:10, 13:11-15).

Earth panorama - Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash
[Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash]


Similarly, after the fourth trumpet sounds, an angel cries out, “Woe, woe, woe, for the inhabitants of the earth.” The judgments unleashed by the “seven trumpets” target the “inhabitants of the earth,” for they refuse to repent.

If this term refers to a group limited by geography or nationality, the effects of the “seven trumpets” are likewise limited by geography or nationality - (Revelation 6:10, 8:13).

NO MIDDLE GROUND


The “false prophet” deceives the “inhabitants of the earth.” All, whether “small or great, rich or poor, free or slave,” take the “mark of the beast.” In contrast, those who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” have his Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads, the “seal of God.”

Once again, two and only two groups are in view. There is no “third way,” no holdout nation, no middle ground on which to stand. One must declare for the “Lamb” or the “beast.”

In chapter 14, the angel announces the “everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.” If anyone renders homage to the “beast, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God.”

This warning anticipates the final judgment of the whole earth, the time when the angel will “gather the vine of the earth and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God.” Described here is the judgment of all men whose “names are not written in the Lamb’s book” - (Revelation 14:9-10).

LAMB OR DRAGON


At the final “battle,” Satan gathers all the “kings of the earth” and the “nations from the four corners of the earth,” “Gog and Magog,” to destroy the “camp of the saints.” The reference to the “four corners of the earth” stresses the global scope of the Devil’s final assault against the church – (Revelation 19:17-21, 20:7-10).

Nowhere does Revelation describe or even suggest the possibility of any nation or government opting out of or resisting the authority of the “beast.” In the book, “all” means exactly that - “ALL nations.”

Again, the only men who do not submit by giving allegiance to the “beast” are those who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” They refuse the beast’s “mark” and suffer the consequences.

In the end, there will be no neutral ground and no room for compromise with Satan and his earthly agents. Every man and woman must choose whom they will serve - The “Dragon” or the “Lamb.”



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