Extent of the Reign of the Beast

SYNOPSIS - In Revelation, “all” means “all.” All rulers and nations that refuse to follow the Lamb render homage to the Beast.

World Empire Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash
S
ome interpretations of the “beast” from the book of Revelation insist the geographic and political reach of its rule will be limited. Apparently, certain nations will opt out of the final beastly empire and even resist its rule. While most nations will submit, one or two will not. Put another way, in this interpretation “all” ceases to mean “all.” - [World Empire Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash].

This proposition conflicts with the usage of the term “all” in Revelation, along with its cosmic scope and apocalyptic mindset that divides humanity into two camps:  Those who follow the Lamb versus Those who render homage to the Beast. Nowhere does the book suggest any third category or neutral ground.

For example, when Jesus arrives at the end of the age, “all the tribes of the earth will wail over him.” When one of the “seven heads” of the “beast” was mortally wounded and healed, “the whole earth marveled after the Beast and rendered homage to the Dragon…saying, Who is like the Beast and who can make war with him?” The “beast” was given “authority over all tribes and peoples and tongues and nations.” - (Revelation 1:713:1-7).

The “Lamb” redeemed men and women “out of” every nation and ethnic group. In contrast, the “beast” was granted authority to impose its rule over all nations and ethnic groups.  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 - (Revelation 7:9).

Additionally, “all the inhabitants of the earth will render homage” to the “beast.” This same group is identified further as, “those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.” All those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book “render homage to the Beast” - (Revelation 13:8).

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 ethnicity.

Another “beast” appeared “from the earth,” the “False Prophet.” He used religious deception and economic pressure to “cause the earth and its inhabitants to render homage to the first Beast.” Elsewhere, “inhabitants of the earth” refers to all humanity in rebellion against the Lamb - (Revelation 3:10, 13:11-15).

A day is coming when God will judge the “inhabitants of the earth” because they killed His saints. After the fourth trumpet sounded, an eagle cried out, “Woe, woe, woe, for them who dwell on the earth.” The judgments unleashed by the seven trumpets targeted the “earth dwellers” who refused to repent. If those “who dwell on the earth” refers to a group limited by geography, then logically, the effects of the seven trumpets are likewise limited - (Revelation 6:10, 8:13).

The “beast from the earth deceived them who dwell upon the earth.” All the “inhabitants of the earth,” whether “small or great, rich or poor, free or slave,” took the “mark of the beast.” In contrast, those who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” had his Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads.
Thus, in Revelation, humanity is divided into two camps:  those who give their allegiance to the “beast,” and those who “follow the Lamb” and have his name and the “seal of God.” There is no neutral ground - (Revelation 14:1-5).
In chapter 14, an angel announced an “everlasting gospel to them who dwell upon the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.” If anyone rendered homage to the “beast, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” This warning anticipated the final judgment of the whole earth, the time to “gather the vine of the earth and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God.” This describes total judgment, not partial - (Revelation 14:9-10).

Nowhere does Revelation describe or even suggest the possibility of any nation opting out of or resisting the Beast’s reign. The notion that “all nations” does not mean “all” is excluded. The only men who do not submit to the “Beast” are those who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” Instead, they suffer persecution by the “Beast.” There will be no neutral ground or room for compromise when this figure appears on the world scene.



 

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