Extent of the Reign of the Beast

SYNOPSIS - In the book of Revelation, “all” means “ALL” - Every ruler, nation, and inhabitant of the earth that refuses to follow the Lamb will render homage to the Beast


World Reach - Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
By Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
Some prophecy teachers contend the scope of the Antichrist’s rule will be geographically or politically limited. Some even suggest certain nations will opt out of his empire and resist his rule - militarily, politically, and economically. Most commonly, the United States of America and the modern state of Israel are assumed to be exceptions to the coming global reach of the “Beast from the sea.”

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

For example, in Revelation 1:7, there is a verbal allusion to and reapplication of prophecy from the book of Zechariah. In the original prophecy, “All nations come against Jerusalem,” while the “house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem” look to the one “whom they pierced and wail over him.” In Revelation, this prophecy is transformed into “every one who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth will wail over him” - (Zechariah 12:10-12).

One of the "seven heads of the Beast" is mortally wounded and then healed. In reaction, “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?” - (Revelation 13:1-3).

The "Beast from the sea" is given “authority over all tribes and peoples and tongues and nations.” This language parallels the redemptive activity of the "slain Lamb" who “redeemed unto God by his blood men and women out of every (Greek pastribe and tongue and people and nation” - (Revelation 5:6-12, 13:7).

The "Lamb" redeems individual men and women “out of” every nation and ethnic group. In contrast, the "Beast" is granted authority to impose its rule over all those 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 (Compare - Revelation 7:9).

Photo by Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash
Photo by Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash

Additionally, “
All they who are dwelling upon the earth will render homage” to the "Beast and its image." This group is identified further as “those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.” Everyone whose name is not "written" in this book will render homage to the Beast - (Revelation 13:8).

Whether one’s name is excluded from the "book of life" is not determined by geography, nationality, or political affiliation, but instead by how one responds to the "Lamb" and the "Beast". The statement, “All who dwell upon the earth will render it homage,” cannot be limited by geography, nationality, or ethnicity.

In Chapter 13 of Revelation, another "beast" appears, the “beast from the earth,” also called the “false prophet.” He uses religious deception and economic pressure to “cause the earth and its inhabitants to render homage to the first Beast.” Elsewhere, the term “the inhabitants of the earth” refers to all humanity in rebellion against the Lamb - (e.g., Revelation 3:10, 13:11-15).

A day is coming when God will judge the “inhabitants of the earth” because they killed His saints. In the series of seven trumpets, an eagle cries out when the fifth trumpet sounds - “Woe, woe, woe, for them who dwell on the earth.” The judgments unleashed by the trumpets target the “earth dwellers” that refuse 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 also limited  -(Revelation 6:10, 8:13).
The “beast from the earth deceives them who dwell upon the earth.” All the “inhabitants of the earth,” 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. Humanity is divided into two camps - Those who give their allegiance to the Beast and take his number - And - Those who follow the Lamb and have his name. There is no neutral ground - (Revelation 14:1-5).

In Chapter 14, an angel announces an “everlasting gospel to them who dwell upon the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.” The hour judgment has arrived. If anyone renders homage to the Beast, “he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” This warning anticipates the final judgment on 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 a total judgment on all the impenitent "inhabitants of the earth," not only some of them - (Revelation 14:9-10).

The final battle is portrayed again by the rider on a white horse who arrives from heaven to “judge and make war.” The "Beast," the "false prophet," and the “kings of the earth and their armies” are all gathered to a final battle with the Lamb. There is no prolonged battle scene, and certainly no neutral parties present -  As soon as this force is assembled, the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" are cast alive into the "Lake of Fire," and the rest of the assembled armies are destroyed - (Revelation 19:11-21).

Nowhere does Revelation describe or suggest that any nation will opt out of the reign of the "beast" or resist it militarily, politically, or economically. The populist suggestion that “all nations” does NOT mean “all” is excluded. The only men and women who do not submit to the "Beast" are the ones who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and refuse to take the "mark of the beast." Instead, they suffer persecution and martyrdom at the hands of the "Beast" and "False Prophet."

There will be no neutral ground or room for compromise when the "beast from the sea" ascends to reign over the "inhabitants of the earth" at the behest of the "Dragon."

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