The Choice

In Revelation, humanity is divided into two and only two groups: Those who follow the “Lamb wherever he goes,” and those who give their allegiance to the “Beast.” Members of the first group will not experience the “Second Death,” but everyone who takes the Beast’s “mark” and otherwise bows to it will be cast into the “Lake of Fire.” This is no third option or place of neutrality.

What determines a man’s fate is whether he follows the “Lamb” or gives homage to the “Beast.” The graphic image provided by Revelation has profound implications for the disciples of Jesus and their relationship to the State.

Choice - Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash
[Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash]

The group identified as the “
Inhabitants of the Earth” is composed of men who take the “Number of the Beast” and venerate its “image.” When they do so, they acknowledge the power behind the Empire as their overlord, knowingly or not, namely, the “Dragon, that Ancient Serpent called Satan.”

The number “666” is based on the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar’s great golden image in Daniel when he commanded all his subjects to “render homage” to it. It measured sixty cubits by six cubits. Anyone who refused to bow before the image was cast into a “burning fiery furnace.”

This background is employed by Revelation but in an ironic fashion. The inhabitants of end-time Babylon “render homage” to the “Beast” and have his name or number, six hundred sixty and six, “branded” on their right hand or forehead. Their names are blotted out of the “Book of Life.” They will be cast into the “Lake of Fire that is burning with brimstone” on Judgment Day.

In contrast, the men who follow the “Lamb wherever he goes” will stand with him on Mount Zion. They have the name of God “inscribed” on their foreheads rather than the number of the “Beast,” and rather than the “Lake of Fire,” they will inherit everlasting life in the city of “New Jerusalem.”

What distinguishes the “Inhabitants of the Earth” and the followers of Jesus from one another is who they choose to serve, the “Beast” or the “Lamb,” Satan or Jesus. The “Beast” is little more than a puppet of the “Dragon.” Anyone who renders homage to the “Beast” renders homage and gives allegiance to the Devil.


The “Beast” is granted authority over “EVERY tribe and people and tongue and nation,” and in the Revelation, “all” means exactly that, ALL. Either you “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and inherit life, or you render homage to the “Beast” and face the “Second Death.” It is one or the other.

So, what does this mean for us today? First and foremost, we must decide to whom and what we give our allegiance - To the beastly systems of the present age or the Kingdom of God and its Sovereign, Jesus Christ.

We may not yet live under the final incarnation of the “Beast,” but sooner or later, that imperial system will appear on the world scene. Better to decide now who we serve before it is too late. In God’s Kingdom, there is no “dual citizenship” or room for split loyalties. Only one kingdom will be left standing in the end.

The arrival of this final “Beast” will not be something entirely new. History has witnessed many attempts by political leaders to dominate regions and peoples. Such regimes always demand the absolute loyalty of everyone within their domain and more than one has attempted to establish its rule over the planet.

The “Beast from the Sea” is the seventh of a long line of empires. By John’s time, the first five had come and gone, the sixth was in power, which could only be Rome, and the seventh had not yet come (“Five are fallen, one is, the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a little while”).

When the final iteration of the “Beast” begins to ascend from the “Sea,” it will not be the Devil’s first attempt to establish the World Empire, though it will certainly be his last. We must decide now if we will give our allegiance to the Empire or the Kingdom of God, the tyrannical “Beast” or the self-sacrificial “Lamb.”

While we are commanded by Scripture to obey laws and give due respect to governing authorities, we must never give the allegiance and veneration that belongs to Jesus alone to anyone or anything else. If we do so, we will find ourselves on the way to taking the “Mark of the Beast,” and we could easily find ourselves cast into the “Lake of Fire.”

  • Kingdom or Christendom - (‘Christendom’ is the idolatrous term and tactic of invoking God to validate national and political institutions, programs, agendas, and ideologies)
  • Loving Caesar - (The Inhabitants of the Earth willingly venerate the Beast and take its mark, and even believers are not immune from its allurements)
  • The True Emperor - (Messianic promises from the Psalms are applied to the PRESENT reign of Jesus who possesses all authority in Heaven and on Earth)



The Living Word

The Suffering Servant