Disciples Must Choose

In Revelation, every man either “Tabernacles in Heaven” or is one of the “Inhabitants of the Earth.” The terms are not geographical or spatial but reflect whom the group serves. Men either belong to “Heaven” or the “Earth.” Those who elect to follow the Lamb “Tabernacle in Heaven,” but the “Inhabitants of the Earth” choose to submit to the “Dragon” and consequently await a grim fate.

The “Inhabitants of the Earth” decided to swear allegiance to the “Beast from the Sea,” and thereby, they took its “Mark” or “Number.” There is no third alternative, no neutral ground. This group includes men and women from “every tribe, people, tongue, and nation.” No one is excluded based on ethnicity, or gender. What qualifies any man or woman for membership in the group is submission to the “Beast.”

Crossroads - Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash
[Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash]

Everyone who elects to follow the “
Lamb” has his name written in the “Book of Life,” men and women who were redeemed by the “blood of the Lamb” regardless of their “tribe, people, tongue or nation.” Ethnicity has no bearing on inclusion in or exclusion from this company.

In Daniel, the citizens of the Empire heeded the king’s “herald” by rendering homage to the golden image “erected” by Nebuchadnezzar. By swearing fealty to him, they avoided death in the “burning fiery furnace.” Only the rare citizen who refused to submit suffered that fate– (Daniel 3:1-6).

In Revelation, the “Inhabitants of the Earth” seal their terrible fate by swearing allegiance to the “Beast.” They are doomed to the “Lake of Fire that is burning with brimstone.” In Revelation, the fate intended by the Babylonian Empire for disloyalty becomes the destination of men who refuse to follow the “Lamb,” the one true Sovereign.

The men who “Tabernacle in Heaven” are identified as “saints,” “lampstands,” those who have the “Testimony of Jesus” and “keep the faith of Jesus.” They refuse to swear allegiance to the Imperial “Beast” and suffer the consequences – economic deprivation, persecution, and martyrdom. They are found standing with the “Lamb” on “Mount Zion.” Rather than the Beast’s “Mark,” they have the “Seal of God” inscribed on their foreheads.


What distinguishes the followers of Jesus from the “Inhabitants of the Earth” is not their geographic location or ethnicity, but their absolute loyalty to the “Lamb.” They “follow him wherever he goes” even when doing so means death. In this way, they “overcome” as he did and avoid the “Lake burning with fire” - “They overcame the Dragon by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and BECAUSE they loved not their lives unto death” – (Revelation 3:21, 12:11).

Their names are “written in the Book of Life.” They will not taste the “Second Death.” Instead, they will experience the “First Resurrection” and reside in the city of “New Jerusalem” - “And he that sits on the Throne shall spread his Tabernacle over them.”

There is no “safe zone” anywhere on the Earth, no holdout nation to which we may flee. There is no room for compromise. The “Beast” is granted authority over “EVERY tribe and people and tongue and nation.” The Empire’s reach touches every corner of the planet, every man, woman, and child.

Either we “follow the Lamb” no matter the cost and thereby inherit life, or we render homage to the “Beast” and its image, and consequently experience the “Second Death.” Jesus or Caesar. His Kingdom or the latter’s Empire. It is one or the other.

We must decide where our loyalties lie. There is no “dual citizenship” or room for split loyalties in the Kingdom of God. At the critical moment, will we follow the “Lamb” no matter what or submit ourselves to the “Dragon” and his loathsome creature, the “Beast from the Sea”?

The Devil and the political powers of this age that serve him demand absolute loyalty and obedience. There is no room for compromise. Nevertheless, despite their demands and pretensions, Jesus is the only rightful and absolute monarch of the Cosmos.

How we respond to Jesus of Nazareth will determine whether our names are “written in the Lamb’s Book of Life,” or erased and expunged from it forever. If we refuse to give total allegiance and obedience to him and his kingdom today rather than to the World Empire, the day will come when we may very well face the “Lake of Fire.” The would-be disciple who refuses to deny himself or herself and take up his Cross is not worthy of the Lamb of God.

  • Idolizing Caesar - (The World Empire’s propagandists encourage men and women to give allegiance to and idolize Caesar, the Beast from the Sea)
  • Kingdom or Christendom? - (‘Christendom’ is the idolatrous term and tactic of invoking God to validate national and political institutions, programs, agendas, and ideologies)
  • The Shining City - (Contrary to the claims of politicians and far too many church leaders, Jesus is the only light able to illuminate this dark world)



The Living Word

The Suffering Servant