Lamb or Beast

In Revelation, humanity is divided into two and only two groups – followers of the Lamb and the subjects of the Beast

Every man and woman either “tabernacles in heaven” or is included among the “inhabitants of the earth.” These descriptions are NOT geographical or spatial. Instead, they reflect the allegiance of either group.

The men who “tabernacle in heaven” are the ones who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” no matter the cost. The group called the “inhabitants of the earth” is comprised of all men who choose to give their allegiance to the “Beast from the sea” and take its “mark.”  There is no third alternative.

And the “inhabitants of the earth” include men and women from “every tribe and people and tongue and nation.” No one is excluded because of his or her nationality, ethnicity, or gender. What qualifies someone for membership is his or her submission to the “Beast.”

Likewise, anyone who elects to follow the “Lamb” has his name written in the “book of life,” and he is included among those who “tabernacle in heaven,” namely, all men and women redeemed by the “blood of the Lamb” from “every tribe and people and tongue and nation.”

INHABITANTS OF THE EMPIRE

In the book of Daniel, the majority of citizens in the Babylonian Empire heed the king’s “herald” by rendering homage to the golden image “erected” by Nebuchadnezzar. It measures 60 cubits by 6 cubits – (Daniel 3:1-6).

By swearing fealty to the king and his image, the inhabitants of Babylon avoid death in the “burning fiery furnace.” No citizen must suffer that horrific fate except the ones who refuse to give Nebuchadnezzar the absolute loyalty that he demands. But if anyone refuses, he suffers death by fire in Babylon’s “furnace.”

In contrast, in the book of Revelation, the “inhabitants of the earth” that do render homage to the “Beast” seal their own fate in the “lake of fire that is burning with brimstone.”

The “inhabitants” of the beastly World Empire bear the “brand” of the “Beast,” and because they take its “number,” 600, 60, and 6, their names are excluded from the “book of life,” and consequently, they endure the “second death” in the “lake of fire.”

TABERNACLING IN HEAVEN

Those who “tabernacle in heaven” are identified by Revelation variously as “saints,” “lampstands,” those who have the “testimony of Jesus,” and those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Rather than bowing before the image of the “Beast,” they are found standing with the “Lamb” on “Mount Zion.” Rather than the “mark of the beast,” they have the “seal of God” inscribed on their foreheads.

This group includes men who have been redeemed by the “blood of the Lamb from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.”  No one is excluded because of his or her nationality, gender, or ethnicity.

What distinguishes members of this group from the “inhabitants of the earth” is their allegiance to the “Lamb.” They “follow him wherever he goes” even when doing so means death. And when they do, they “overcome” in the very same way as the “Lamb”:

  • They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, and BECAUSE they loved not their life unto death.”

Therefore, their names are “written in the Lamb’s book of life,” and they will not taste the “second death.” Instead, they participate in the “first resurrection” and are found in the city of “New Jerusalem” standing before the Throne and the “Lamb” - “And he that sits on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.”

And there is no middle ground, no third option, no “safety zone” in any supposed holdout nation. The “Beast” is granted authority over “over every tribe and people and tongue and nation,” and in Revelation, “all” means ALL without exception.

Either you “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and inherit life, or you render homage to the “Beast” and endure the “second death.” It is one or the other.

Believers must decide now to whom they give their allegiance. In the kingdom of God, there is no concept of “dual citizenship” or room for split loyalties. At the critical moment, will they follow the “Lamb” no matter what he requires or will they bow in submission to the “Beast”?

Ultimately, how you respond to the “Lamb” now determines whether your name is “written in the Lamb’s book of life,” or expunged from it forevermore.


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