Antichrist is permitted to continue his reign for three and one-half years, after which, the Lord Jesus Christ will come and take the kingdoms of this earth to Himself. This fact is repeated throughout the book of Revelation. (See also Daniel 12:7; 11:12:6, 14; 17:10.)
“And it was given unto him(Antichrist) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:7-10).
The events here are at the three and one-half year point in the Tribulation. The Antichrist has been at war with the surrounding nations for the first three and one-half years and has ruled from Babylon (Isaiah. 14:4-17). After he conquers the ten nations within the old Roman Empire and establishes his own kingdom, the eighth, (“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Revelation 17:11), He moves his capital from Babylon to Jerusalem. There he desecrates the temple, defies the God of heaven, and seeks to destroy all who serve God and Jesus Christ. (It is within his kingdom he attempts to force his mark on all)
He turns his hatred on the Jewish saints within his kingdom, especially those in Jerusalem. He is permitted to overcome them and all others within his kingdom. (See verses 15, 16; Daniel 7:21; 8:24; 11:35-45; 12:1, 7; Matthew 24:15-22.) These passages confirm that the Jews are the objects of the Antichrist’s wrath, and that his activities will be confined to the area of the old Roman Empire.
Those “…that dwell upon the earth…” are those dwelling within the conquered territory previously ruled by the Ten Kings. Statements like those in verses 7, 8, 16, and 17 lead many to believe that the Antichrist will rule every person on the planet, and that every person except believers will receive the mark of the beast, and those who do not will be killed. However, that is not, and could not be the case. If everyone on earth is killed, who refuses the mark, no one will be living at the Second Advent except those with the mark. These would all be destroyed with Antichrist.
Although I do not agree with all Dake teaches, his answer to the subject at hand, seams the most accurate.
“All” and “every” does not always mean all without exception. It is a figure of speech called a synecdoche, where a whole is used for a part. We do the same when we say, “you always” or “you never” or “everybody is doing it…” Words like the above are used throughout Scripture. See Genesis 6:17 where it is said that God would destroy every living thing on the earth. However, we know that not everything with life was destroyed. In Joshua 6:21, we read that Joshua destroyed every person in the city, but we know that Rehab and all her family were spared. Again, in 2 Samuel 6:5 we are told “all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments…” You can be sure that not every person in Israel participated in this activity. (See also Matthew 3:5-6; Luke 2:1-4; Romans 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:23.)
The critics of the Bible will see these as contradictions. They are not. They are simply figures of speech to emphasize a point. This is done throughout the Book of Revelation. A whole is given to stress a part.
- “Fifteen proofs Antichrist will not reign over America or be a worldwide dictator:
- Four statements in Rev. 13 have led some to believe that Antichrist will literally rule the whole world and cause every man on earth to take a mark or be killed. They are:
- Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (Rev. 13:7)
- All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (except Christians, Rev. 13:8)
- He causeth all, both small and great … to receive a mark (Rev. 13:16)
- No man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, name, or number (Rev. 13:17). On the surface it might seem that these statements prove Antichrist will be a world ruler, killing all on earth who do not take his mark, name, or number. But, the contrary is true because “all” in these passages is simply a figure of speech — synecdoche — in which a whole is put for a part, as we would say, “Everyone in town,” or “the whole country.” If the United States would make a law that “all men” of all nations, and tongues must register on a certain day or be killed, we would naturally understand the law to apply only to all people of all nations and tongues who are under the government of the United States, not to the people of these nations and tongues who are under other governments. The word “all” is used in a limited sense hundreds of times in Scriptures (Gen. 6:17; Josh. 6:21-25; 2Sam. 6:5,15; 1Ki. 11:16-17; Mt. 3:5-6; Lk. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:8; 10:18; Col. 1:23; etc.).
- Such terms as in Rev. 13 have been used of other rulers and kingdoms who did not literally rule the whole world. It was said of Nebuchadnezzar — Wheresoever the children of men dwell … hath made thee ruler over them ALL (Dan. 2:38). Of Greece — Which shall bear rule over ALL the earth (Dan. 2:39). Of Rome — Shall devour the WHOLE earth (Dan. 7:23-24). None of these kingdoms ruled the whole world.
- Rev. 13 itself limits the kingdom of Antichrist to the 10 kingdoms that are yet to be formed inside the old Roman Empire territory (Dan. 7:23-24). The beast has only 10 horns, not 65, plainly teaching that a limited part of the earth will be under Antichrist (Rev. 13:1; 17:12-17).
- Rev. 17:8-17 also limits the kingdom of Antichrist to the 10 kingdoms — the 10 horns … are 10 kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but received power as kings with the beast … these shall give their kingdom unto the beast.
- In Dan. 7:7-8,23-24 we have the definite location of the future 10 kingdoms. They are to be inside (out of), not outside the old Roman Empire territory. America and many other lands were never a part of the old Roman Empire, so they will not be a part of the 10 kingdoms to be formed in the last days inside that empire. No country outside the 10 kingdoms will be ruled by Antichrist and no mark of the beast will be forced upon any man outside the kingdom of Antichrist.
- In Dan. 9:27; 11:40-45 Antichrist breaks his 7-year covenant with Israel and takes over Palestine and many other countries, “but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon,” which would be modern Jordan and Arabia. If these countries escape Antichrist, these on the border of Palestine which does not escape him, then it is surely conceivable that many countries across the vast oceans will also escape him.
- The nation of Israel escapes the Antichrist arriving safe in the wilderness of Edom and Moab where they are protected of God for 3 1/2 years, or during the time the whole world is supposed to be taking the mark of the beast (see pt. 10, The Sun-Clothed Woman)
- In Dan. 11:44-45 it is stated that the countries north and east of the 10 kingdoms under Antichrist will make war on him. These countries too, then, are not ruled by him and are and are not therefore forced to take the mark.
- In Rev. 16:13-16 we have 3 unclean spirits like frogs going forth working miracles through ambassadors thus seeking the cooperation of many nations to help Antichrist against Jesus Christ at Armageddon. These will not have been conquered by him or be under him or they would not have to be persuaded to help him at Armageddon. If he ruled them and they loved him enough to worship him and take his mark, such demonic ministries would be unnecessary.
- In Rev. 13:4 we have proof that there are nations whom the Antichrist has not conquered. If there were no nations who were not under him it would be foolish to raise the question about who can conquer him.
- In Rev. 14:9-11 it is stated that every man who does take the mark of the beast, or his name, or the number of his name, will be sent to eternal hell without exception. If, as some teach today, Antichrist will kill every man who does not take the mark of the beast, and if, as stated here, every man who does take it will be sent to eternal hell, there will not be one person left on earth to populate it in the Millennium and the New Earth. Thus, such a doctrine as Antichrist killing all on earth who do not take his mark and worship him is literally untrue.
- The truth is that Antichrist will make a law that all in his 10 kingdoms must worship him and take his mark, but the law will not and cannot be literally enforced in such a vast territory in as short a time as 3 1/2 years. It would be impossible for one human Antichrist to contact every man in the whole world and to see that every man is killed who does not take his mark. To say that, he could be virtually teaching that one man can do more in 3 1/2 years than what God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels, and all the redeemed people of over 1,900 years have been able to do. The gospel has been preached that long and still multiplied millions of people on earth have never heard the name of Jesus Christ. How could a new doctrine and a new religion of the beast be made known to all the world in 3 1/2 years? One reason why Antichrist cannot enforce such a law even inside the Roman Empire territory in 3 1/2 years is because of the wars between his 10 kingdoms and the many nations north and east of his empire (Dan. 11:44). These wars will keep him so occupied that he will not be able to pay full attention to the enforcement of his religious laws. Then, too, there will no doubt be ways of avoiding such laws in certain localities as there are concerning any other manmade law. Local officials, money, bribery, and many other things will enable some in his kingdom to escape literal compliance to such a law. Guerrilla warfare against Antichrist can be carried on in all parts of his kingdom, making it impossible to enforce such a law literally. Antichrist will come and go without millions of people in various parts of the earth knowing that he ever existed. This is true of Jesus Christ, and it will be true of Antichrist. Many peoples in the interior of certain lands do not yet know that there have been two world wars in a generation. Many do not know we have automobiles, airplanes, etc. The Bible teaches that in the Millennium Christ will be reigning in Jerusalem for some time before His agents contact certain peoples on earth and seek to bring them under His government (Isa. 2:2-4; 40:9; 52:7; 61:6; 66:18-21; Zech. 8:23; 14:16-21). So it will be in the days of Antichrist.
- In Zech. 14:16-21 it is clear that many from every nation, even those that are under Antichrist, will be left alive on the earth in the Millennium. These will not take the mark of the beast. If so, they would be sent to eternal hell by Christ at His second coming. Since they are left to enter the Millennium, it is proof that every man on earth will not take the mark or be killed. For example, Egypt is spoken of in Dan. 11:40-45 as not escaping the Antichrist, but we find Egyptians left to enter the Milennium in Zech. 14:16-21. So it will be with many people of all the nations under Antichrist. Some will not take the mark or obey his law and yet escape death by him. Multitudes will be killed, but not all (Rev. 7:9-11; 14:13; 15:2-4; 16:2; 20:4-6).
- In Mt. 25:31-46 we read of many of all nations that are called blessed of My Father who will inherit the millennial and eternal kingdom. These people will not take the mark of the beast or they would be sent to eternal hell, as stated in Rev. 14:9-11. The basis of the judgment of the nations here is their treatment of Israel. Such kind treatment of Israel could not be possible on the part of any nation if all were directly controlled by Antichrist.
- The remnant of the woman in Rev. 12:17 escape the mark of the beast and the worship of Antichrist. This is made possible by new wars in the north and east of his kingdom, forcing him to let them alone for the time being so as to conquer these new enemies. The ministry of the two witnesses helps protect them the last 3 1/2 years. Then when Antichrist conquers his enemies after nearly 3 1/2 years of war he gathers his forces against the Jews to destroy them. He is defeated by Jesus Christ at Armageddon before he even takes all of Jerusalem, which by some means has been suddenly delivered from Antichrist and is back in Jewish hands (Zech. 14:14-15).” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments of the Authorized or King James Version Text.
In verse 9 the readers are warned to hear. This is the same warning given to the seven churches to which the Revelation is sent. The seven churches are still present at this point in the Tribulation.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.