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How Large is the Antichrist's Kingdom?
     
Virtually all prophetic teachers of today are certain that the kingdom of antichrist will cover “all the earth,” or “the whole world,” or “wherever men dwell,” or “the face of the whole earth,” or “all that dwell upon the earth,” or “the earth and them which dwell therein,” or “throughout the whole world,” or “in all the world,” or “Asia and the whole world, etc.”  They may be correct, and I am prepared for such an event, but I really believe his kingdom will only affect those sections of the world known to the inhabitants of Israel when John wrote the Book of Revelation.  Before I make my case in Scripture, please consider the following:
 
USE OF THE HYPERBOLE IN PROPHECY

THE WORD HYPERBOLE COMES FROM THE GREEK – IT MEANS “TO DELIBERATELY THROW OUTSIDE OR INSIDE A MARKED LINE FOR EFFECT, MAKING THE AREA LARGER OR SMALLER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS, EXAGGERATION FOR EFFECT, NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY, EXAGGERATING OR DIMISHING BEYOND THE FACT, EXCEEDING THE TRUTH.”  IT IS USED AT TIMES IN PROPHECY TO IDENTIFY A SMALL AREA AS ONE THAT IS MUCH LARGER.  IT IS NOT A LIE BECAUSE THE HEARER OR READER IS ACQUAINTED WITH THE USE OF HYPERBOLE AS AN EXAGGERATED STATEMENT.  THE EXPRESSIONS “THE WHOLE EARTH, ALL THE WORLD, WHERESOEVER MEN SHALL DWELL ON THE EARTH, ETC. ARE, AT TIMES, NOT REFERRING TO THE ENTIRE SURFACE OF THE EARTH FROM POLE TO POLE, AND AROUND THE 360 DEGREE EQUATOR.  I BELIEVE THIS HAS CAUSED MANY TO EXAGGERATE THE SIZE AND STRENGTH OF THE FINAL EMPIRE OF ANTICHRIST.  GOD USES THE HYPERBOLE QUITE OFTEN THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE.


[5] And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. [21] And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. [22] Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. Daniel 8:5 & 21-22.


(And yet we know that the Empire of Alexander did not stretch across the FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH)


[32] This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, [33] His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. [34] Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. [38] And WHERESOEVER THE CHILDREN OF MEN DWELL, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler OVER THEM ALL. Thou art this head of gold. [39] And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule OVER ALL THE EARTH. Daniel 2:32-34 & 38-39.


(And yet we know that the Babylonian Empire did not extend WHERESOEVER THE CHILDREN OF MEN DWELL, and we know  that Alexander’s Empire did not bear rule OVER ALL THE EARTH as we know it today).


In these next verses we are going to see how God means for us to be able to delineate between the whole world as we know it today, and the whole world as it was known in prophetic times.  We are certain the fourth beast was the Roman Empire, and we know it did not dominate the whole world as we know it today.  However, we know for certain that Christ’s coming kingdom will dominate the whole earth as we do know it today.  So when we see the expression UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, we can say it represents the earth as we know it today.


[3] And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. [23] Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour THE WHOLE EARTH, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. [24] And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. [25] And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. [26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. [27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. [11] I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. [12] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. [13] I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:3 & 23-27 & 11-14.


Now, as you read the expressions describing the size of the antichrist’s kingdom in Revelation, go back and forth to Daniel and compare his expressions concerning the world coverage of those kingdoms with John’s expressions of world coverage in Revelation.


[1] And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. [2] And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. [5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. [7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations. [8] 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. [9] If any man have an ear, let him hear. [10] 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. [11] And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. [12] And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth THE EARTH AND THEM WHICH DWELL THEREIN to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [16] And he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [17] And that NO man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:1-2 & 5-12, & 16-17.


[12] And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. [13] These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. [14] These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. [15] And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. [16] And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. [17] For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. [18] And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over THE KINGS OF THE EARTH. Revelation 17:12-18


Please note that both Daniel and John, when referring to the world as we know it today, used expressions marking it as being “under the whole heaven,” or “from one end of heaven to the other,” or “the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”


[27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. [31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER. [27] And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the UTTER-MOST PART OF THE EARTH TO THE UTTER-MOST PART OF HEAVEN. Daniel 7:27 & Matthew 24:31 & Mark 13:27


[8]  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD. [5] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; [6] Which is come unto you, as it is IN ALL THE WORLD; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: [27] So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom ALL ASIA AND THE WORLD WORSHIPPETH. [5] For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

Romans 1:8 + Colossians 1:5-6 & Acts 19:27 & 24:5


[9] And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. [17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:9 & 17.


[44] And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule OVER ALL THE EARTH. [40] And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. [41] And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be DIVIDED; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. [42] And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be PARTLY strong, and PARTLY broken. [43] And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall MINGLE themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not CLEAVE one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. [44] And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel 2:39-44.


This final kingdom of antichrist does not sound like a kingdom that dominates the whole world as we know it today.  It is to be a kingdom partly strong, and partly broken, and the individual parts don’t cleave together very well.  It sounds like a bunch of the descendents of Ishmael, the six sons of Keturah, and the two sons of Lot mingling their blood lines together to form the Islamic world Israel now faces.  They certainly have never gotten along with Israel, and they cannot get along with each other.  But they will come together as a rag-tail empire to attempt to destroy Israel.  I really believe most of the believers in this world are going to be waiting for an antichrist that will dominate every nation on this earth, and I don’t believe it will happen.  He will arise in Syria, lead 10 Islamic nations against Israel, control the area once dominated by the Old Roman Empire, and that will fulfill all the prophecies written about him as dominating “all the world.”  This has far reaching implications if I am right, such as the mark of the beast only being put on those sections where the Old Roman Empire once stood.


I suspect a lot of believers won’t recognize him as being the antichrist because he does not take over the whole world as we know it today.  In any case, I realize he may dominate the whole world as we know it today, so I am prepared for that possibility, and will simply gulp and swallow a lot of crow if I am wrong.  In any case, I truly believe we will know one way or the other by 2008.