Month 12:3, Week 1:2 (Shanee/Matzah), Year:Day 5939:328 AM|
2Exodus 2/40, 4th Sh'mittah - Year 49/50
Gregorian Calendar: Thursday 11 February 2016
Mark of the Beast
It Probably Isn't What You Think
Many Beast Theories
I get a lot of people sending me articles that suggest numerous theories identifying the "mark of the beast". People have been speculating as to what this is for centuries and in every generation new interpretations are given. Every now and then I comment on this subject so I thought it was time to address this question again. This is a vitally important question to answer both so that believers don't stress needlessly as well as to wake people up to believe and do what they are supposed to be believing and doing.
The Surprise as to Who Carries the Mark
The Mark of the Beast has not only been around for a long time but it is quite possible that you, the reader, are already carrying it and that unless you repent you may well perish at some point in the future when it is time for you to leave mortality.
What the Mark Isn't
The Mark of the Beast isn't a microchip, RFID chip, tattoo, debit card, credit card, social security cart, ID card, passport with embedded chip, barcode symbol on an item you have either bought or sold, or a barcode tattooed on your body somewhere or a branding in your flesh.
The Testimony of John
If you want to know what the Mark of the Beast is, the Scriptures are uniquivocal:
The Red Herring Gematria of Names
"He (the Beast) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of [a] man: His number is 666" (Rev.13:16-18, NKJV).
How many of you have read studies that look into the gematria of men's names? The list of them is endless from 'Nero Caesar' (who perscuted and murdered early believers) and whose name adds up to 666 in Hebrew and Aramaic gematria, to the Roman Catholic Pope whose title Vicarius Fili Dei (Vicar of the Son of God) also adds up to 666 in Latin. If you look up all the words in the Bible with a gematric value of 666 you will find little of interest with perrhaps the exception of the land of Shinar (Is.11:11) which later came to be known as Babylonia or Chaldea.
All Eyes on the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church ranks a high candidate in the minds of traditional Protestants who view that institution as the successor to the Roman Empire which murdered Yah'shua (Jesus), Paul, Peter and so many others of the faith. But is Revelation 3:16-18 really such a riddle? And if not, why is is written in such an apparently mysterious way?
The text says that 666 (six hundred and sixty-six, not 6-6-6) is the "number of man" (NIV) or the "number of a man", meaning not a man with a particular name but a member of the human race.
666 as Imperfection, Disobedience and Sin
It we let Scripture interpret itself we soon discover that the numeral '6' represents imperfection, disobedience and man's sinful nature in general. It is Creation (4) plus Division (2). It should also be noted that some manuscripts record, not "666" but "616".
Either the Right Hand or the Forehead...
Also important to note is where this mark is located - on either the "right hand" or the "forehead". Micro-chipping of humans, which has begun, seems to take place exclusively on the hand or wrist but I have never heard of chipping on the forehead. However, let's let Scripture interpret itself.
Origin of Teffilin
The Israelites were commanded to carry Yahweh's Torah (Law) on which parts of their body? On their right hands and foreheads. Judaism interprets this literally and instructs its adherents to wear phylacteries or teffilin which many Messianic Jews imitate (see picture). None, however, wear the whole of the Torah on their arms and heads but just one or two verses. As I explain in my articls, Phylacteries: Should We Wear the Jewish Teffilim?, the four passages of Torah that give instruction on this are, beyond any shadow of a doubt, metaphorical signifying YAHWEH'S OVER THE DEEDS (HANDS) AND THOUGHTS (FOREHEADS) OF TRUE BELIEVERS (Dt.6:8).
The Mark of the Beast is NOT Physical
Therefore neither the Beast's Mark nor the Seal of Yahweh on believers' foreheads (Rev.7:3; 14:1; cp. Ex.28:36-38; Ezek.9:4) can be understood as being physical features even though they might include these in addition. Both of these images symbolise the spiritual control of heart-allegiance and behaviour (deeds), either by the Beast or the Lamb (Yah'shua/Jesus). Yahweh's Seal ensures safety whereas the Beast's Seal ensures destruction.
Gematria of the Beast is 666
Anyone who opposes true believers or persecutes them, great or small, as a 'Beast' or an 'Antichrist' (Anti-Messiah). 666 may therefore define man (6) trinitised to become a presumptive god (666) (which is what satanism is), or, more likely, is simply any 'Beast' at all, since the Hebrew for "beast" is also gematrically 666.
The Beast Nature
That Nero Caasar, Catholic Popes and a multitude of other powerful men are 'beasts' cannot be denied but it is not having their 'name' written on (or in) you that constitutes your being "marked" but the BEAST NATURE itself allowed to remain and either push out Messiah or refuse Him entry!
If someone knocks you out and secretly injects a microcrip into your body without your ever knowing it, do you think that this would destine you to eternal destruction? Of course not! Implied in the revelation is that a person chooses the mark. Common sense alone ought to testify that the mark is not something physical.
The Mark is Disobedience to Torah
The Mark of the Beast is DISOBEDIENCE TO YAHWEH'S TORAH (LAW) - pure and simple which is proven or demonstrated by that person's deeds (what their hands do) and by their thoughts or beliefs (what happens in their heads).
That is not to say there cannot be physical counterparts. However, the physical counterparts are not the main issue, as I demonstrated with the example of someone being injected with an RFID chip against their knowledge of will. Salvation is of the heart and the demonstration thereof is in our thinking and emunah (faith), and in our deeds:
The Two Songs of Obedience and Faith
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the mitzvot (commandments) of Elohim (God) and have the testimony of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rev.12:17, NKJV).
This is the same duality - the saved are those who obey the mitzvot (commandments) - corresponding to the right hand - and have the testimony of (emunah/faith in) Yah'shua (Jesus) - corresponding to the forehead. The mark of the Beast is simply the opposite - those who disobey the mitzvot (commandments) - unbelievers or believers - and who have regenerated chayim (life), through emunah (faith), in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). And those who are fully regenerated will - because it is written in the hearts by the pen of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) - obey the miztvot (commandments) as recorded in the Torah. Or to put it another way:
The Divine Formula Revealed
"And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the BEAST and his image and over the number of his name (666). They held harps given them by Elohim (God) and sang the song of Moses the servant of Elohim (God) and the song of the Lamb (Messiah)" (Rev.15:2-3, NIV).
How is one victorious over 666, "the number of [the Beast's] name"? Overcoming the carnal, fleshy, Adamic nature (666) through emunah (faith) in Messiah leading to obedience of the mitzvot (commandments). THAT IS THE DIVINE FORMULA TO SALVATION AND NOT RECEIVING THE MARK OF THE BEAST.
What the Beast Does Physically to Those With the Beast Nature
This does not mean that an actual, physical "Beast" will not come, whose actual birthname adds up to 666, nor does it mean he might not cause those who refuse to trust in Messiah or obey His mitzvot (commandments) to have something bad 'done' to them physically. I would say that is more than likely. And that whatever it is that is done to them will cause them to break more and more of Yahweh's Torah.
Crossing the Lines of Sin to a Point of No Return
The goal of Satan is to take every living human being and to get them to cross one line of sin after another until there is no going back, at which point there can be no further repentance. It could involve genetic modification, implants, or things we have not yet even dreamed of. But to claim the "Mark" is a chip-implant or a tattoo or a brand not only contradicts the p'shat or plain sense of Scripture but defies mathematics too.
The Impossibility of Chipping the World
Let's imagine for a moment that the "Mark of the Beast" is a literal barcode stamped on the head or wrist or the implantation of a chip. According to one reliable statistic there are 7.4 billion or 7,400,000,000 people on the earth today which is set to continue rising rapidly until the Great Tribulation. If the latter is in, say, another 10-20 years, we could be talking about 8 billion or more people. Let's be generous to the sceptics and say there are 6½ billion people and be even more generaous and say there are 2½ billion believers who refuse to take the 'mark'. This leaves 4 billion to be physically marked. 6½ billion minus 2½ billion leaves 4 billion who do not resist being marked (in reality it could be far, far more than this).
Examining the Mathematics of Mass Chipping
The suggested compulsory 'marking' takes place over the 7 year tribulation period or reign of Anti-Messiah/Antichrist (right now only a miniscule number of people have chips in them, mostly in America). 4 billion people marked in 7 years would require 570 million people to be marked each year, from the metropolises (where people are easily accesible and controlled) to remote areas like the Amazonian rainforest, the jungles of Papua-New Guinea and the vast expanses of Africa and Asia. This would require the marking of 1½ MILLION people every day for 7 years. Such a marking program conducted by mankind on this scale is a physical impossibility whether done door-to-door or in city hospitals and health centres. Can you imagine doing that in India, Indonesia, China or Nigeria which have huge populations, most of them rural? Even if you had officials with automatic vaccine gun-like devices you simply couldn't do it.
Why Two Alternative Parts of the Body?
Then ask yourself these questions: why does the Book of Revelation say that the "Mark of the Beast" is received in the right hand OR the forehead? Why two alternative locations? If you were conducting a colossal marking campaign would it matter where you injected? Why not the leg, or the neck, or the abdominal cavity? Why not just one place known to best retain an implant like an RFID chip?
Let The Bible Interpret Itself
The answer is because the Scripture, like most of the Book of Revelation, is symbolic. And we know what the symbols mean because the Torah already tells us. The 'locations' are depictions of thoughts (head) and actions (hand).
The Meaning of 'Hand' and 'Right Hand'
Why, also, the "right hand" and not the left...or either hand? Again, because it's symbolic, the right hand denoting RIGHTeous deeds (or their opposite). I don't have time to make a proper study here today other than to point out that "hand" in the Bible denotes ownership, power or control that its owner (or even a whole nation and Yahweh Himself) exercises (Ex.3:8,19-20; 4:2; 14:16; 12:11; 13:9,16, etc., etc.). The right hand is a place of salvation, refuge and protection, where the new bride is placed relative to her husband (Ps.45:9) and the place of exaltation by Yahweh (Ps.110:1; Jer.22:24), where Yah'shua (Jesus) is found (Mk.14:62; 16:19) and from whence He intercedes for us (Rom.8:34; Heb.8:1), exercising toqef or authority over all powers (gods) (1 Pet.3:22).
Good Reasons Not to Implant, Tattoo or Brand
I can think of many reasons why I would refuse a chip or a tattoo in or on my body and none of them have anything to do with the "Mark of the Beast". My body is a temple of the Ruach (Spirit) (1 Cor.6:19) and I am forbidden by Torah to mark by body with tattoos (Lev.19:28). Implants can cause cancer, they can be used by malicious persons to interfere with mental and physical health, and a host of other nasty things. But the only thing that is going to get me damned to hell are the thoughts in my head and the actions represented by my right hand - whether I used brain and hand for righteousness or evil. Who is to judge what is good or evil? Yahweh, in His Torah, for man's thoughts and feelings are wholly unreliable barometers of holiness and righteousness, revolting at many of the mitzvot (commandments) of Heaven.
The Devil's Mark is the Fruit of Disobedience
The devil's mark has always been present in the disobedience and Yahweh's mark on the obedient and faithful. Not to have faith in the Son of Elohim (God) will damn you and not to obey the mitzvot (commandments) will damn you because it is showing a lack of emunah (faith) in the Son:
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His mitzvot (commandments). He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His mitzvot (commandments), is a liar, and the emet (truth) is not in him. But whoever keeps His Davar (Word), truly the ahavah (love) of Elohim (God) is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him" (1 John 2:3-5, NKJV).
"Now he who keeps His mitzvot (commandments) abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Ruach (Spirit) whom He has given us" (1 John 3:24, NKJV) - if you don't keep the mitzvot (commandments) then another 'spirit' lives in you!
"By this we know that we love the children of Elohim (God), when we love Elohim (God) and keep His mitzvot (commandments). For this is the ahavah (love) of Elohim (God), that we keep His mitzvot (commandments). And His mitzvot (commandments) are not burdensome. For whatever is born of Elohim (God) (is spiritually regenerated) overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our emunah (faith). Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Son of Elohim (God)?" (1 John 5:2-5, NKJV) ... which leads to a love for Messiah, and that love leads to Torah-obedience.
"This is ahavah (love), that we walk according to His mitzvot (commandments). This is the mitzvah (commandment), that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it" (2 John 6, NKJV).
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the mitzvot (commandments) of Elohim (God = Yahweh = Yahweh's mitzvot/commandments = Torah) and have the testimony of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rev.12:17, NKJV).
And so the witness of Scripture goes on and on unambiguously. Who beguiled Christians into thinking that Christ's mitzvot (commandments) were somehow completely separate from the Father's (Yahweh's) when He testifies that He only ever imitated and did what Yahweh told Him? Who robbed the word "faith" of meaning anything but trusting leading to perfect obedience through the resurrection strength of the Messiah indwelling every truly regenerated believer? The flesh, which is 666, did, which is the "Mark of the Beast". So imagining that a chip, antenna and a support or encasement - consisting of plastic, paper, metal and other chemicals - will damn you to hell is...really quite carnal, is it not? It's your mind and your deeds that will either save or damn you and nothing else.
A Serious Realisation for Lawless Christians
The attempt by evangelicals and other 'Christians' to divorce the mitzvot (commandments) from emunah (faith) simply cannot be done, and their doctrine of such things contradicts the p'shat or plain sense of Scripture. It doesn't matter whether you get the "Mark of the Beast" on your forehead (no faith in Christ) or on your right hand (disobedience to commandments), either way you've had it. That's why the word "or" is in the text:
That "or" word is present in both the original Aramaic and the Greek translations.
"He (the Beast) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand OR on their foreheads..."
Buying and Selling
Alright, what about the "buying and selling" part? As I said before, there is no reason why the end-time "Beast" will not require an actual branding of some sort (I doubt it is a chip - they could be removed surgically, but a branding or certain kinds of tattoo are impossible to remove) to allow people to trade. It could include both a branding and an electronic chip which alone will allow transactions to take place (since physical money will likely disappear altogether at some point - it's already disappearing in Western nations).
A Satanic Parody and Mockery
Why the forehead or right arm as a place to brand? As a parody and mockery of Scripture and therefore Yahweh - satanists love to use Scripture and twist it for no other reason than to revile the Creator. In the Roman Empire slaves and soldiers bore brands on their bodies and some of the mystical cults delighted in such tattoos, which identified members with a form of worship. Clearly the Anti-Messiah (Antichrist) will have a similar requirement, one that will need to be visible on the hand or forehead.
If you look at early Christian publications you will see illustrations first of the number '666' branded on the forehead or hand and then as technology changed barcodes became the in-thing. Now it's implanted chips. But some are suggesting that, in the forehead at least, it has something to do with the opening of the 'third eye', and whilst that is undoubtedly happening, what has it to do with the "Mark of the Beast"? How can it be the 'third eye' anyway as there is no such equivalent in the right hand. No, the mark is a metaphor for for rebelling or disobedience to the mitzvot (commandments) and/or not surrendering to, and trusting in, Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Failure to obey or trust will finish you off. That is the Mark of the Beast.