Saturday, July 9, 2016
Mark of the Beast?
In Revelation 12 and 13, the Apostle John described an unholy Trinity, an imitation of Triune God, consisting of the dragon or Satan, the first beast who is the Antichrist, and a second beast, the false prophet. The second beast makes all the earth worship the first beast, performing great signs and deceptions, and causes those who wouldn't worship the beast to be slain.
"Also it causes all... to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is the name of the beast or the number of its name. It is the number of a man, and his number is 666."
The most popular theories about the mark of the beast pop up in end-times fiction. In the old film, "A Thief In the Night," the mark is a binary code for 666. In the Left Behind series, it's a computer chip in the back of the hand or the forehead.
But is it possible this mark is not something physical but spiritual? Notice the beast causes all people to be marked, and the mark is on the right hand or the forehead.
In Deuteronomy 6, God told Israel, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." And Isaiah 41:13 says the Lord God holds our right hand.
We are marked by the deeds we do with our hands and the thoughts we think with our mind. Are you doing the works of God or the works of the devil? Are you thinking with the mind of man or with the mind of Christ? This calls for wisdom, and something we should consider all the time, though it may also have a future fulfillment, when we understand the text.
"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast of the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666." Revelation 13:16-18
"Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9
"But turning to his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, 'Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'" Mark 8:33
"By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:10