The Beast And His Mark

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Since we have posted Strong Delusion, I have received many questions concerning the exact identity of the beast. I purposely ended the paper with a reference to Ecc 3:18, thinking it would be best if people came to see the answer for themselves. It’s now obvious that simply reading this one verse does not answer the question for many. So herein, I will be more direct. Let’s begin with an excerpt from Strong Delusion which deals with how we should approach the whole subject of prophecy.

“The scriptures, as usual, teach just the opposite of [ the] commonly accepted, dispensational, application of Biblical prophecy. Here is the scriptural approach to understanding this and all prophecy: (1Jn 2:18) Little children, it is the last time. And just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which we know that it is the last hour. (Rev 1:3) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Did you catch that? 2000 years ago it could truthfully be said of these prophecies: “It IS the last time,” “Even NOW many anti- christs have risen up,” “it IS the last hour,” “the time IS at hand.”

“Now this “man of sin” becomes relevant to me. “It IS the last time.” “Even NOW many antichrists have risen up.” “It IS the last hour.” “THE TIME IS AT HAND.” This is the proper approach to ALL prophecy. Why did the apostles approach prophecy with this frame of mind? It is because, unlike many modern teachers of God’s Word today, the apostles knew what the purpose of ALL prophecy was: 1Co 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.”

Thinking of prophecy in ‘dispensational’ terms, instead of realizing that he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort (1Co 14:3), is, without a doubt, the single greatest obstacle to understanding prophecy. How can we hope to understand anything about prophecy if we don’t even know what prophecy is. ‘Prophecy’ is not ‘foretelling the future!’ Prophecy does ‘foretell the future,’ but ‘foretelling the future’ is NOT what prophecy is. He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation, and comfort. That is what ‘prophecy’ is. It is “edification, exhortation and comfort.” All the scriptures concerning the coming of the Messiah were accompanied with exhortations to ‘prepare the way and make straight paths’ (Mat 3:3; Mar 1:2-3; Luk 3:4).

Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

How did John the baptist, “make His paths straight?” It was with this exhortation: (Mat 3:8) Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance… A life of repentance and obedience is ‘making His paths straight.’ So the very prophecy of the coming of the Messiah was an exhortation to live a godly life.

And so it is with all the prophecies of scripture. The book of Revelation is primarily an exhortation to cleanse ourselves and repent of losing our first love, quit listening to those who say they are Jews and are not, don’t hold to the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, don’t allow that woman Jezebel to seduce us to commit fornication and to eat things that have been offered to idols, knowing the depths of Satan as we speak, not being dead, unwatchful and wearing defiled garments and being naked, miserable and poor and thinking the exact opposite is true. We are to ‘come out of Babylon,’ be ‘caught up to the throne of God,’ measure God’s temple, witness in the streets of that great city wherein our Lord was crucified, and overcome the mark, number, and name of the beast.

The entire book of Revelation is, we are told in the very first verse of the very first chapter, (Rev 1:1) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John…

Revelation is ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him.’ Why does God give ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ,’ to Christ? The reason we are given is to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. The word ‘shortly,’ is from the Greek word ‘tachos,’ meaning swiftly, speedily or, when prefixed with the Greek word ‘en‘ (as it is here), “in haste,” according to Strong’s Concordance.

The question that begs to be answered, and has been asked for centuries, is ‘Since it has been so many years after the writing of this prophecy, why are we told that Christ was given this revelation to show His servants things ‘which must shortly come to pass’?”

The answer is two- fold. The first part of the answer is that, as we have shown from 1Co 14:3, this book of Revelation, consistent with the rest of scripture, is primarily a book of “edification, exhortation and comfort.” The second part of the answer is that, as pointed out above, the word translated ‘shortly‘ is not even meant to convey the thought of bringing the systems of government of “this present evil age” to a quick conclusion in John’s day.

It goes without saying that if that were, indeed, what was ‘prophesied,’ then the book of Revelation would stand as the most obvious fraud of all time. But, of course, the book of Revelation is not a fraud. As little understood as it is, it is one of the most often referred to books of scripture, usually under it’s Greek name, Apocolyspse. And it is afforded the respect given to all scripture by most professing Christians.

So, what then is meant by ‘shortly?’ The Greek word translated ‘shortly,’ here is ‘tachos,’ Strong’s #5034. According to Strong’s Greek dictionary this word is better translated ‘in haste?’ Understanding why the revelation of Jesus Christ is done “in haste” makes the very purpose of the book of Revelation much more obvious. This word ‘tachos’ appears only eight time in the scriptures. The following two verses are typical of all eight:

Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly [ Greek – tachos]. And his chains fell off from his hands.

Act 22:18 And saw him [ an angel] saying unto me [ Paul], Make haste, and get thee quickly [ Greek – tachos] out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.

Here we have two of God’s apostles being delivered from impending danger by an angel. In both cases time is of the essence. There is no time to waste. Had Peter or Paul been slow to respond, had they taken the attitude, ‘God is in control here, my works will only get in the way, so I don’t need to be vigilant, or concern myself with obedience,’ neither of them would have been delivered. So God’s sovereignty included the ‘good works’ and ‘obedience’ of both of these apostles and it “is written for our admonition.” 2Pe 3:14 “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

So here is why the Revelation of Jesus Christ must be done “in haste:” … For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (Jas 4:14). And then there is this from Peter: (1Pe 1:24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away…

“All flesh is as grass…” “Your life … is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” That is why the revelation of Jesus is done “in haste.” Now the third verse of the first chapter of the book of Revelation makes perfect sense:

Rev 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the [ life that appears for a little] time is at hand.”

Now that we know why the revelation of Jesus Christ is done “in haste,” the above admonition has an application to every generation! “The time is at hand,” in every generation! In every generation, “he that hath an ear,” had better “hear what the Spirit saith to the [ all seven] churches,”.

As hard as it will no doubt be for most to see at first, this is also true for this entire prophecy. You see, this entire book is addressed “to the seven churches,” and “to him that hath an ear.” And we are encouraged to keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. “The time is at hand,” for every ‘vapor,’ and every blade of ‘grass,’ that comes along, generation by generation.

Peter tells us: 2Pe 1:20 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” And Paul tells us: 2Ti 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” In other words, ‘ALL SCRIPTURE is for edification, exhortation and comfort.’ If we can only put aside our ‘idols of the heart’ ( Eze 14:1-9), and simply believe the truth of this verse, we will know how to properly approach and apply all “prophecy of the scriptures.”

So, do you want to know who ‘the beast is?’

To truly know who ‘the beast’ is you must first know where he dwells. Once you know where he dwells, you can go there and do battle with him, because you now know where he is. On the other hand, if you believe that the beast is only some future ‘man of sin’ who will sit in some future “temple of God”, then you are already convinced that he is right, you ‘cannot make war with the beast.’

So where is he? Where does he live? We don’t have to guess where this beastly ‘man of sin’ lives. We have been shown. But just like the entire nation of Israel of old, after scouting out the land, and assessing the odds of taking him on, he has us convinced that we cannot make war with him. And they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Rev 13:4). Why would anyone in his right mind worship this beast? Why would he be so successful at convincing everyone that it is futile to ‘make war with the beast?’ How is it that, 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 (Rev 13:16). How could anyone, much less, “he causeth all… to receive a mark;” how is it possible for this beast to succeed so universally while the whole world is watching for him and swearing that they would never submit to worshiping a man?

It is not only possible but it already is, and always has been, an accomplished fact. “The time IS at hand!” “He causeth all… to receive a mark!”

How can I possibly say that? I can say that in complete confidence because I know where the beast dwells. I know him all to well. And there was a time, not long ago when I too asked, “Who is able to make war with the beast?”

So where does ‘the beast’ dwell? Let’s let Paul and John reveal that to us. Paul first: He as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (2Th 2:4). Now John: Thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is (Rev 2:13)

These prophecies were written over 1900 years ago. Yet we are told “the time is at hand… do the things written in this book” (Rev 1:3). Until we get this Truth firmly planted in our understanding, we will never receive the spiritual words that Christ’s word are: Joh 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you [ even in the book of Revelation], they are spirit, and they are life.” The single most repeated statement in the book of Revelation is Rev 1:11 “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” It may be slightly restated as Rev 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come.” However it is stated, it always tells us that Christ is the beginning, Christ is the end, and Christ is everything in between. Whatever is true of Christ is also true of His Word, because He is the Word (Joh 1:1). This Truth is reiterated 11 times in the book of Revelation alone.

It is repeated so many times to help us get rid of our ‘dispensational only’ approach to prophecy. It is reiterated so many times to reveal to us that all prophecy is presently applicable, was applicable yesterday and will also be applicable tomorrow. The “spirit of prophecy”, like Christ, “is, was, and will be.”

Rev 19:10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Now it becomes clear what is meant when we are told: And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority (Rev 13:2).

So ‘the beast ‘ “sitteth in the temple of God,” and he receives his “power and his seat and great authority,” from the dragon whose ‘seat’ (Greek – throne) just happens to be in the same place (Rev 2:13). This has been the case since the garden of Eden: Gen 3:14 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this… dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” Serpents do not literally eat dust, serpents are carnivores, they eat flesh. Spiritually speaking, which is the only way to understand the words of Christ, Satan is nourished through our yielding to our flesh, his nourishment. When Eve engaged the serpent in conversation, the serpent was sitting down to a three course, T- bone steak dinner. That is why we are told he “seeks whom he may devour.”

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Now all we have to do to find out who the beast is, is to establish where the temple is of which it can always be said, “the time is at hand.” We are not left to guess. We are told in very emphatic terms where the “temple of God” is of which we can always say “the time is at hand.” The total success of this ‘Dragon empowered beast’ can be attributed to the total darkness the church finds itself in with it’s ‘out there in the future’ dispensationalism, or it’s ‘back there in the past,’ dispensationalism, instead of the super- emphasized “is, was and will be,” “the time is at hand,” “to him that hath an ear,” generation by generation application of prophecy that we are told is for “edification, exhortation and comfort.”

What is “the time is at hand” temple that the beast sits in, demanding our total dedication and worship, assuring us that there is no way to make war with the beast?

Those who cannot receive these very emphatic words of the apostle have done nothing less than materialized away the very spirit and therefore the power of the Word of God!

Here is that temple and here is that beast: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God [ should be] dwell[ ing] in you? If any man defile [ allow the beast to sit in] the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ( 1Co 3:16-17). There is only one ‘temple of God’ that matters spiritually. And we are told specifically that the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands (Act 7:48).

I hope that God might manifest [ to you], and that [ you] might see that [ you yourself] are [ your] beast (Ecc 3:18).

I certainly have no doubt who my own worst enemy is.

No one escapes the image, mark, or number of the beast. For it is the number of a [ any] man (Rev 13:18). But some few do “get the victory over the beast.”

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

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