Who Is The Beast And His Mark

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Hi A___,

Thank you for reading ‘Strong Delusion,’ and thank you for your question.

Allow me to cut and paste the 2nd paragraph of ‘Strong Delusion:’

The scriptures, as usual, teach just the opposite of this 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. 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, listening to those who say they are Jews and are not, having the doctrine of Balaam and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, allowing 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, 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.

We are told in the very first verse of the very first chapter what the entire book of Revelation is.

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…

The book of Revelation is ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave Him.’ Why does God give ‘the revelation of Jesus Christ’ to Christ? The reason 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 our answer is that, as we showed 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 our answer is that, as we 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.

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 referenced books of scripture, though usually under it’s Greek name, Apocalypse. And it is afforded the respect given to all scripture by most professing Christians.

So, what then is meant by ‘shortly,’ better translated ‘in haste?’ Understanding why the revelation of Jesus Christ is done “in haste,” makes the very purpose of the book much more obvious.

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 you 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 ‘grass’ that comes along, generation by generation.

So, 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.

So where is he? Where does he live? We don’t have to guess where this beastly ‘man of sin’ lives. Just like the entire nation of Israel of old after scouting out the land, 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 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 worshipping 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 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:

Rev 2:13 Thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is.

Now it becomes clear what is meant when we are told:

Rev 13:2 And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

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).

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 materialzed 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.’ 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.

Mike Vinson

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