There are precious few matters among the varying manifestations of modern Christianity in which everyone is in agreement. Ironically, what is possibly the most mysterious topic in the entire bible happens to be a subject where virtually no one seems to disagree.
The whole world it would appear has believed for at least two decades that this mysterious “mark of the beast” will be a microchip implanted under the skin in the right hand between the thumb and pointer finger. Even more recently, the idea of documentation proving you have received a vaccine to halt the spread of some mysterious virus has been put on the table. The same people who claimed it was a credit card, and then a microchip, are now claiming it is a vaccine… among many other theories, as we will see.
What we should find so strange about this conglomerate of theological understanding across denominational barriers, is how these diverse religious institutions do not share the same view regarding the earthly identity of the “beast” of Revelation 13.
If varying sects of Christianity fail to share the same theological belief for the identity of the beast, how have they now drawn an exact conclusion regarding the mark of that beast?
Effectively, everyone agrees on the identity of the mark but somehow disagrees on the identity of the beast who imposes that mark.
In order for us understand the “mark of the beast” (Revelation 13:16-18), we must first understand completely and without question who or what this “beast” is. And what it is not.
The moment we come to understand the identity of the beast is the moment we will begin to gather more precise evidence to support the details of what exactly this mark of the beast represents.
It should be clear to anyone who possess the capacity of deductive reasoning that this one simple statement is undeniably true. If the identity of the beast is misrepresented, the subsequent implications of what the mark of the beast represents will also fail to be correct.
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The Earthly Historical Identity of the Beast Kingdoms
“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…” (Revelation 13:1; emphasis in bold mine throughout this section)
“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:10-11)
When a person studies scripture, it becomes clear the seven heads on this first beast in Revelation 13:1-10 are seven world empires (kingdoms) which have all come to power since the time of the great flood. The first beast of Revelation 13 is a system of government(s) that took turns ruling the world for thousands of years. Satan has been building his kingdoms (the beast) since the dawn of man. The second beast of Revelation 13 (the beast who recovers from a fatal head wound) is the beast which will be in power at the time of the end (Revelation 13:11-18). This second beast will exercise all the power of the first beast (world empires of the past) as explained in verse twelve.
Later in chapter 17, we see another reference to a beast (kingdom) who was killed, then came back to life.
“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.” (Revelation 17:8; NAS)
“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” (Revelation 17:10)
Chapter 17 verse 8 depicts “the beast was, and is not, and yet is” which may very well be referring to the same “resurrected” beast back in Revelation 13 verses 3 and 12 whose “fatal head wound” was healed.
The first beast of Revelation 13 existed as seven different heads, or kingdoms, throughout history. The seventh head on that beast received a fatal head wound and was healed, allowing for an eighth head to arise.
“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” (Revelation 17:11)
It is likely that this eighth head in Revelation 17 is the second beast of Revelation 13. In other words, the beast “who was, is not, and yet is”, in chapter 17 is the same beast who recovered from a fatal head wound in chapter 13.
But who are these kingdoms? Who are the heads on this first beast of Revelation 13? Who is this second beast that recovered from a fatal head wound? Can we know their earthly identities?
When taking Genesis chapters ten and eleven into account, there is some debate as to the origins and the exact dates of these seven kingdoms (seven heads of the first beast of Revelation 13). Historians and Archeologists know the Egyptian and early Mesopotamian empires (Assyria, Samaria, Babylonia, etc.) came to power before the conquering Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s time. However, the bible only offers the lineages of the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth. It does not give details as to exact peoples who founded Egypt and Mesopotamia nor the exact timeframe in which they settled their earliest city-state kingdoms.
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What is The Mark of the Beast?
“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: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark…” (Revelation 13:16-17; emphasis in bold mine throughout this section)
We began this study in part one by illustrating the so-called evidence to support two central theories regarding the identity of the beast. We saw how Nero and the Pope are the usual suspects while learning the evidence many teachers use to draw their conclusions. Now, to finally divulge what I believe is the unadulterated truth surrounding this mysterious mark of the beast, I would like to use the same approach. I will provide every single theory that has ever existed on the subject. Then, I will provide my own biblical understanding as well as my personal thoughts on the subject. With this approach, the reader will be provided with all the available evidence and all the available theories. After having heard arguments from all sides, the reader will have the opportunity to decide what is credible and what is not. So here we are. What is the mark of the beast?
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