There are precious few matters among the varying denominations in western Christianity in which everyone is in agreement. Ironically, what is possibly the most mysterious topic in all of scripture happens to be an issue where virtually no one seems to disagree.
The whole world it would appear has believed for at least two decades now, this mysterious “mark of the beast” will be a microchip implanted under the skin in the right hand between the thumb and pointer finger. And 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 microchip are now claiming it is a vaccine… among many other evolving theories since the early 20th century.
What I find so very strange about this conglomerate of theological understanding across denominational barriers, is how these same 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 then have they drawn an exact conclusion regarding the mark of that beast? Am I the only bible student who finds this rather odd?
Effectively, everyone agrees on the identity of the mark but somehow disagrees on the identity of the beast who imposes that mark.
I propose, in order for us understand the “mark of the beast” (Rev 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, we will then have more ample evidence to support the details of what exactly this mark of the beast represents.
In this case, it will not matter what denomination of Christianity a person ascribes too. It should be clear to any and all 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.
The Earthly Historical Identities of the Beasts and their Systems of Government (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…” (Rev 13:1)
“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.” (Rev 17:10-11)
When one studies scripture, it becomes clear the seven heads on this first beast in Revelation 13:1-10 are seven world empires (kingdoms) which have come to power since the time of the great flood. The first “beast” of Revelation 13 is a system of Government(s) which have taken 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 (Rev 13:11-18) who happens to exercise all the power of the first beast (world empires of the past) (v.12).
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.” (Rev 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.” (Rev 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 verse 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.” (Rev 17:11)
It is my contention, the eighth head in revelation 17, is the second beast of Revelation 13 – The beast who was, is not, and yet is (Rev 17). The beast “who was, is not, and yet is”, is the same beast who recovered from a fatal head wound (Rev 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?
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…(Rev 13:16-17)
I began this chapter in Part 1 by illustrating the so-called evidence to support two central theories regarding the identity of the beast. I showed you how Nero and the Pope are the usual suspects and provided the evidence many teachers use to draw their conclusions. 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 theory I’ve heard over the years, 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 all available evidence and all the available theories while also being offered my personal evidence and 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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And much, much more… see the chapters page for more details.
To read the full chapter, please consider purchasing the book (click here) or request a free copy by emailing Philip directly at email@example.com