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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," October Edition2007

Steps Toward Understanding The Mark Of The Beast

Step 1

Accept the fact that no future seven year great tribulation end-time “time frame” period exists with which to start: not in the Book of Revelation, or anywhere else. Dispensationalists have taught this fable based on a false interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, which theory, in turn, they have sought to superimpose upon the New Testament. The whole dispensational conundrum, from start to finish, however, is profoundly delusional. Hard as it may be to do, friends, purge it from your mentality! It’s miscuing fiction, get it out of your system!

Step 2

Now, understand that the “beast” concept in Revelation chapter thirteen refers, not to a person, but to an empire (the Imperial Roman Empire of the first Christian century) It has nothing to do with one single individual called “the Antichrist,” who must appear only at the end of the age. Nowhere does the Book of Revelation use the term “Antichrist.” The definition given to that term in I John 4:3 connects it to anybody and everybody who denies that Jesus is the Christ! Dispensationalists tend to get so take up with the notion of some one single future individual as “the Antichrist” that they fails to comprehend their own system of false teaching (which is in denial of the present messiahship of Jesus Christ!) is, itself, partaking of an “anti-christ” spirit.

Step 3

Now that we have gotten the above misnomers out of our psychology, it becomes much easier to understand what the Bible really means by its usage of the mark of the beast expression. The first beast of Revelation chapter thirteen, then, is the empire, Rome. We see this beast almost killed by a sword, but then revived (13:3). That is a prophetic statement referring to the conquest of the Roman Empire by the sword of the Spirit in the early Church. The old pagan empire was nearly extinguished by Christianity, but then it (paganism) came back to life again. Here, further (13:11ff.), is a prophetic reference to the appearance of a second beast, the rise of Roman Catholicism through the agency of the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages. Thus, the Roman Church is the second beast, or false prophet, of Revelation chapter thirteen that resurrects, within its devotees, the old paganized ways of the first beast, Imperial Rome.

Step 4

The later historical perversions of Christianity under Roman Catholicism, and even much of Protestantism, too, has led people into the worshipping of pagan empire. This condition stands in marked contrast to a true Christian’s devotion in worship and service to the Holy Christ, who Himself is the antithis of Caesar. Behind all pagan empires there stands Satan, the god of this world, who, in reality, is the true object of what is worshiped by all who embrace paganism over Christianity.

Step 5

To take the mark of the beast has always meant to live as a pagan--a life marked in the forehead by how one thinks, and and in the hand by what one does. The buying and selling in the text points to the aspect of total control, and to the total ruin that will be brought on by a rejection of Jesus. Have you now upon you the trappings of pagan empire (the mark of the beast)? Think about it.

Related Article Links

Understanding Empire
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