About "The Mark of the Beast"Written by Hoyt W. Allen, Jr.
What does "the mark of beast" and 666 mean? The last few verses of Revelation 13 speak about a certain "mark" which man would receive on his right hand or forehead. This "mark," as well as number 666, has caused no small stir among those desiring to interpret Book of Revelation.
Theories and Their Error. As we would attempt to consider meaning of above, may we realize that a great number of theories on subject have been advanced. Some have said that mark of beast was: symbol of free masonry; face that appears on American dime; observance of sabbath on first day of week; N.R.A. of early 1930's; and, last and probably most popular theory today, "bar codes" for products, places and people. This last theory says that all people will have a final I.D. transaction card, and without it you'll not survive. What will be next theory, only God knows.
As one views Book of Revelation as a book filled with symbolism, I see an error in these theories. I see it because each theory interprets "mark" as a single, individual, outward, visible sign that will appear on forehead or hand of wicked at one particular moment in history. But, beast is constantly persecuting church, and indicates every form of secular power that attempts to destroy believers in Christ. Thus, wherever and whenever beast appears, you will find mark of beast.
The Language's Origin. In Bible times, "branding" of cattle or slaves was common, and it was referred to as "the mark." Thus, it showed ownership.
Note in Revelation 14:9-11; 20:4, that term "mark of beast" seems to refer to worshiping beast, as well as belonging to him and wearing his name. Thus, "mark of beast" is God-opposing, church-persecuting spirit of antichrist, wherever and whenever it manifests itself. The "antichrist" has been among us since first century, even prior to closing of New Testament writings (I John 2:18; 4:3; II John 7). Thus, "antichrist," or those against Christ, are not of a 20th Century origin.
The forehead symbolizes mind, thought-life, philosophy of a person. The right hand indicates his deed, action, trade, industry, etc. (see Deuteronomy 6:8). Thus, receiving "mark" indicates that person so characterized belongs to company of those who persecute church in what he thinks, says, writes or what he constantly does.
The Trade Prohibition. In Revelation 13:17, reference to man not being able to buy and sell without "mark" has been a difficult passage. The marks of identification should not be misunderstood literally. Yet, in days of New Testament writing, trade guilds (wool workers, linen workers, makers of outer garments, dyers - as Lydia [Acts 16:14] - leather workers, tanners, potters, etc.) were popular. The trade guilds were associated with tutelary deities (protection, guardian), and each guild had its guardian god.
Born To Bear WitnessWritten by Hoyt W. Allen, Jr.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light." (John 1:6-8)
"Now this is testimony of John, when Jews sent priests and Levities from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you.' He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am not Christ.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you Prophet?' And he answered, 'No.' Then they said to him, 'Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?' He said, 'I am
The voice crying in wilderness: Make straight way of Lord, as prophet Isaiah said.' Now those who were sent were from Pharisees. And they asked him saying, 'Why then do you baptize if you are not Christ, nor Elijah, nor Prophet?' John answered them saying, 'I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.' These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away sin of world! This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water."' And John bore witness saying, 'I saw Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is Son of God.'
Again, next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, 'Behold Lamb of God!' The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus." (John 1:19-37)
"After these things Jesus and His disciples came into land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He who was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you have testified - behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!' John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, "I am not Christ," but, I have been sent before Him. He who has bride is bridegroom; but friend of bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.'" (John 3:22-30)
John The Baptist
He is not to be confused with John, apostle, who was son of Zebedee and authored; John's Gospel, three letters of John, and Revelation of John.
John Baptist was son of Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1). His birth was foretold by an angel to his parents, when they were elderly. His birth preceded that of Jesus', who was his cousin. He became a "Hell-fire and Brimstone" preacher. Preaching "repentance to Jews." His dress was very crude, that of camel's hair. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. However, even though he was not a "polished" preacher, he drew crowds. He baptized Jesus in Jordan. Due to his straight forward preaching, he ended up having his head removed (Matthew 14:1-12). The name "John" means "Gift of God" and is a Hellenized form for "Jonathan." There is a similarity between John and his Old Testament namesake. They both gave up opportunity to be popular for someone else. Jonathan stepped aside for David, while John stepped aside for Jesus. When we find name "John" in fourth Gospel, it is always in reference to John Baptist, and never Gospel writer. John realized that he was born to witness.