The Mark of the Beast and Rapture myths
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1Th5:19-22
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world’ 1Jh4:1
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1Jh2:18
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many! Matt24:11
The Present Rapture craze that has been sweeping the evangelical churches since the turn of the 20th Century can be traced back to a supposed 'Vision of a woman named Margret Macdonald that occurred during a period of history in 1830's Wales England called the 'revival of gifts'. In her vision it was revealed to her that Christ's return was going to happen in two stages, first to secretly take his Church out of the world and then come back at a later time to Judge the World. However this secret coming theory was not popularized until John Nelson Darby became fascinated by it and incorporated it as part of his doctrinal teaching called Dispensational theology. He coined the phrase ‘Rapture, taken from 'Caught up in 1Thes4:17, and later C. I. Scofield would bring the entire System of this teaching into the main-stream with his version of the Scofield Reference Bible. Notably the beginnings of so-called modern Pentecostalism (revival of gifts) in 1830's Wales corresponded with the 'supposed Visions of Joseph Smith in America, when he claimed to have received his 'visitation from the Angel Moroni telling him of a buried book made of golden plates which would later become the Book of Mormon. That of course created a new religious Sect, much as the 'Rapture myth created a new wave of end times signs and wonders teachers that swept from Azusa Street to the Left Behind series and beyond. Follow is a study into the historical facts behind this movement.
Thief in the Night!
(introduction into end times craze)
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 1Thess5:2
Today a Defiled Church waits anxiously for the Return of the Lord, to Rapture them out of their tribulations and usher in the Anti-Christ. They all hope to escape the Coming Wrath of God on the earth, because they were not 'appointed to Wrath, but to attain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ! 1Thes5:9. And since the turn of the Twentieth Century there have been many teachers and preachers making predictions and writing books about the this 'supposed Rapture return of Christ, but sadly it’s all based on a series of false teachings that originated centuries ago and has been revised a number of times into modern 'eschatology that has most of professing Christianity in great darkness. The many teachers who richly profit from writing books, making DVD series and promoting seminars keep a tight lid on the historical facts behind this theology since their playbook came directly out of Jesuit teaching, 1500-1800's.
For your reference we will mention that in Ancient times the early Christians viewed the Return of the Lord as the Final Trumpet and Judgment of mankind, as Peter clearly said in 2Pet3:10-13. The New heaven and New in which righteousness dwells was what they hoped (and hastened) for. There is no mention of a temporal reign (another age) after Christ's return in their writings, His return would mark the end of the age, Judgment and everything made new.
The 1000 years, is the Greek; ‘Chilioi, a Plural of uncertain affinity, the number of perfection, used many times in Revelation (and references to 1000 throughout scripture always representing perfection, or completion) never meaning a literal 1000 years as man would count them. The early Saints understood this as written, because they did not have our decimal system of numbering so the Greek words were always illustrative of something pertaining to the subject at hand. They understood what the Lord had told them, that He would return soon (at any moment) Judge the World and bring in a New age of Righteousness. But of that Day and hour no one knew, so being ‘ready was their main concern. What we call 'Premillennialism, Mid or Post, due to dividing 'Dispensations into literal Years, is not relevant to disseminating their beliefs. Since the KJV word; Dispensation, taken from oikonomia, simply means: Stewardship or administration of affairs, it really has nothing to do with the idea of 'Dispensations, meaning separating 'years into segments to create an imaginary time-line for the return of Christ. And as we have mentioned, the Rapture theory was invented centuries later, not by the early Saints. Their understanding of 'end times was that it had already begun when the Lord ascended into heaven and sent them forth to preach the Gospel. 'I am your Companion in Tribulation!' John said in Rev1:9.
First of all try to understand that all roads lead to Rome in when it comes to the perversion of Scripture or the predicting of the future. By the time John received the Book of Revelation the early Saints had already witnessed the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and much bitter Persecution that had wiped out most of the Apostles except John. So the things he wrote about warning the Saints were the 'beginnings of sorrows and have been going on every since. (the Church Age) That means such things as, the tribulation, the antichrist, mark of the beast, the wrath of God, have all been occurring over the last 2000 odd years and will continue to the last day. They are NOT Future events, yet to be revealed, but illustrations of what has been happening since Pentecost. To clearly understand and unravel the myths surrounding all the ‘end time’s fantasies you have been taught, you must embrace this as a fact or be forever duped by the Prophecy teachers promoting their next book.
We can trace the modern perversions of ‘new age eschatology back to a Jesuit monk named Francisco Ribera in the late 1500’s, when he wrote the 500 page commentary on the book of Revelation (called: Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin) in order to remove the Papacy from consideration as the Anti-Christ by the growing Protestant movement at the outset of the Reformation. He wanted to take the focus off Rome and cast all speculations into the future. In his 'Pre-millennialism view he divided the ‘Tribulation into 3 ½ year segments, in which an Anti-Christ individual would show up and do the following: Persecute and blaspheme the saints of God, Rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, Abolish the Christian religion, Deny Jesus Christ, Be received by the Jews, Pretend to be God, Kill the two witnesses of God and Conquer the world. (the Lindsey, LaHaye playbook to a Tee!)
can trace the theories of Dispensationalism directly to Ribera,
although I can't say for certain that he coined the phrase, but he certainly
invented the concept. Over the next few centuries his teachings somewhat faded
into obscurity, but during what is called the second great awakening (of the
reformation) the heat was again turned on the Pope as being the anti-Christ
spoken of by John. So another Jesuit named Manuel Lacunza in the early
1800's revived the teaching, tweaking it a bit, and made it
appealing to a group of Protestant preachers in Northern England who were
fascinated by end times Prophecy. Among these was Edward Erving who took
it upon himself to translate Lacunza's work in 1827 and bring it up for
discussion in his Prophecy Conferences he was conducting in Wales around the
time of Margret Macdonald's supposed vision. This is when Darby
entered the picture and picked up where they left off with his Dispensational
theology theories, now including the 'Secret Rapture. You can easily
verify these facts in modern encyclopedias on line if you wish. All that you are
being taught today concerning end times, rapture, tribulation, building of the
Temple in Jerusalem, supposed anti-Christ person, was invented mainly for the
purpose of taking the focus off Rome and the Pope as the 'bad guys and lumping
Protestantism and Catholicism into one big ecumenical brotherhood of new age
non-sense centered around present day Israel and the Middle East.
I'm fairly certain the 20th Century book writers like Lindsey and LaHaye, ect, were wholly aware of these teachings and their origin and they saw a great opportunity to cash in on the end times mania; since the average professed Christian at the time of their publications did not have access to the source of their information and just imagined they knew something no one else did because they were great scholars. (that's what I heard back in the early 80's, how great they were in bringing us this info) Nevertheless, the present day establishment Church System is wholly unprepared for the Lord's Return, if it were to occur, wallowing in their sin, overwhelmed with hypocrisy, making every excuse under the sun while they wait for the Lord to come and 'swoop them away in the clouds to Paradise! Sadly they have no idea whatsoever that they are in great darkness and will surfer nothing but Judgment and shame if the Lord were to return. As the Prophet has said:
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness, and not light. Amos5:18
The 1830's Prophecy Conferences set the stage for the onslaught of Pentecostalism and the teaching of ‘Dispensationalism sweeping into the mainstream by the 'later Scofiled Reference Bible, published in 1909, that is still revered by many so-called Scholars today. This paved the way for 20th Century pundits to mix these fantasies into a new series of books that combined and updated them for another generation of simple minded fools who believed they could be 'Saved and Swept away by the Lord in their sins. One of which was William Eugene Blackstone who published a book, ‘Jesus is Coming Soon, in 1908, which became a best seller in its time, over a Million copies sold. In 1957 a Baptist theologian from Dallas Theological Seminary, named John Walvoord, authored a book called: ‘The Rapture Question which also sold very well. But the Big Daddy of them all, as mentioned, was The late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey in 1970 that sold over 15 million copies! (initially) Lindsey claimed to be an 'expert in end times eschatology and taught that the Rapture was imminent and Armageddon was just around the corner because the European Community (old Roman Empire) was beginning to take shape into a Ten Nation confederation at the time, fitting into his theory of the Beast with Ten horns in Rev13. He made a virtual fortune selling books and conducting seminars (TV appearances, etc) passing himself off as an 'expert, while at the same time committing multiple acts of adultery and living like a King. It's likely he stole his charts and graphs from another dispensationalists named Clarence Larkin, 1850-1924, a Baptist preacher who published books and charts out-lining the time line of Christ's return, the Tribulation, appearance of anti-Christ-Millennial reign and finally the great Judgment. (they're still available today on the web, I've seen them myself, superb art-work and illustration) Lindsey's book was almost a carbon copy of Larkin's work, but no one knew it then. Now in his 80's he's still out there making predictions and more piles of money, deceiving the gullible masses into believing he's a valid teacher of the gospel. His replacement (if you can call it that) is another 'saved in sin preacher named Tim LaHaye, who popularized the 'Left Behind series from his books into movies and TV shows. His franchising empire far outpaced Lindsey and is still going strong in the Church System, much the same as phonies like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron promote their false gospel in Hollywood style movies and special gimmicks to gather in the tares for the burning.
Needless to say professing Christendom has bought into this propaganda hook, line and sinker and to this day millions stake their eternal well-being on the ‘secret Rapture just around the corner coming to rescue them out of their despair and troubles. Since the early 1900’s many have taken it upon themselves to ‘set dates for the Lord’s return and it seems like every year another crack-pot will make his prediction based on some ‘vision or voice they supposedly heard (or seen) going DIRECTLY in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who said VERY Clearly that ‘Of that Day or hour knows no man, not even the angels of heaven but ONLY My Father’ Matt24:36 But it doesn’t deter them in the least! Just like old Joseph Smith who ‘received his visitation in the1830’s and came up with the Book of Mormon, so these present day false prophets ‘deceive many’ (Mat24:11) with their lies and deceit. While they run around promoting their latest revelation and raking in the money, they preach (like all before them) the same false 'repeat after me gospel of faith alone, moral depravity, Substitution and pre-forgiveness of sins.
It is not my purpose to open a detailed discussion into eschatology (end times theology) in this introduction, just show you the facts behind the massive ‘Rapture craze professed Christians are caught up in and the players behind it, past and present. The Word ‘Rapture does not even appear in the Bible. They translate the phrase; ‘Caught up’ in 1Thess4:17, as rapture. This is the same Word Jesus used in John10:28 when He said of His genuine disciples that ‘No one could ‘unexpectedly Snatch them away as long as they were abiding in Him. There's no end to the false teachers out there still writing books, putting up Web sites and coming up with more visions and dreams to draw you into their delusions. It remains the main cash-cow of professed Christendom, BUT you can be sure that none of them are telling you to WATCH always so you may be Counted Worthy to meet the Lord, Clean and Pure at His Coming!
for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you”, ‘Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mk13:5, 36-37
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless 2Pet3:14
when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power 2Thess1:10-11
The Central focus of Christ's teachings
is to MAKE SURE you will be found by Him without spot and
blameless. Make yourself ready for His Coming! Rev19:8. As you are Now, so you
will be then:
He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. Rev22:11
There will be no Magic transformation from naughty to nice. You will Stand before the Lord and give full account for the deeds done in the body at His Judgment seat. 2Cor5:10-11. He is coming to give to everyone according to their work, Rev22:12, the filthy rags crowd sleeping in the churches will be overtaken as by a thief in the Night and then they will stand with all the phony prophecy teachers to be Judged as liars and dogs, cast out into the utter darkness of shame forever. Rev22:12-15
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 1Thes5:1-10
The Subject most connected to the ‘Rapture theories is the ‘Mark of the Beast in Rev13. In the fantasy versions of the end times novels the Mark is portrayed as some kind of electronic imbedded micro-chip (in the forehead or hand) that identifies those who ‘worship the Beast (anti-Christ) and those who refuse, who will be ‘be-headed during the Beast’s reign; refusal to take this ‘Mark’ (chip) results in exclusion from general society with no right to ‘buy or sell’ within it. But it’s the ONLY way a person during this period of time (the Tribulation) can be Saved because anyone who takes the ‘Mark is doomed to the Lake of fire with the Devil and his angels. (although not all the pundits agree on this part) It makes for a good SiFi movie plot with a ‘biblical slant, but that’s all it is; utter fantasy. For one, no SINGLE person could deceive the entire world and force them to be implanted with a micro-chip! And, in that this also requires that the Nation of Israel be re-stored to its former glory, re-build the Temple in Jerusalem and re-instate the sacrificial system, it’s HIGHLY improvable that the so-called ‘Prophecy teachers have the slightest clue of what they are talking about. The ‘Church System is ALREADY dispensing this ‘Mark, ‘as a gift’ on those clamoring to ‘receive it! When you come to understand that you may be able to ‘escape the Judgment coming upon the Great harlot called the ‘Church because it is the Beast!
Understanding The Mark of the Beast
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev13:16-17
What you need to understand clearly is that the Present day church System is already under the control of the Beast. But the Beast is NOT some Worldly dictator the professing world expects. In reality the Beast John saw in Rev13 is the Church System in all its apostate glory, not merely the Catholic System as many have identified over the years, but the ENTIRE professing Christian religious establishment, all preaching the Message of the Dragon and dispensing his Mark on mankind. The ‘Man of Sin, 2Thess2:3, (so-called anti-Christ) is ‘Mankind itself, anthropos, not a ‘certain man (tis) John said that ‘many anti-Christ’s have come (1John2:18) it’s the ‘spirit of anti-Christ that has been in the world since the beginning. (1Jh4:3)
John was also shown an IMAGE created by the Beast that lives and breaths and causes everyone (in the System) to bow down to it in Worship and ‘Receive’ a Mark on the Right hand or Forehead. This IMAGE has the appearance of a Lamb but speaks the language of the Dragon through an Army of false teachers convinced that this IMAGE is the REAL Jesus Christ! What this image represents is their ‘Systems of Doctrine that absolves them from Obedience to the Truth. The ‘Head that received the Mortal wound and recovered is (IMO the turning point of Christendom when Catholic tyranny lost its monopoly over the Kingdoms of men; called: the Protestant reformation. But Protestantism is merely another head of the SAME monster deceiving millions with ‘another version of the same lies. So the entire System is expressed: as a creature with two horns like a lamb and speaks the language of the Dragon that causes all the professed on earth to worship the first Beast (apostate system) who ‘supposedly received a fatal blow in the Protestant Reformation. (Rev13:11-12) The monster never actually died but still ‘lives and speaks in the form of new age spirit of ecumenicalism sweeping our planet today.
Think of the IMAGE in this manner: ‘the people get ‘Saved in their sins, ‘Receive a Magic Cloak of Virtue from Jesus, ‘have their sins forgiven in advance because He took their place on the Cross and suffered God’s Wrath and they are instantly safe and secure even though they sin daily in thought, word and deed, totally wrapped up in their fleshly desires. All based on the Myth they were born in a Morally depraved condition unable to Obey God and He Provided a means by which they could be Justified by ‘faith alone while still sinners. That’s the base fundamental view of so-called ‘Reformed theology that came out of this period of history and was systematized in the Westminster Confession of faith 1646 and handed down to every Protestant denomination since. Its not a reputation of Catholicism or even a return to Apostolic roots, but merely a re-instatement of Augustinian theology that originated in ancient Rome. Thus, the two-heads (Beast) of the same monster that was supposedly 'mortally wounded.
Notice the Passage in Rev13:15-18, ‘This IMAGE was granted Power to both ‘Speak and ‘Kill anyone who refused to bow down and worship it. Then it ‘CAUSED everyone to ‘Receive a Mark on their forehead or right hand so they were not able to ‘buy or sell without it. Here all the false teachers have you watching for some kind of implantable microchip coming soon from you federal government. But if you examine this passage in the original Greek you will find that John is speaking in highly illustrative ‘Metaphors, meaning: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance’
The IMAGE represents something ‘created by the ‘Beast Church, it is ‘granted power by the thousands of false teachers both to ‘Speak (great swelling words of emptiness, promise people liberty in their sins 2Pet3:18) and ‘Kill , meaning in a ‘metaphorical sense; to deprive them of life within the System, by limiting their ability to ‘buy or sell (carry out the trade of preaching true redemption) unless they ‘receive the Mark distinguishing them as true ‘followers of the IMAGE. Why do I say this? Because everyone ‘saved in the Church (Beast) System is invited to ‘receive Jesus as a ‘gift for the full payment of their sins, past, present and future and a magical transfer of His Virtue to cover their filthy rags of sin. AND this is EXACTLY the Metaphorical use of John’s words in verse 16, ‘he causes all to receive (as a gift) the Mark on their forehead or right hand! Ask ‘any Professed Christian in the Church System how they ‘got saved and they will tell you ‘I received Jesus as my personal Savior by praying the sinners prayer' or something of that sort. There will be no mention of Deeds Worthy of Repentance, godly sorrow for sin, a clearing of wrong doing or taking up the Cross to follow Jesus. Only ‘receive and ‘trust that its all been done in advance and sin is no longer an issue. This is the ‘Mystery of lawlessness sweeping the Church System as ‘Strong Delusion and why they all ‘take pleasure in their unrighteousness, arguing in favor of sin at every turn. (2Thes2:7, 10-12) So the MARK is your identity as a supposed 'sinner saved by grace' in the Beast System of lies and deceptions. Let's move on.
WHY is it said to be placed on the Forehead or Right hand? Because the
Forehead represents the Mind's Eye and the Hand the instrument that leads you
into unrighteousness. Remember, it's 'received as a gift, NO
ONE is forced to take it.
it is NOT a ‘physical mark or any kind of implanted device
as all the deceivers are telling you. The ‘Mark is Spiritual in
nature and consists of ‘receiving a ‘different
gospel than the one Jesus Preached. (Gal1:6-9) How so: Note Jesus own words:
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Mat6:22-23
THE EYE, full of Light or full of Darkness! Forehead in Rev13 is taken from the compound word: ‘Metopon, meaning ‘With and Eye’, metaphorically spoken: ‘Within the Eye of the Mind! Therefore if the EYE is bad, lusting after the things of the world, not plucked out in repentance, or the body of sin put to death, 'Right hand', you're walking around with the MARK right now!
Note again what the
Lord said about the eye and the hand: Matt5:27-30
You have heard that it was said to those of old ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Is there ANYONE in the Beast (Church) System preaching the
Gospel in this matter that the sinful eye of the flesh has to be cast from you
in repentance as well as the selfish indulgences of the body put to death,
BEFORE you can enter the Kingdom? I've never heard it. And since the
proper translation and comparison of these Words in Scripture all indicate that
this Mark is speaking of a 'Stigma (mark, Gal5:24) yet to be cast
from you, I have to believe John is talking about the professing Christian world
bowing to an Image of their creation and being 'saved in their sins by
trusting in it as their Savior. Again and again this same thing keeps appearing
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever 1John2:15-17
What comes out of a man that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mk7:20-23
Cain was the first to receive this Mark as his identity when he refused to do Well and Rule over his selfish desires, Gen3:15, 4:7, and Killed his brother. He stands as the eternal warning to all to be: not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother 1Jh3:12 Lust and murder, in the heart, one in the same thing and MUST be crucified in Repentance or your body will be destroyed in hell. Such things as these are NEVER heard in the Church System where Salvation is dispensed as a ‘gift to those who ‘retain their ‘evil eye and call it a ‘sin nature. Christ said the Eye must be SINGLE and the heart Pure or the whole body is full of darkness. But the darkness in the Church System is so great they have no idea whatsoever they already have the Mark and believe its some futuristic implantable device reserved for those who miss out on the Rapture. Sadly as silly as this sounds, (like a movie plot) most professed Christians will call you a heretic for denying it. (as I am called a false teacher by the likes of Dan Corner for showing the Mark as an identity of the 'active sinner saved by grace') Every physical manifestation of the 'Mark is another deception that adds fuel to the fire, just as pin-pointing world events as fulfillments of Prophecy. The sitting Pope himself is (and always has been) a pseudo manifestation of the anti-Christ, exalting himself above God and worshiped as God. Consequently following the next 'Sign', deceives many just as Christ said, they miss the 'mark because the mark (stigma of sin) has blinded their eyes to the truth.
What is the ‘Number of his Name,
spoken of in Rev13:17-18? This is another occasion for the false teachers in the
Beast System to go haywire pointing to every series of digitized numbers that
come up 666 as the possible Mark! I've heard many professed Christians under
these lies claim they would die before taking such a 'chip, card, ID that
contained the number 666. Imagine, they would die resisting a device but NEVER
die to sin so they live in Christ.
To understand what John is speaking of we READ what is says: the ‘Number of a man’ is the destination of ‘Mankind itself. (not a person) In the Greek the word: Anthropos means (obviously) Mankind, both male and female. When Scripture speaks of ONE particular man or person it uses the expression: ‘Tis, as in ‘Let no (certain one) man deceive you’ (2Thes2:3) So the Number of man (anthropos) in Rev13:18 is the Number of MANKIND! WHY was it translated 666? Simply because biblical Numerology has assigned the number Six to man in scripture. But the question is was John speaking about an actual number or an Identity …
(Special Note: 'the atomic number of ‘Carbon of which man consists, he came from the dust of the earth, Gen3:19. which on the periodic table of elements contains: Six Neutrons, Six Electrons and Six Protons, thus 666. This may be consequential to the choice of Six, but it has nothing to do with the understanding of Scripture)
It's interesting to note also that in John’s time there was no Numerical System as we know it today. (It came about in the 10th Century) that means the ancient Greek language does NOT use decimals to express numbers. In the Greek alphabet (24 symbols) each symbol was given a weight to represent a number, as: Α α was 1, (first letter) and Ω ω 24, (last) You can look it up if your interested. The Romans of course used ‘Roman Numerals, such as DCLXVI would represent 666. So people ‘could make attempts to apply the Greek destinations of letters to numbers and ‘Try to identify the supposed Anti-Christ. Many tried and actually named certain individuals throughout history but all to no avail because they missed the basic truth that the Number of a man, represented Mankind, not ‘a certain man, or as we've seen the Identity of man. (number: arithmos, meaning number or numbers-in this case indefinite since indicates mankind, arithmos from Root airō, to reckon up)
In the original Greek the number 666 written out would appear
ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, hexakósioi hexēkonta héx, literally; ‘six hundred and sixty-six
phrase ‘number of his name, in Revelation is transliterated: ‘Chi
(source: Bauer, Thayer) Obviously not the actual Greek expression for Six hundred and Sixty Six as show above or abbreviated: cxßV, in the ancient Greek.
as appears in this word is translated ‘Mark in Gal6:17,
where Paul says:
‘From now on let no one trouble me for I bear in my body the MARKS of the Lord Jesus’
In the Greek
Stigma is a mark of Ownership, like one would mark a possession
Brand, engrave or tattoo to identify a slave. Thus the ‘Stigma of Sin is what remains in the false converts brought to the Beast’s altar to ‘receive Jesus (IMAGE) as the Number of a man in his unregenerate state in rebellion to God. It’s not really a ‘number at all, but an identify, which applies to all mankind, with the Stigma of sin remaining in them.
For further explanation that the English translation of number of his name; ‘Chi Xi Stigma in Rev13:18 is not the actual Greek expression for 666, consider this: If a person wanted to convey the actual number 666 in Greek text it would appear as: cxßV- 666, c = 600, x = 60, ßV = 6 Perhaps written out as: ‘eJxakovsioi eJxhv e&x (as we’ve shown above) It would certainly NOT include the word Stigma to designate the numerical value of 666.
So the question remains, WHY would John use an expression of compound words relating to a metaphorical ‘mark (stigma) when 666 is easily expressed as ‘cxßV? IMO its because he wasn't concerned about a certain Number but an IDENTITY! When the numerical system we're accustomed to using was invented translators began designating the 'Number of his name' as 666, Rev13:18, and it was off to the races to pin the tale on the anti-Christ donkey every since! Early on the Latin Kingdom, (Lateinov, Catholic) itself was worked out as 666 and then many of the Popes, but again they're missing the point entirely, just as today. The anti-Christ 'System' is in their very midst dispensing the mark on all who remain under the stigma of their sin.
Also you will find in
the Strongs lexicon the phrase is translated; ‘six hundred and sixty six’
and they call any speculation into it ‘vain, but understand that Strong's
himself was a Methodist and sold out to dispensational theology, so it stands to
reason he would argue in favor of a 'futuristic mark' taking the heat off the
apostasy he was a part of. The Greek expression stands as is:
word that ends with the word Mark-stigma, so the MARK of a man (or on a
man) is his identity, whether it be of God, (Rev14 we see God marking His
people) or of sin, the lustful eye of the flesh, 1Jh2:16, never Plucked out and
Cast away in repentance. The only way to escape this mark to Obey Christ and
come out from among them, stop sharing in their sins and be set free!
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
The Mystery of Iniquity!
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only ‘at present is now restrained ‘and will be so, until ‘events come to pass ‘and then the ‘wickedness will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Th2:1-12
The greatest desire of Satan is to be worshiped as God. In Ezk28, he is revealed as a ‘perfect, high and exalted being in God’s kingdom who in the abundance of his ‘trading (merchandising) became filled with evil and violence and turned into the ‘Prince and power of the air, god of this age, who blinds the eyes of men by corrupting the Word of God. From the beginning of his rebellion he has manifested himself in the form of: Angels of Light, Ministers of Righteousness, world leaders and wicked minions in general. (2Cor11:13-15) The ‘Man of Sin (mankind) are his compliant participants, as ‘many ‘Sons of Perdition, desiring wealth, power and dominance over the earth, to ‘steal, kill and destroy as a ‘Mystery of Lawlessness (iniquity) was already at work in the times of the Apostles and has spread its influence until now.
When John was given his ‘Revelation of
the coming age, he called himself ‘Your companion in Tribulation’
(Rev1:9) because the ‘War on the Saints had already begun! The ‘Beast
(system) had yet to be fully revealed, as Paul explains in 2Thess2:1-12, because
‘at present it was being restrained by True Spirit filled Saints,
purged, purified and overcoming sin, the flesh and the devil. (representing
the Holy remnant throughout the ages) This remained in place during the
brutal persecutions of the Christians at the hands of several ‘men of sin’
Roman Caesars, from Nero to Diocletian, ending around 305AD, But ‘events
then came to pass that ‘turned the tables’ (again) on the faithful
and ‘wickedness prevailed. The ‘Dragon (Satan and
his minions) dispersed the faithful and established his own System of Religion
in Rome. (Rev12:13-17, nevertheless, the ‘faithful KEPT His
Commandments and the testimony of their Faith in Jesus Christ, so the ‘Witness
of His gospel did not vanish from the earth!) Satan holds ‘sway
(influence) over the world 1Jh5:19, but has been ‘Stripped of his
full advantage over mankind by the Cross. Col2:15. The KJV Bible uses the word
'He Spoiled principalities and powers', but it does not mean he
put Satan out of business entirely. He 'bound the Strong man,
Mat12:29, spoiling or stripping him of his full dominion over the minds of men.
They can now escape and resist his wiles through a Victorious faith that Rules
over sin, the flesh and the devil. 1Jh5:4-5. But during the Church age
(undetermined period of time before the Lord's return) he is till the roaring
lion seeking whom he may devour, 1Pet5:8-9, and the Saints must remain vigilant
so not to stray into his realm of influence.
I believe that Satan’s (temporary) Victory over the religious System occurred in all its glory around 330-400AD, when the first Beast rose up out of the sea of nations, representing the Holy Roman Empire out the remnants of the old Empire, divided in civil war (285-330) and ‘Son of Perdition: ‘Constantine united the Eastern Empire under the ‘Banner of Christianity, blending it into the Pagan worship and twisted philosophies of Rome. This is how the ‘Dragon gave his ‘authority to the Beast and the Roman (Christianized) establishment was able to kill anyone who did not submit to it. Where as it was merely a word invented by Ignatius 'Catholic, meaning universal, now it was an Episcopal System able to reign terror on dissenters and annex the Word of God keeping it out of the hands of the common people. Thus the ‘war on the Saints continued as this Beast System Blasphemed God and ‘merchandized the souls of men, with the exception of those who overcame sealing their testimony in blood. (Rev13:1-8) You can trace the Satanic influence of this System through the first millennium and onward to the Reformation. Many more ‘false teachers, men of sin, Sons of Perdition rose up and were cast down to ultimate ruin from 330 through 1261 until around 1453. In this period of history we have the ‘medieval times, the Dark ages, the Crusades, the horrible plagues and finally the fall of Constantinople; (Tribulations) But the tables turned again against the Beast and it received the ‘deadly wound’ during this period of great upheaval, coinciding with the invention of the Printing press in Germany, the Renaissance in Europe and the advent of the so-called Protestant Reformation. (1517) But the old ‘Dragon put Plan B into action by shifting his tactics on the so-called Protestants.
John was shown this ‘Second Beast, rising up out of the earth (mankind) who had: ‘Two horns like a lamb but spoke the language of the Dragon’, and through another Army of false teachers, men of sin, Sons of Perdition, this Beast exercises its authority over the earth (professing System) and ‘deceived them again, not actually ‘slaying the first Beast and returning to the Apostolic Roots of Christianity, but by inventing an alternative religion in the form of many ‘ISM’s, molded after the ‘language of the Dragon in its originality ‘Systematized in the Council and Creeds expressed in the 1646 Westminster Confession of faith. So the ‘deadly wound was healed and the Beast System took on the likeness of the Woman on the Scarlet Beast collectivized with the world and merchandizing in the souls of men. (The ‘two horns representing the Catholic and Protestant Systems, all preaching essentially the ‘same message)
The IMAGE erected to the Beast (System) is many things to many people. To the Professing Christian world it represents the counterfeit image of Jesus Christ who has their sins Covered, pre-forgiven and the wrath of God diverted. In the Catholic realm they are absolved through the Sacraments and Traditions. So to the Protestant they are saved by Provision, to the Catholic its by special unction's administered by the Priests. They all Bow to the IMAGE, believing it to be the one and only True God, but in reality its Satan who has achieved his ultimate goal to be worshipped as a god! Paul explains: 'WHO: ‘opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God that is worshipped as God, and sits ‘as God, in the ‘Temple of God, showing himself that he is god! (2Thes2:4) Not the Temple in Jerusalem, (the futurists are looking for) but in the TEMPLE of men’s hearts! (1Cor3:16-17, 2Cor6:16) That's where he has established his Kingdom over the minds of 'religious men. THIS is the Mystery of Lawlessness (iniquity) that doth already work in the ‘Sons of Disobedience, who will not Cast away the evil eye of their flesh and Purify their hearts purging out the root of iniquity.
Those who Bow to this
IMAGE (in whatever ISM they perceive it) receive its
‘Mark (identity) as a ‘gift and are permitted to ‘buy
and sell’ within the System they have chosen to follow. But those with
the Father’s Name written on their ‘Foreheads (their
identity) are ‘deprived of life within the Systems. To many this
means they are hunted and literally killed (as has happened throughout history
to now) others however are still permitted to live but ‘forbidden to carry out a
trade (of preaching true redemption) within the Beast System. The ‘Number
of a Man, is represented by this ‘identity (Mark) and the Number
Six, assigned in Biblical numerology to man, (as Nebuchadnezzar, Saul,
Judas) or something man is trying to achieve in his own wisdom and strength. (as
the gold that came to Solomon from Tyre, merchandizing center of trade, was six
hundred threescore and six talents, 1Kings10:14) Although the literal
translation of the ‘Number of his Name’ in Rev13:18, is NOT
the Greek designation for 666, but transliterated ‘Chi Xi Stigma’,
expressing an ‘identity not a literal mark or some kind of
implanted device. ‘Six is still the number of man, but running around in
panic every time you see a 666 in a RFID Code or some other
electronic serial number is childish non-sense programmed into you by the phony
prophecy pundits who make money on your ignorance.
The reason professed Bible pundits who are considered experts in end times events don't understand any of this is because just as Paul says in the 2Thess passage, 'The Mystery of lawlessness is already at work', BUT its NOT a person yet to come! So they cannot recognize the 'spirit of deception that has overtaken them. There's no recognition of gender being expressed in these passages as the modern versions of the Bible insert to imply that ONE person will arise as the Son of Perdition, Mystery of lawlessness, but there is NO reference to a 'HE'. (a single personage) If you examine verses 6-8 in the Greek Lexicon and look into the translation of: 'he who now', you will find that its speaking in this sense: at present is now restrained until 'events come to pass (expressed as: 'he be taken) and the 'Wickedness be revealed. The Captialized 'He in these passages, (in the newer versions, he in the KJV) is not referring to a Personage. The 'coming of the lawless one' was inserted in Verse 9, properly stated its: 'That which is coming'. Notice the insertions of 'he, or 'lawless one is expressed in Italics, meaning it was ADDED by the translators, its NOT in the text! Therefore just as the passage goes on to state that this 'spirit' in your midst (in the form of false teachers) after the workings of Satan (the religious Beast System) will deceive the masses with all lying signs and wonders (great swelling words of emptiness) who perish in the unrighteous deceptions because they WILL NOT receive a LOVE of the Truth! This is how Satan sets himself up in the Temple of God (men's hearts) and is worshiped through the IMAGE the professed believe is Christ.
The entire deception of futuristic teaching sweeping the Churches is based on this single error of expecting an 'anti-Christ Person to show up on the scene and kick off the beginning of the Tribulation. With that of course comes the supposed 'Rapture to rescue the Church out of danger. But it’s all the 'spirit of Strong Delusion, as 2Thes2:11 says, that God allowed to come to pass on those who choose to believe the Lie (they could be saved in their sins) and take pleasure in unrighteousness. The REAL Saints, in this mix, are the ones Overcoming and having Victory over the ‘Beast, his Image, the Mark and the Number of his name’ Rev15:2, 3:8 (sin the flesh and the devil 1Jh5:4-5) Keeping His Word and NOT denying His Name NOW! Not in the future. 'Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Rev14:12 They came OUT of the Beast System, Rev18:4-5, because they hear His Voice and Keep His Word, Joh10:27. The 'hirelings (who mechanize your souls) are the thieves and robbers (false prophets, error of wicked, spirit of error) who have entered through another means instead of repentance and faith proven by deeds. That's why the Church System is where the wolves prowl and devour the senseless sheep, sleeping in darkness.
is no mystery at all if you would awaken to the Truth and get out of the Beast
System. The Man of Sin is mankind (anthropos) itself given over to
self-indulgent iniquity, those who have come into the faith by ‘other
means, 'receive Jesus, repeat after me, Trust in His finished work',
instead of Crucifying their evil passions and desires in repentance. Gal5:24,
Rom6:4-6. If you believe that the Mark is Universal to mankind and
the ‘Anti-Christ is a certain person (yet to be revealed)
HOW does that differ from what has ALREADY taken place?
The 'Stigma (mark, identity) of sin is ever present in all those
who profess to be Saved in Christ, because if they 'deny there is sin in
them' they are liars who know not the truth! By their own admission they
are the Chief of sinners with desperately wicked hearts and anything they
attempt to do to please God is nothing but filthy rags of self-righteousness. So
what is there YET to come that isn't already taking place? John
said that 'Even now MANY antichrists have come, by which we KNOW that it
is the last hour', 1Jh2:18, So the 'spirit of Antichrist
is NOW already at work in the world! 1Jh4:3. If you deny this and
keep looking to the future, you MISS the point entirely and remain in
darkness. Christ said the SAME things:
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Matt24:23-25
Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. Lk21:8
The false 'Christ's, false prophets and deceivers are in your Churches! Not the Cults. Professing Christianity today is the BIGGEST Cult of all! The worst of the worst that has untold millions of mindless souls rallying around the Banner of: 'Saved in Sin, Jesus did it all, receive and trust Him', they cannot discern the times and seasons anymore than they can see what is staring them in the face! While they perish in their sins and wait for the phony Rapture the world around them descends further and further into the depths of Satan and envelopes them in a deadly snare that few will escape. Whether we are actually facing the culmination of the times and seasons (the Days of Noah) is yet to be seen. Our present world could easily explode into turmoil beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations and billions could perish in an instant. But one thing is certain the professed Church is WHOLLY unprepared to meet the Lord and is in the grips of iniquity. The Day of the Lord will not be a joyous event for them, but one of weeping and gashing of teeth as their present world dissolves with all the fairy tales they thought would saved them.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless 2Pet3:10-14
By Mike D