Escape from an apostate church through knowledge of Scriptures.
The Beast and His Mark
Many have wondered who the Beast spoken of in the book of Revelation truly is. If you follow the thinking of John-Nelson Darby and the “Left Behind” books and movie series by Tim LaHaye, you might believe that the Beast is a man who appears on the world stage during the end-time tribulation. However, in stark contrast, the Scriptures define a “beast” as a “nation” per Daniel chapter 7, especially verse 23.
Think of what the Scriptures say about the characteristics of the beast:
It is the fourth Kingdom (or nation) of the earth (Daniel 7:7-26).
Scholars and historians seem to be in agreement that the four beasts (or kingdoms) of the earth have been Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and finally the Romans.
The beast presumes to change the appointed times and laws (Daniel 7:25).
This is consistent with what the Roman Catholic religious system has done to the appointed times (Scriptural holidays as described in Leviticus 23) and the Law as written in the first 5 books of the Bible.
The beast remains on the earth until Messiah’s return to establish his rule (Daniel 7:26, 27).
The fact that the fourth beast is present until the return of Messiah is consistent with characteristics of Rome, as it prevails until this day as the Roman Catholic Church.
And there is more evidence from Scriptures that the Beast is the Roman Catholic system. The first 3 bullets are enough however to indict the Roman Catholic Church.
The beast “was and is not and yet is” (Revelation 17:8).
This seems to be consistent with Roman history. It “was” meaning it certainly did exist as a mighty empire, “is not” which means it exists no longer, “yet is” which indicates that it deceptively still exists until the end. Again this is consistent with the history of the Roman Empire, which seemed to collapse and is no more, yet it still exists in the form of the Roman Catholic Church.
The woman riding the beast actually a city (Revelation 17: 18).
Rome fits the description of this whore.
Per Revelation 17:9, "The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." According to many ancient writers such as Victorinus, Rome was known as the city of seven hills. Originally, Rome included seven small mountains along the Tiber River, and the hills were given the names Palatine,
Aventine, Caelian, Equiline, Viminal, Quirimal, and Capitoline. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The
Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (2:969).
Wheaton, IL: Victor Books).
The many waters on which the whore sits are the nations of the earth.
As we study the Vatican and its influence, we see that it exerts great influence over the governments of the world.
There is much more to say about this, however what is written here is sufficient evidence that the Beast is a nation, the forth nation of the earth, and this is a strong indictment of the Roman Catholic religious system.
There are two cogent schools of thought regarding the ten horns spoken of in Revelation 17:12 and Daniel 7:20.
The horns are the protestant religions.
They kings that have no kingdom, or nations with no reign or land (Revelation 17:12).
They give their power and authority to the beast per Revelation 17:13, as they continue to obey the beast’s commands (much of cannon law) and appointed times (i.e. Sunday worship, Easter, Christmas, and any other “holy day” that is not commanded by Scriptures).
These horns shall also hate the beast (Roman Catholic Church) per Revelation 17:16 and it is true that the Protestant religions do hate the Roman Catholic Church.
The horns will also eat her flesh per Revelation 17:16, that is, take some people away from the Roman Catholic Church.
The horns are 10 Germanic nations that invaded the Roman Empire in 476 A.D, which laid the foundations of the present day political landscape of Europe. These 10 Germanic nations were the following.
Still a third school of thought regards these two as one in the same with the first being an extension of the second.
Protestant denominations are derivatives of the Roman Catholic system, as the term “protestant” presupposes “protesting Roman Catholic” but Roman Catholic nonetheless. The most notable doctrinal differences between the Roman Catholics from the Protestants are the 95 theses that Martin Luther nailed to the door at Wittenberg in 1517, which, though rousing to the emotions in the face of an oppressive and powerful religious system, do not go far enough so as to establish the need for true righteousness among men by encouraging obedience to the Most High’s commandments as found in the Scriptures. For true righteousness is defined as willful obedience to YAH’s commandments (Deut 6:25), as doing so is the only proof that one has truly been transformed and reborn and healed by the blood of Messiah Yahushua (1 John 5:3). Falling short of this mark, Luther provided simply a variant of the beast’s (Rome’s) pagan theology; that is, Luther created a “horn”.
Remember what the psalmist said (Psalm 89)…
“I have found My servant Dawid; With My set-apart oil I anointed him, With whom My hand is established; My arm also strengthens him. No enemy subjects him to tribute, And no son of wickedness afflicts him. And I shall beat down His adversaries before his face, And plague those who hate him. But My trustworthiness And My kindness are with him, And in My Name his horn is exalted. And I shall set his hand on the sea, And his right hand on the rivers. He calls out to Me, ‘You are my Father, My Ěl, and the rock of my deliverance.’ I also appoint him first-born, Highest of the sovereigns of the earth. I guard My kindness for him forever, And My covenant is steadfast with him. And I shall establish his seed forever, And his throne as the days of the heavens. If his sons forsake My Torah And do not walk in My right-rulings, If they profane My laws And do not guard My commands, Then I shall visit their transgression with the rod, And their crookedness with flogging. But My kindness I do not take away from him, Nor be false to My trustworthiness. I shall not profane My covenant, Neither would I change what has gone out from My lips.”
Keep in mind that the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty El Shadai, does not change with time. He has no need to change! His law does not change nor does our desire to obey Him if we have truly been born again!
Two Generally-Accepted but Wrong Schools of Thought
If you ask your average person on the street the identity of the beast and his mark, if you receive an answer that is founded in much concern, you will generally get one of the following answers.
“What does it matter? I will be ‘raptured’ before the beast appears anyway.”
“The mark of the beast must be a computer chip in your hand or your forehead that controls whether or not you can buy or sell.”
The problem with these two answers is that neither is firmly rooted in the entire testimony Scriptures.
The first answer is based on John Nelson Darby’s teachings regarding a pre-tribulation rapture, the teaching I was raised with. This theological position is, at best, pieced together by taking many different verses of Scriptures out of context and piecing them back together, but this position is clearly not supported by the events described by Yahushua Messiah as recorded in Matthew chapter 24.
The second answer generally comes from those who have put a bit more thought into the subject. They know that Revelation 13:17 indicates that anybody who does not receive this mark will not be able to buy or sell, so their minds immediately start fabricating ways to implement this apparently universal prohibition on buying and selling without the possession of the beast’s mark. It is at this point that people generally stop being students of the Word and start attempting to be engineers, but one does not need the intellect of an engineer to understand the plain testimony of Scriptures on this matter.
To understand the identity of the mark of the beast, one needs a circumcised heart.
It should be pointed out here that there is no denying that there is a perceivable effort afoot to implant people with an RFID chip. Certainly the technology does exist to use these RFID chips to disallow buying and selling, which would be an apparent fulfillment of Scriptural prophesy regarding the Mark of the Beast. We must however take our instructions from Scripture and not from our experiences. We must understand the Scriptural definition of the terms "beast" and "mark."
Is it important for us to search out the identity of the mark of the beast? Consider the fate of those who have this mark.
Revelation 14:8-12 reveals,
"And another messenger followed, saying, “Babel is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her whoring." And a third messenger followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Elohim, which is poured out undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he shall be tortured with fire and sulphur before the set-apart messengers and before the Lamb. And the smoke of their torture goes up forever and ever. And they have no rest day or night, those worshipping the beast and his image, also if anyone receives the mark of his name." Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones: here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of Yahushua."
Those who take the mark of the beast will be doomed to the lake of fire. They have followed the whore Babel (Babylon) and have committed whoring. The Scriptures define whoring as spiritual adultery, which is idolatry.
Lev 17:7 “And let them no longer slaughter their slaughterings to demons, after whom they whored. This is a law forever for them throughout their generations.”
Lev 20:5 then I shall set My face against that man and against his clan, and shall cut him off – and all who go whoring after him, even go whoring after Moleḵ – from the midst of their people.
Lev 20:6 ‘And the being who turns to mediums, and to spiritists, to go whoring after them, I shall set My face against that being and cut him off from the midst of his people.
Deu 31:16 And Yah said to Mosheh, “See, you are about to sleep with your fathers. And this people shall rise and whore after the mighty ones of the strangers of the land into the midst of which they shall enter, and forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.
In addition to sexual impropriety, the word “whoring” is also commonly used in Scriptures to define the practice of idolatry, and those who commit whoring or idolatry will be doomed to the lake of fire.
It is very important for us to understand what this mark truly is.
The true identity of the mark of the beast is so simple that it is often overlooked. The reason it is overlooked, I believe, is that most people we know – even people who seem to be the most devout – have this cursed mark and do not even realize it.
But for one who is a student of the Word and has shunned man-made religious systems, the book of Revelation is not needed to understand the identity. The book of Revelation merely affirms what the rest of Scriptures teaches about what a mark – or a sign, in the Scriptural sense – is and who the beast is.
Yet because most people trust their pastors and their churches more than they trust the plain testimony of Scriptures, the identity of the mark of the beast is obscured to them.
(Let this be a lesson for all: per the testimony of Scriptures, the fear of men brings a snare (Proverbs 19:25) and the trust of men brings a curse (Jer 17:5).)
We have already determined from Scripture that the beast is, in fact, the Roman Catholic religious system and all of its variants, but to really appreciate the depth of this beastly conspiracy, consider Revelation 13:11-12, which reads,
“I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon, and he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast”
The language is consistent with what we read from Daniel chapter 7 regarding the first and the forth beasts of the earth. The beast John sees is, according to Daniel, the fourth beast of the earth, which is Rome, and this beast remains until the ever-lasting reign of the Most High is established (according to Daniel 7:18 and Daniel 7:27). This beast is causing the earth to worship the first beast, which, according to Daniel 7:4, is Babylon, which would also explain why John has made so many references to Babylon in the book of Revelation.
How would the entire world today be worshipping the first beast Babylon? We will get to that in a moment.
Referring to the beast, the Greek word translated as “mark” is transliterated as “karagma”, which in Greek literally means to stamp, or to imprint. It is the same as a brand that is placed upon horses or cattle as a sign indicating to whom the animal belongs.
This mark of the beast is an imitation of the mark that all true believers have on their foreheads per Revelation 14:1, which reads,
“And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads.”
His Father’s name is יהוה.
What is the sign that we belong to יהוה? What sign or mark should be on our foreheads? On this, the Scriptures are abundantly clear.
Deut 11:18 reads,
“And you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
Deut 6:6-8 reads,
“And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart, and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”
According to Ex 13:5-9,
“And it shall be, when Yah brings you into the land of the Kenaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hiwwites, and the Yebusites, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. Seven days you eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day is a festival to Yah. Unleavened bread is to be eaten the seven days, and whatever is leavened is not to be seen with you, and leaven is not to be seen with you within all your border. And you shall inform your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of what Yah did for me when I came up from Mitsrayim.’ And it shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes that the teaching of Yah is to be in your mouth, for with a strong hand יהוה has brought you out of Mitsrayim.”
Ex 31:12-13 reads,
“And Yah spoke to Mosheh, saying, ‘And you, speak to the children of Yisra’el, saying, ‘My Sabbaths you are to guard, by all means, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I, Yah, am setting you apart.’”
And finally, Ezekiel reminds us in Ez 20:19-21,
“‘I am Yah your Elohim. Walk in My laws, and guard My right-rulings, and do them. And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, to know that I am יהוה your Elohim. But the children rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My laws, and My right-rulings they did not guard to do them, which, if a man does, he shall live by them. They profaned My Sabbaths, so I resolved to pour out My wrath on them to complete My displeasure against them in the wilderness.’”
The sign that we belong to Yah is that we keep His Sabbaths and keep His laws.
How does the beast imitate this mark?
The Beast, the Imitator
Revelation 13:2 and 13:4 reveal that the beast receives its power and authority from the dragon, that old serpent, who is the devil. We know that the devil is a deceiver who disguises himself as one who is good.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 reads,
“Let no one deceive you in any way, because the falling away is to come first, and the man of lawlessness is to be revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called Elohim or that is worshipped, so that he sits as Elohim in the Dwelling Place of Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim.”
The king of Babylon, who is the dragon himself, is described in IsaYAH 14:3-15, which reads,
“And it shall be, in the day Yah gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your trouble and the hard service in which you were made to serve, that you shall take up this proverb against the sovereign of Babel, and say, ‘How the oppressor has ceased, the gold-gatherer ceased! Yah has broken the staff of the wrong, the sceptre of the rulers, he who smote the people in wrath with ceaseless blows, he who ruled the gentiles in displeasure, is persecuted and no one restrains. All the earth is at rest and at peace, they shall break forth into singing. Even the cypress trees rejoice over you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were cut down, no woodcutter has come up against us.’ The grave from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; it stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the sovereigns of the gentiles. All of them respond and say to you, ‘Have you also become as weak as we? Have you become like us?' Your arrogance has been brought down to the grave, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you. How you have fallen from the heavens, O Helel, son of the morning! You have been cut down to the ground, you who laid low the gentiles! For you have said in your heart, ‘Let me go up to the heavens, let me raise my throne above the stars of Ěl, and let me sit in the mount of meeting on the sides of the north; let me go up above the heights of the clouds, let me be like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the sides of the Pit.’”
As we can read here, Satan is a deceiver and an imitator, yet according to Revelation 13:2, he is giving power and authority to the beast even today.
The Imitation Mark
Let’s do a quick review.
The forth beast of the earth is Rome.
Rome remains until end of days.
The first beast was Babylon.
Satan is giving power and authority to the beast.
Satan is a skilled deceiver.
The beast of today is Rome, which causes the whole earth to worship the first beast Babylon.
How does the whole world worship the first beast Babylon today? Keep in mind that according to the Scriptures, worship equates to obedience. Now, consider that the holy days of Babylon, the Babylonian “sabbaths,” if you will, are these:
Lent, a time marking the 40 days weeping for Tammuz, who was worshipped as “Baal” (translated “Lord” in Hebrew), and was fabled to be the reincarnated sun-god, Nimrod. 40 days weeping were instituted, 1 day for each year of his life, when Tammuz was gored to death by a wild boar when he was 40 years old.
Easter, the day that Tammuz was immaculately conceived by the rays of the Sun-god who was Nimrod and the day that Tammuz’ mother, the “Queen of heaven,” was fabled to have returned to earth from heaven as the goddess of fertility, who to prove her divinity, turned a bird into an egg-laying rabbit.
Christmas, or the winter solstice, marked 9 months after Easter, the human length of gestation, when Tammuz was born. His birthday has been observed on December 25th for more than four thousand years.
Sunday, observed in Babylon and Rome as the Sun-god’s day or “Sol’s day” of rest and imitation of Yah's true seventh-day Sabbath. The Roman Church Council of Laodicea in A.D. 363 issued this unscriptural decree: “Christians must not Judaise by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather than honoring the 'Lord’s' day [otherwise known as 'Sol’s Day' or 'Sunday' or 'Day of the Sun-god']."
Satan is an imitator, and as you can see from these beastly "holy" days, he has loosely imitated the Appointed Times of YAH as described in Leviticus chapter 23 in the Scriptures.
The sign that we belong to YAH is that we keep His commands and observe His Sabbaths.
The sign that we belong to the beast is that we keep his commands and observe his “sabbaths.”
Whom we obey indicates whose mark we receive.
Please, let that sink in for a moment.
Whom we obey indicates whose mark we receive.
By allowing the Scriptures to define Scriptural terms, we see that the mark of the beast is:
Obedience to the beast’s commands
Observance of the beast’s “sabbaths”
Think about the implications of this. If you obey Rome's commands or observe Rome's sabbaths, then you indeed have the mark of the beast. If you observe Christmas and Easter, then you have the mark of the beast.
And this is why I have so ardently pleaded with as many as would hear to give up Christmas, give up Easter, and give up contrived ethical codes that were not commanded by YAH but rather commanded by the beast, Rome. Keep only YAH’s Sabbaths and his commandments – for this is the whole duty of man per Ecclesiastes 12:13, which reads,
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Given that practically the entire world observes the beast’s “sabbaths,” now we also get a better appreciation for how, per Revelation 12:9, the devil deceives the entire world.
And now you know why this very important topic gets so little attention in Christian churches. Christians generally bear this mark of the beast and do not even know they have it. They believe they are saved but are quite doomed unless they really repent.
Now is the time for repentance!
I have had to repent of this mark. I bore it growing up. I was taught to obey the beast from my youth. I have thoroughly repented of this mark by rejecting man-made ordinances and man-made holidays including Christmas and Easter.
With this knowledge, we now can better understand Revelation 13:9 through 14:12, which reads (remember that chapter breaks and verses are man-made),
“If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
He who brings into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword has to be killed with the sword. Here is the endurance and the belief of the set-apart ones.
And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he does great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from the heaven on the earth before men. And he leads astray those dwelling on the earth because of those signs which he was given to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword, yet lived. And there was given to him to give spirit to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause to be killed as many as would not worship the image of the beast. And he causes all, both small and great, and rich and poor, and free and slave, to be given a mark upon their right hand or upon their foreheads, and that no one should be able to buy or sell except he that has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
(Here is the wisdom! He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666).
And I looked and saw a Lamb standing on Mount Tsiyon, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s Name written upon their foreheads. And I heard a voice out of the heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder, and I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a renewed song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders. And no one was able to learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. They are those who were not defiled with women, for they are maidens. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no falsehood, for they are blameless before the throne of Elohim.
And I saw another messenger flying in mid-heaven, holding the everlasting Good News to announce to those dwelling on the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, “Fear Elohim and give esteem to Him, because the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, and sea, and fountains of water.”
And another messenger followed, saying, “Babel is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her whoring.”
And a third messenger followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of Elohim, which is poured out undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he shall be tortured with fire and sulphur before the set-apart messengers and before the Lamb. And the smoke of their torture goes up forever and ever. And they have no rest day or night, those worshipping the beast and his image, also if anyone receives the mark of his name.”
Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones: here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of Yahshua.”