Sunday, August 3, 2014
Mark of the Beast – Part 19 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
When we were last together we began to lay the foundation for the symbolic meaning of a mark on the forehead or on the hand. We have already explained in the last two blogs that the right hand of a human being symbolizes his power and authority over his service, labor, or works. The forehead symbolizes the mind of a human being – decisions are made with his mind. The allegiance of a human being – whom he will worship – is determined by his mind, which mirrors the condition of his heart.
In ancient times, men of Israel who came to the temple for morning prayer would bind to their forehead and hand a small leather case containing a bit of scripture…a phylactery. This was a symbolic gesture, a vow to God, that their whole spirit, soul (mind), and body were surrendered to Him alone. With scripture, God’s own words, symbolically covering the parts of their body vulnerable to temptation, they were demonstrating their allegiance to God – total reliance on Him for their very existence and preservation.
When a human being surrenders his allegiance to the pursuit of fame, fortune, titles attached to his name, prestige, honors, credit for work done, financial gain, self preservation, ministry, religious systems with men’s doctrines, occultism, new age doctrines, psychics, atheism, politics – any lures of the world system – this is the Mark of the Beast.
God has a plan for every human being placed in him at the time of his conception…Psalm 139:16. By surrendering your allegiance to Jesus Christ, He will reveal His plan for your life on the earth, which will honor and glorify Him – not the world, your flesh, or the devil.
With your forehead (mind) and hand (works) focused on the pursuit of these things of the world, you display your allegiance to another god — the Mark of the Beast. Jesus said…every tree is known by his own fruit…Luke 6:44. Some fruits of the Mark of the Beast are lying, greed, jealousy, envy, hatred, revenge, blame, self-seeking, arrogance, manipulation, threats, blackmail, betrayal, prideful, wars, chaos, destruction, power, privilege – forcing others to submit to your way – or else.
The ancient men of Israel knew very well the severe consequences for not surrendering their allegiance to God alone – the heavens would withhold its rain, the fields would no longer bear fruit, so they would no longer be able to buy or sell – instead – they would perish…Deut. 11:17.
You may be asking about now, “Why is God so hard-nosed about humans surrendering their allegiance to Him alone. Can’t we have a little fun?” Adulterers and adulteresses…do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?…James 4:4.
Jesus told His apostles regarding Satan…the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…John 10:10. God wants to protect us from the wiles of the Satan which would lead us to suffer his consequences – Lake of Fire. Developing intimacy with Jesus Christ will protect us from the traps set by our spiritual enemy, who wants us to be separated from God forever – Satan is not our friend! Only Jesus Christ has our best interests at heart!
As we have seen in this study thus far, the symbolism of the forehead and hand to demonstrate men’s allegiance to God or allegiance to the world (Satan) is not a new concept – it is simply described with new terminology in the Revelation, where it is called for the first time – Mark of the Beast. This is because it is related to the paganism of the seven kingdoms of the seven-headed beast. There is no mystery here — now that you know its origin in Biblical history.
Here is wisdom: Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666…Rev. 13:18. Hundreds of volumes have been written on the subject of 666, full of scary speculations, but sadly, all neglect what the Bible clearly reveals in its simplicity – if we keep it in context. Next week we will delve into the fascinating definition of 666. Stay tuned…
God’s sheep question the doctrines of men…sheeple follow without question…