Elephants 2021 part 6: The Mark of the Beast


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What is the Mark of the Beast? What does 666 mean? How can we avoid taking the mark?Pastor Jamie finishes our Elephants series with a message on this topic.
False applications of the mark in current culture come from people disregarding Biblical context and searching for their own meaning behind the mark. You will understand the Bible better by reading the Bible more, not by watching the news.
What is the book of Revelation?
Revelation 1:1-11;19
We must remember that Revelation wasn’t written to you, but it was written for you.
What is in these visions? Rev 1:19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.”
Three ways to interpret revelation:
1. Futurism – the visions tell of what God will do in the future, specifically at the end of the world. What happens in the visions and characters in the visions are literal, not symbolic.
2. Preterism (past) – the visions refer to the current situations happening at that time when the visionswere seen. Characters in the visions represent actual historical people and numbers have other meanings.
3. Idealism – the visions communicate existing Biblical truth through symbol. The characters, events and numbers are symbolic of greater truths already found in scripture.
The Mark of the Beast:
Chapter 13 introduces us to a seven-headed beast with ten horns from the sea who is blasphemous, worshipped by people who aren’t Christians. In Verse 11 another beast from the land uses false miracles to convince people to worship the first beast. He even turns a statue of the first beast to life.
Revelation 13:16-18 “He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given amark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of [calculate] the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.”
The word for “mark” in the Greek is “charagma”. It means a stamp, brand, badge or engraving thatis seen from the outside, for the purpose of identification. Interestingly, it is same root word that we get the word “character” from – how someone behaves.
This means the mark of the beast cannot be something that is taken secretly or accidentally. It is planned and public; it is intentional, open worship of the beast. You cannot be tricked into takingthe mark of the beast and you cannot unknowingly take the mark of the beast.
The number of the beast is not six six six, but six hundred and sixty six. It is the number of man or the number of a man. In Jewish culture, numbers had meaning. In addition, they used gematria to assign numbers to people.
Your understanding of Revelation will determine your view of the mark.
The meaning of the mark:
1. Futurism. A visible mark of the beasts name or number will literally be required on the forehead or hand,under penalty of death and will be necessary to buy anything.
Revelation 14:1 “Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”
2. Preterism. In Jewish numerology 666 is Roman Emperor Nero. 10 horns with crowns are the 10 Roman Emperors.
3. Idealism. The mark is a symbol of allegiance and obedience as Christians will be persecuted financially and threatened with death.
Deuteronomy 6:4-8
Forehead and hands represents thoughts and actions. 6 is the number of man. Man three times is man as God.
Revelation 14:12 “This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.”
We must be humble and ca