The Good News - Home
by David A. DePra
And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Rev 13:16-18)
If you ask the average person, "What is the mark of the beast?," they will almost certainly says, "It is 666." But if you read the above passage, you will see that the mark of the beast is NOT 666. Rather than the, "mark of the beast," the number 666 is said to be, "the number of his name."
Notice that this passage makes a distinction between three things: The mark of the beast, the name of the beast, and the number of his name. Three different things. And then we are told the, "number of his name:" 666. Thus, 666 is NOT the MARK of the beast. 666 is the, "number of his name."
The Meaning of the Mark
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. (Rev 14:9-11)
The issue revolving around the mark of the beast is one of eternal life and death. The fact is, if you receive the mark of the beast – in your forehead or in your hand – eternal death will be your lot. But if you don’t receive the mark of the beast, you will have eternal life:
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Rev 20:4)In fact, not only is there such a thing as, "the mark of the beast," but there is also what we might call, "the mark of God." It is not directly called that, but we see that instead of having the mark of the beast in your forehead, also called, "the mark of his name," you can have the "Father’s name," written in your forehead:
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. (Rev 14:1)
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. (Rev 22:3-4)
These two possibilities stand opposed to each other, the mark of the beast equaling eternal death, and the mark of God equaling eternal life. That much is quite clear.
Now let’s ask: If receiving the mark of the beast means eternal death, and receiving the name of the Father means eternal life, then doesn’t this tell us something about what these pictures really mean? Sure. The very foundation of the Christian gospel is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – and that this is the ONLY way in which we can be saved. Therefore, there can be nothing about any of this symbolism in the book of Revelation that conflicts with this great Truth. But that being the case, it makes things very simple – the mark of the beast can apply ONLY to those who have not embraced Christ as Savior. Refusing the mark of the beast, and receiving the name of God in your forehead, can apply ONLY to those who do embraced Christ as Savior. Any other conclusion is a contradiction to the gospel itself.
Despite the symbolism, and some other important associated meanings that we will get to in a minute, it ought to be clear that the only way that the integrity of the gospel is preserved, indeed, the only way in which the book of Revelation can be in harmony with the rest of the Bible, is if the refusal of Christ as Savior results in receiving the mark of the beast. The two must be connected. And likewise, the embracing of Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, must be the refusal of the mark of the beast, and the reception of the name of the Father in one’s forehead. Again – despite other associated meanings, the root and core must come down to this in the end, or the issues of eternal life and death would no longer be based on whether a person receives Christ. And this can never be. Thus, the reason the mark of the beast equals eternal death is because it is upon those who reject Christ. And the reason the mark of God equals eternal life is because it is upon those who embrace Christ. No other conclusion is possible.
Now, having seen that, can we see the nonsense is trying to turn this, "mark of the beast," stuff into a literal mark? For if simply receiving a literal mark on one’s hand and on one’s forehead fulfilled the meaning of the mark of the beast, what would this have to do with a person’s rejection of Christ? You could have people who, through fear or whatever, receive such a physical mark, but who really haven’t rejected Christ at all! Would their reception of the mark – and that act alone -- send them to hell? No. Not unless you want to say that their refusal of the mark can save them – in which case you have just found another way of salvation, i.e., refusing a physical mark, instead of faith in Christ.
Someone is liable to say, however, that those who reject Christ will follow that rejection up by accepting the mark of the beast, which would make the two as one. Fair enough. But in that case, the mark of the beast doesn’t doom them. Their rejection of Christ does. The mark would then be only symbolic of their rejection of Christ, which brings everything back into line with what I have been saying: The mark of the beast does not doom a person. Their rejection of Christ does.
Well, anyways, let’s cut to the heart of this thing. We only understand what the mark of the beast is if we understand what the beast is. Chapter 13 of Revelation is a description of this beast. I’m not going over this in detail here, because I’ve written a couple of extensive articles on it that are posted on this site. In brief, the beast of Revelation 13 is HUMANKIND in it’s independence from God. Or, to put it another way, this beast is CORPORATE ADAM – in full rejection of Christ. Of course, that means that IN ADAM – or if you will, in this, "beast" – are all those who have rejected Christ.
Sure. Think about it. If the MARK of the beast is given to those who see and reject Christ, then those who do so would be part of that BODY – that beast. They would be destined for eternal death, as we saw God says is the case with those who have the mark of the beast.
Now, things begin to line up. First of all, we see that those with the mark of the beast, who are those who are of this corporate beast, have that mark on their hand and in their forehead. Is this not indicative that they do their OWN works, as is typified by their hand, and walk according to their OWN mind – under their own HEADSHIP. Yep. That is why they have the mark – the sign of identification with the beast – on their hands and forehead.
Contrast this over and against those who have the name of the Father in their foreheads. Same principle. They are under God’s headship, and have HIS mind. They are destined to eternal life, not only because they have rejected the mark of this beast, but because they have embraced Christ.
Have we realized that there are, in the final analysis, only TWO MEN that God talks about in the Bible? Two men: Adam, and Christ. Every human being who has ever been born was born IN ADAM. Those who are BORN AGAIN, are born IN CHRIST. Thus, everyone is either IN ADAM, or IN CHRIST.
These TWO MEN were literal individuals, but each symbolize a CORPORATE BODY. Those who are IN CHRIST are said to be, "in His Body," and members of one another. But the same thing can be said about those IN ADAM. They are of, "the body of Adam," rather than Christ, or, if you will, they are this CORPORATE BEAST.
Now, once we realize that everyone who has chosen Adam, rather than Christ, is of this corporate beast, we see that having the mark of this beast is the natural outcome. You will do your own works, independent of God, and you will live according to your own mind. But here is where we can begin to see the meaning of SIX SIXTY SIX. Six is always the number for MAN in the Bible. Three is the number of completion. Thus, 666 is a number which pictures MAN in his complete independence of God – which is exactly what the corporate beast, or those in Adam ARE!
You will notice that 6 falls short of 7, which is a number denoting spiritual perfection. Sure. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – as is pictured by the fact that 6 falls short of 7. 666 certainly amplifies this, but shows that the choice to remain in Adam is complete.
So 666, which is the, "number of his name," the beast’s name, shows man in his complete and sealed independence and rebellion against God. The rest of the symbols we have discussed clearly fall into line with this Truth.
Here also is where ANTICHRIST comes in. Antichrist is essentially, "Christ without the Cross." I say that because Antichrist is always RELIGIOUS. Always. You never find Antichrist, or the spirit of Antichrist spoken of in the Bible in any other context but Christianity, or more specifically, a religion pretending to be Antichrist.
Antichrist is nothing more than the religious manifestation of the beast. In a very real sense, the antichrist is the body of Adam – that same beast – presenting himself in his independence from God as THE Christ. In short, any presentation of Christ, or of Christianity, which preserves man in Adam – but tries to pass this off as the Truth – is the spirit of Antichrist.
What we see in all of this is that the beast, false prophet, and the antichrist are NOT individuals. No. Now, there may be primary leaders and people who represent the spirit of antichrist. There have to be. But there is no one individual who is THE antichrist, beast, or false prophet. Rather, the beast is MAN FULLY COMPLETE IN ADAM. (Isn’t he like a beast without the Spirit of God?) The false prophet is the religious spirit that promotes the beast and his image as being OF GOD – resulting in deception. The antichrist is the spirit of Satan, the same that was in the garden of Eden, that is behind it all.
Add all of this up and what you have is the SAME LIE that was presented from the beginning, embodied in the beast; in the corporate body of people who embrace the beast. You have man BEING HIS OWN GOD. That is what it comes down to in the end. Man as his own god – 666 – fully independent of God, and deluded into thinking he is doing just fine.
Today in Christianity, the spirit of Antichrist is everywhere. The gospel of self-esteem, as promoted by Robert Schuller, and Joel Osteen, is nothing more than the very spirit of antichrist, working through those terrible teachings. They tell us that man is essentially ok. They tell us that our big problem is NOT that we are sinners, but that we think we are sinners. They tell us the solution is to feel good about ourselves. Jesus becomes nothing more than a booster shot who sort of brings out the best in us. And all of it is supposed to result in, "Your Best Life Now." This stuff is spreading everywhere, and those that teach it do it with a smile.
The Cross is totally ignored. Oh, it is taught that Jesus died on the Cross for us. But rarely do you here that YOU need to pick up and carry your Cross. No. You are taught how to have YOUR best life now, rather than how to LOSE YOUR LIFE for the sake of Christ. I am not simply being cute with words. The spirit of antichrist is real, and destructive, and millions are falling for it.
Notice what John had to say about antichrist:
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:2-3)
John said that the Spirit of God would teach the Truth about Jesus Christ coming and living in US. But not just the fact that He has come to live in us. The Spirit of God would teach the IMPACT of Christ in us. The antichrist would distort the Truth of Christ in us.
And what IS the impact of Christ in us? Well, that we must lose our lives in order to find His. That we must have everything about us completely altered in accordance with Him. In short, Christ in us will result in DEATH to us, but LIFE IN HIM.
The moment I remove the Cross – remove the necessity of DEATH – and say that I can have life anyways, I AM PREACHING A MESSAGE OF THE ANTICHRIST. This is not an exaggeration, because notice where it leaves me. Once I say LIFE in Christ does not come from death, I have PRESERVED ADAM – and said he can live. I have preached the gospel of 666 – Adam in complete independence from God.
In the final analysis, just as is pictured by the symbols in the book of Revelation, I am going to either embrace the mark of the beast, or the mark of Christ. The mark of the beast is completely independence from God – but fine with myself in Adam. This is symbolized by the number of his name, 666. The mark of Christ, however, is THE CROSS. The Cross is the death of everything that the beast IS, but is the segway to newness of life through the new birth in Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it amazing how these simple Truths revealed in the book of Revelation have been turned into a prophetic timetable, hardly applicable to anything about us today? Yet just as John said that the spirit of antichrist was already in the world in his day, these are spiritual Truth that apply to each of us in God’s plan and eternal purpose.
The Good News - Home