22 March 2010 ©Homer Kizer
The Mark of the Beast
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is [P>lr — chi xi stigma]. (Rev 13:11–18)
Each commentary within this Rereading Prophecy series strives to be a self-contained essay, meaning that similar information will appear in each commentary and the same example year for the Second Passover will be used.
The number of the beast is not 666, nor is it 616 … John writes, “And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for FJ"*\T< [stadia] P48\T< [one thousand] ©>"6@F\T< [six hundred]. In Greek, “six” is ª>— hex. Without the aspirated “x” sound being incorporated in a sign, six is not present in the sign, regardless of how much a person wants to place the digit in the sign.
In Greek, six hundred is ©>"6@F\T<, the plural ordinal from ª> and ©6"JÏ<. It is not any form of P—chi; nor can l—stigma be honestly translated as ª>—hex or six.
Quoting Jesus, Matthew wrote, “‘As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty [©>Z6@<J"], and in another thirty’” (13:23)
About the same incident, Mark quotes Jesus, “‘And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold [©>Z6@<J"] and a hundredfold’” (4:8), and, “‘But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold [©>Z6@<J"] and a hundredfold’” (v. 20).
When Jesus first cleansed the temple and said that He would rebuild the temple in three days, the Jews asked, “‘It has taken forty-six [I,FF,DV6@<J" 6"Â «> — In forty and six] years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days’” (John 2:20).
Translation of P>lr as 666 is scholastically dishonest—but can anyone imagine a person in a Medieval scriptorium realizing that the mark of the beast was the tattoo [stigma] of Christ’s [chi] cross [xi] and taking this awareness to the monks in charge? Instead, the person would have dishonestly translated this mark of the beast as something it never was, and that dishonest translation is what endtime disciples have accepted as the mark being 666.
The mark of the beast is not difficult to read, but again, no three Greek letters, purporting to represent a number and the name of a man, have ever been more dishonestly translated than P>lr. The textual call for wisdom went unanswered, for in Indo-European languages [of which Greek is one], the Arabic numeral “6” phonetically requires an “x” sound. As mentioned before, in Greek, “six” is “hex,” the verbally aspirated “x” sound. So three “sixes” will require the repetition of the “x” sound three times as in “six hundred sixty six.” But the “x” sound only occurs once in P>lr—chi xi stigma.
The logic for translating P>lr as 666 comes from “chi” visually appearing as an “x” and from “stigma” representing the action performed by two sharpened or pointed sticks, as in two crossed sticks that could also be made to visually appear as an “x.” So the wisdom behind framing one phonetic “x” with two possibly visual “x” [plural] comes from not accepting that the tattoo of the cross would mark, in the Endurance, those who are of the Antichrist.
A mark or a sign only has the meaning that auditors [readers] assign to the mark or sign: for most Christians, the empty or filled cross represents Christ Jesus even though the cross was the instrument used to physically kill Jesus. And the cross will be used as the mark of those who believe that the glorified Jesus returned as the Messiah after the Sixth Trumpet Plague and the death and resurrection of the two witnesses. The cross will mark those who believe that the Messiah is the king who comes with two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon 1260 days after the Second Passover, which they will earnestly believe is the Sixth Trumpet Plague, thus believing that the Sixth Trumpet Plague is Armageddon. This king that comes with two horns like a lamb will come on Halloween 2014 in our example timeline that has the Second Passover occurring on the second Passover in 2011; this king will come on or about Halloween of whatever year he comes. He will come in the fall of the year, and can thus be identified as false even before wars fail to cease.
Because the cross is today the nearly universally accepted sign of Christ Jesus, it will not be difficult in the Endurance for the king that comes as a lamb with two horns—comes claiming to be the Messiah, and comes using the cross to usurp authority that has been given to the Son of Man—to persuade those Christians who rebelled against God in the great falling away to take upon themselves the tattoo [l — stigma] of Christ’s [P— chi] cross [> — xi] and thus mark themselves for death at Armageddon. It will almost be too easy. But then, these same Christians today do not believe the writings of Moses and so refuse to believe Christ Jesus. They are Satan’s seed in this era, and they will prove that they are when they accept the mark of the beast in the Endurance.
The introductory passage from Revelation chapter 13 is nearly all that has been written about the “mark of the beast,” with the remainder of the references being about God bringing destruction upon those individuals who have taken this mark. And reading the mark that requires wisdom begins not with “P,” but with the last letter “l”—stigma—an obsolete letter used to represent a number as the Greek letter “B” represents 22/7s. The letter “l” was between the fifth and sixth letters of the Greek alphabet, but the letter had not been in common usage for a century when John recorded his vision; thus, the use of “l” for its literary rather than its numerical value should clue the auditor that there is something “common” though unusual about the three letters.
The last letter of the mark, “l,” has a name that carries with it a relatively narrow usual assignment of meaning: for those disciples who have grown familiar with Strong’s, the number is G4742, FJÆ(:", from the root FJÆ.T, usually meaning “to stick” or “to prick” as in a mark incised or punched to denote ownership. Thus, stigma is the action of pricking or punching a mark of ownership; it is used as the Greek linguistic icon that most closely is aligned to the English icon “tattoo” … it is a tattoo, or the action of tattooing, and it does not produce the Arabic numeral “6” in any reasonable translation or transliteration. And since this letter alone represents a “mark” or “marking” as in ownership, the remainder of the “mark of the beast” should, logically, be that mark or should describe that mark which is tattooed as the sign of ownership.
Here wisdom is truly required: YHWH said to Moses, “‘You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you”’” (Ex 31:12–13). So the Sabbaths of God, with these Sabbaths listed in Leviticus chapter 23, are “a sign” that God sanctifies Israel, the nation that now consists of Jews circumcised of heart (Rom 2:28–29; Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 9:25–26; Col 2:11).
But the Sabbath or Sabbath observance does not today signify that the Sabbath keeper is of God. However, neglect of the Sabbath does signify that the person is not of God regardless of what the person believes about him or herself. So failure to keeps the Sabbath leaves the person “unmarked” or part of the common pool of humanity. Whereas Sabbath observance should now “mark” the person as being of God, genuine endtime disciples understand that rabbinical Judaism, because of its rejection of Jesus, is not of God. Likewise, Seventh Day Adventists, because of their neglect of the Passover and of the high Sabbaths, are also not of God. Therefore, it is the observance of the plural Sabbaths of God [the weekly Sabbath plus the high Sabbaths] that should mark those who are of God—and this introduces an additional layer of complications: many Sabbatarian Christians who strive to keep the high Sabbaths have blasphemed the spirit of God by denying their birth as sons of God, with this blasphemy not being forgiven them. They have not brought forth fruit of the spirit, and they have thus been cut off from Christ (John 15:2). Nevertheless, they continue to observe the Sabbath even though they have been rejected by the Father. They willingly mark themselves as being of God when they are not.
The Apostle Paul recognized the above problem; so Paul added a wrinkle that would cause false teachers of Israel, Sabbatarian or otherwise, to expose themselves as false:
Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. … And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor 11:7–15 emphasis added)
Paul had the right to ask for support (1 Cor 9:1–12), but he did not exercise this right (vv. 12, 15). He wrote, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel” (vv. 13–14). Christians who deny that their teachers have the right to accept tithes for the temple doesn’t exist have been so poorly taught as to have no understanding of Scripture: the point Paul makes is that the Lord imbued those who teach the gospel with the authority to get their living by the gospel. But Paul adds a caveat: the person who asks for tithes and offerings is false, for there is a fundamental difference between having the right to accept tithes and offerings and actually asking for monies. It is this difference that makes all the difference. The person being taught understands that his or her teacher has the right, given by the Lord, to get that person’s living by the gospel, but for the teacher to ask for monies or support is to place a burden on those being taught. If the teacher has been called by the Lord to teach the gospel, the Lord is this teacher’s “employer” and the one whom the teacher asks for support. How the lord provides this support is up to the Lord, who is faithful to supply the needs of those whom He has called to preach the gospel. If He uses the brothers from Macedonia, as in Paul’s case, to supply Paul’s needs while Paul taught the saints at Corinth, sobeit, but shame on the saints at Corinth. Nevertheless, in Paul not asking for support, Paul established the basis for determining genuine teachers of Israel from false teachers of Israel; for the teachers whose focus is on the things of this world (as in satisfying perceived needs) either have not been called by God [this is usually the case] or are not spiritually minded and as such have no business teaching disciples. They are, instead, ministers for, and servants of the Adversary.
Many Christian pastors and teachers have marked themselves with Sabbath observance as genuine ministers of God, but then show that they are only disguised as ministers of righteousness by asking those whom they teach for support. If they were genuine, they would have no need to ask for support. That they must ask is “proof” they are false.
Likewise, many disciples have marked themselves with Sabbath observance as if they were genuine sons of God, but then show that they are false by denying that Ò 8`(@H [the Logos — from John 1:1–3] is the one who created all that has been made, then entered His creation as His only Son (John 3:16), the man Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:14). These false Sabbatarian Christians will inevitably assert that the God of ancient Israel is not Ò 8`(@H, but is the Father, whom Jesus came to reveal not to the world but to His disciples. The physicality of the creation, itself, concealed the Father from ancient Israel, a nation that was not born of God and so could not understand the spiritual things of God.
However, following the Second Passover, in the time, times, and half a time [1260 days] when the saints are delivered into the hand of the little horn who seeks to change times and the law (Dan 7:25), Sabbath observance will mark those who are of God, for to then keep the Sabbath will require the active exercising of faith. This faith will cleanse hearts so they can be circumcised. But the downside is that the man of perdition and his cohorts will martyr every Sabbatarian they can. By day 580 of the Affliction (Julian day #2456280.5, or 19 December 2012), only a remnant of Sabbatarian Christians will remain physically alive. Many will rest in their graves until they are resurrected when Christ Jesus returns. In death, they will escape most of the seven endtime years of tribulation.
Thus, it can be accurately said that Sabbath observance marks those who are of God in the 1260 day long Affliction, but does not necessarily mark those who are of God in this present era. Likewise, the tattoo of the cross will mark those who are of the Antichrist in the 1260 day long Endurance whereas the cross does not necessarily mark those who are of the Adversary in this present era. In the Affliction all peoples, except those marked by Sabbath observance, will belong to the spiritual king of Babylon, who is the present prince of this world and remains the prince of this world until dominion is taken from the four kings and given to the Son of Man on the doubled day 1260 of the seven endtime years. But in the Endurance, which begins with the kingdom of this world being given to the Son of Man, all peoples will belong to the Lord except those who mark themselves for death by taking upon themselves the tattoo of the cross.
Marking denotes difference. When the peoples of this world are all sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3) except for the few called by the Father and the Son, the many are unmarked but the few are marked by the Sabbath. In the same way, when the peoples of this world belong to the Lord (Rev 18:4), those who are of the Lord are unmarked whereas those who are of the Antichrist are marked as not belonging to the Lord by the tattoo of the cross, the instrument of death with which they identity themselves.
On the doubled day 1260 (Julian day #2456960.5 and day #2456961.5), rule over the kingdom of this earth will be taken from the four kings and the little horn (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–19) and given to the Son of Man. At the first of this doubled day, the Sabbath will mark those who are of God, but by the end of this doubled day, the cross will mark those who are of the Antichrist; for the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28; Matt 3:11), thereby causing every person alive to be born of God and born liberated from indwelling sin and death. What the Lord did at the Second Passover for the Christian Church, the Lord will do for the third part of humankind when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man.
But as the majority of the Christian Church rebelled against God and returned to being the bondservants of the Adversary on day 220 of the Affliction, the majority of the third part of humankind will rebel against the Adversary on day 249 of the Endurance (Julian day #2457210.5) and join with the Lord even though they cannot buy or sell until Christ returns as the Messiah. In the Endurance, the majority of the third part of humankind, none of whom are today Christians, will come out from spiritual Babylon, and will live by faith in Christ Jesus.
In the Endurance, the person who takes to him or herself the tattoo [l] of Christ’s cross [P>] on the hand or in the forehead [referring to a mindset] denotes that the person has returned to being the property of the beast that the whole earth initially follows as the whole earth worships the dragon (Rev 13:3–4) when he is first cast from heaven. The third part of humankind doesn’t rebel against the dragon when he is first cast into time, but rebels 249/250 days later.
The dragon, when cast into time, goes after the Remnant that keeps the commandments and has the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12:17). Keeping the commandments requires Sabbath observance. And the messages of the three angels—messages delivered in the Endurance; i.e., after the kingdom has been given to the Son of Man—makes the distinction between those who keep the commandments and those who mark themselves for death evident:
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. (Rev 14:6–12 emphasis added)
Those who take the mark of death upon themselves do not keep the commandments. Whereas the wrath of God is poured out full strength on those who mark themselves for death, those who keep the commandments must endure in faith to the end. It is the saints who endure to the end that shall be saved (Matt 24:13; 10:22), and this is the gospel that must be delivered as a witness to all nations before the end comes (Matt 24:14). There is no other word or message of endurance that must be delivered—this is the message that Philadelphia keeps and delivers to this world even now.
The prophet Isaiah offers more information about those whom the Lord will slay upon His return: “‘Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord’” (66:17). The person who keeps the commandments will not eat pork or mice.
The first letter of the mark, P— chi, produces the phonetic /ch/ sound, and is the common substitute for “Christ” as in “Xmas” for Christmas. The Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have seen the superimposed Greek letters chi-rho or “PD” as the sign by which he would conquer, a heavenly sign seen on the eve of a battle against overwhelming forces. Constantine used the sign to energize his legions, while publicly professing conversion to Christianity, saying that he would conquer by the sign of the tipped cross. And his troops won the battle and prevailed throughout Asia Minor, thereby consolidating the empire that had shortly before been divided among four regents.
Constantine’s conversion to Christianity is not how “conversion” works scripturally; plus, his actions after his alleged conversion suggest that nothing other than political expediency occurred so what really happened when Constantine said he saw a cross in the sky remains shrouded in the political realities of the day. Nevertheless, it was Constantine’s acceptance of a Greek belief paradigm—openly placed before the philosophical gates of Rome as Greeks had earlier placed a wooden horse before the gates of Troy—that brought an end to the Roman emperor-worship cult by which the empire had long sustained itself. And it was Constantine’s acceptance of “P” as a representation of the “Christ” that has made the “cross” the universally recognized symbol of Christianity.
A Roman made “P” the sign of Christ, not God.
Since early in the 4th-Century, the “cross” has equated to “Christ” throughout the Roman world and all of Western civilization. Even today, the correlation between of the visible sign “P” and the lordly title “Christ” remain inviolable. Only a few minor denominations and fellowships, with the Jehovah Witnesses being the largest, do not use the cross to represent Christ. Even scholars regularly translate the Greek linguistic icon “FJ"LDÏH—stauros” as the English icon “cross” when stauros would have a usual object-to-icon assignment of a “stake” or “pole set upright” if it were found outside the Bible.
Whether Jesus was crucified on an upright stake or on the traditional lower case “t”-shaped cross remains debatable if resolution of this controversy is restricted to Scripture alone, or even to archeological evidence. But when using wisdom to read “the mark of the beast” the Roman introduction of the cross to represent Christ strongly suggests that Jesus died on an upright pole to which was affixed a crossbeam.
The infamous P>lr is the name and number of a man: the name of the man is “Christ.”
Since a Roman made “P” the shortened representation of Christ, and since Jesus was killed on a Roman “FJ"LDÏH—stauros,” inscription of the middle letter, “>” or ksee, written in Latin as “xi” as an “x” is within the logical restrictions of Peircean Thirdness: if the three letters P>l were to be read by a 4th-Century Roman, they would read as “Christ-x-tattoo.” Yes, this is how a pagan Roman would have read the mark of the beast: P>lr. He or she would have read it as the “tattoo of Christ’s cross.” So how should an endtime disciple read P>lr? As the “tattoo of Christ’s cross”? Yes, this is how P>lr should be read.
Why, then, is P>lr translated as 666? Because someone centuries ago could read the mark of the beast as a politically sensitive symbol.
A dishonest mistranslation of P>lr was really the only option facing Mediaeval translators. But the logic for the cross becoming the universally recognized symbol of Christendom is truly remarkable for if Jesus would have been killed with a mace, would a “mace” become the revered symbol of the Savior? What about an axe? An AK-47 assault rifle? A tomahawk cruise missile?
The person who wears a crucifix wears the image of a murder weapon.
The cross is the image of the beast that was dealt a death wound by God, a wound that occurs when the two witness are publicly resurrected; when the Holy Spirit [B<,Ø:" ž(4@<] is poured out on all flesh, thereby liberating everyone from indwelling sin and death, thereby giving to everyone spiritual life. The mark of the beast is the mark of “Death,” the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse (Rev 6:7–8), the fourth beast of Daniel chapter 7. The mark of death is P>lr.
When Satan is cast to earth, acceptance of the tattoo of the cross is to mark oneself for death when Christ returns.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."