The Mystery Of The Mark
by Matthew Coover
THE MARK... it has long been a well discussed subject, and one that probably all of us have heard our share of. In reality, however, it seems that the subject of "The Mark" is one that has not been touched on enough. Surely, you have heard about "The Mark" but what side of the story have you heard, and what conclusions have you come to regarding this topic?
One point we need to clarify; the phrase, "The Mark", is not specific enough. There are two marks (yes, in reality, only two) and these are: the mark of righteousness and the mark of unrighteousness, the second, of course, being that which most call "The Mark Of The Beast".
Through the years there have been many folks who have come up with ideas of what they think these two marks really are. In regards to that of the beast, we hear theories that "the mark" is credit cards, social security numbers, a tattoo, a computer chip under your skin, etc. And the list of course goes on and on as most such lists do.
There is also the school of thought that looks on the matter in a little more spiritual light. One of the biggest among Sabbitarian groups is probably the idea that the mark of Satan (or the beast) is the keeping of "The Lord's Day" (first day of the week), as a day of rest instead of the seventh (7th), as Yahweh commanded. Another one that has gained popularity, especially among the groups that classify themselves as "Sacred Name", is that usage of the terms "God" and "Jesus" are the "sole" mark of the beast, while the terms "Yahweh" and "Yahshua" are the "sole" mark of righteousness.
I guess any combination of the above could seem reasonable, especially if we wanted to make it seem that way, but maybe we are looking into this too deep. Maybe we should be finding the answer much closer to the surface. Does this make sense to anyone? It probably does for those of you who are tired of digging without seeming to find any real solution, but wait just a second while I suggest another idea, an idea that isn't mentioned too often.
To begin with, let's read some more about the Beast himself in Yahweh's Revelation to John. Why don't we start in Revelation chapter 13:11.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Satan is a wolf in sheep's clothing... a lion seeking whom he may devour. The horns like a lamb combined with a dragon's voice symbolize a Satanic power. This power may appear to be something good, but it's teachings and authority are that of the devil.
12 And he (the second beast) exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
If we skip back to 13:2 we find that, "the dragon gave (the first beast) his power, and his seat, and great authority." The dragon is Satan, gathering from previous verses such as 12:9. This second beast, or pagan influence, leads men away from Yahweh, and causes them to worship powers set in place by Satan instead.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.......
Yahweh preforms miracles. On Mount Caramel he sent fire down from heaven, to prove to King Ahab that he was the true Elohim. Anti-Messiahs are now attempting to preform "counterfeit miracles" under the auspice of such individuals as Benny Hinn, etc. and we see people everywhere believing on these false prophets.
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live. 15 And he (the second beast) had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
In the past (and even nowadays) the image of the beast seems to be idols; idols which are worshiped in place of Yahweh. However, in our society at least, it seems that the biggest image of the beast is the television news media, movies, radio, and "popular music", all of which "speak" and destroy the spiritual life of their listeners with their seemingly "unending" supply of corruption. These are all inventions which man has created, inventions which have become 'IDOLS' in a sense of the word. "He who hath ears, let him hear what the spirit sayeth unto the Churches..." (Revelation 2:29)
16 ...And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save that he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Now we are to the part I really want to get at. "He causeth all... to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, that no man might buy or sell unless he has the mark, or the name of the beast..." Upon looking up the original Greek word for "name", we find that one meaning can be "figurative, meaning authority". If you use this meaning in the interpretation of this verse it can possibly make a little more sense... See verse 14 again.
But What else do we read? "...or the number of his name". Now right here is apparently where most stop, because once you get past this point, what the mark of the beast really is stands out, oh so clear. Let's go on down to the next verse!
18 "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: (this isn't just for anyone, only for those with understanding) for it is the number of a MAN; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six". END OF CHAPTER.
Now it might seem like that is a kind of interesting place to end a chapter because unless we look at this verse through Yahweh's glasses, we might not see in the slightest what this verse is really saying.
However, let's start looking at the Scriptures through Yahweh's eyes and see how we can correlate this verse with the rest of the scriptures.
For starters, let's go back the the first book of the Torah. Yes, that's right: Genesis! And as if that's not enough, let's go to the first chapter. Are you beginning to see where I'm headed yet? As we go through the literal seven day creation week, we get to day number six, the day on which Yahweh created mankind.
What day is that again? Day number 6! And what was the mark of the beast in Revelation? Six hundred threescore and six! And what else could that mean? Let's try reading it this way for emphasis on the number of the name. "...for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six! Six! Six!". Man was created on the sixth day of the week... thus his number is 6!
With such an interpretation of this verse (verse 18), let's go back to verse 16. Do you remember how we read that the beast "causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead"? Is this not what we all already have? Do we not all already have the mark, the sinful nature of man, our own selfish, carnal, and physical desires implanted in our heart; in our mind; in our actions? Is it not with a great struggle that we cast off our old nature (or mark) and replace it with the new nature (or mark) of Yahweh? But... it can be done. Chapter 14:1.
1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on mount Si'-on, (notice that this is a full-fledged LAMB, not a dragon with lambs' horns), and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having THEIR FATHER'S NAME WRITTEN IN THEIR FOREHEADS.
Once again, one definition of the word "NAME" is "Authority". ...Having Yahweh's authority in control of the thoughts preceding from their 'minds'... thus, "in their mouth was found no guile" (vs. 5).
As said before, the subject of "The Mark" has been discussed, re-discussed, and discussed again, with no seemingly definite understanding. What we must realize is that the church as a whole is not removing the mark of the devil from their lives in a complete manner. The mark of righteousness is not one doctrinal teaching; it is an entire lifestyle! Yahweh says, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15,16
We have Sabbath-keepers boasting themselves in the fact that they are keeping the fourth commandment. However, we see them living just like anyone else. We see their families in a mess with no real values being taught in a manner so they become ingrained in the minds of the children, if they are even taught at all.
We have "Sacred Name" groups teaching that usage of the names of Yahweh and Yahshua contitute "THE MARK of righteousness". Sadly, many of their families are once again in a state of deterioration and areas such as family roles, homeschooling, etc., are being greatly neglected while issues such as divorce and remarriage are being accepted as okay (as is the case in the vast majority of churches today, Sabbath & Sunday observers alike).
Living in the Shippensburg area, we see alot of Amish and Mennonite life-style, and it seems they have family values down quite well, (contrary to most) but... as it is with the Sunday keeping sector of "Christianity", the foundational teachings of the Scriptures (anything before the book of Matthew) are ignored.
Many folks (maybe most, sad to say) seem to have accepted a part of the mark of righteousness, yet are leaving the other parts behind. Something needs to fill that empty space, and what is that something going to be? Scary as it may sound, this "something" is the MARK OF THE BEAST!!! Even scarier are the words from scripture, "For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness" (2 Cor. 6:14) and the words of Yahshua, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself SHALL NOT STAND." (Matthew 12:25)
This is what we see happening across America, and around the world. This is the mystery of the mark which we have failed to see. We have Missed The Mark, and LITERALLY! Now we are suffering the consequences.
Is there a solution? MOST definitely, for Yahweh, in His abundant mercy, has provided one. However, we cannot just sit back in our easy chair and expect things to start happening. In order to experience spiritual revival, we must put forth an effort towards change, and we must pray with all our hearts that Yahweh will grant us the strength to get back on track before it is too late.