Is our carnal nature the "mark of the beast"?
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(All quotations from the King James Version unless stated otherwise).
It’s an interesting theory but unfortunately it doesn’t fit all the criteria specified in the text so it is not valid.
The mark of the beast is not something that we are born with. It is something administered by the two-horned beast that first appears in Revelation 13.
Revelation 13:11 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. 12 And he 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. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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 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 as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 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 he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
More information on the mark is given in the following passages:
Revelation 14:9 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, 10 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: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:4 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.
Revelation is a book of prophecy in symbols.In symbol a beast represents a kingdom.A two-horned beast represents a kingdom composed of two political powers acting in unison. This is seen in Daniel’s prophetic vision of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
The explanation is given in verse 20
Daniel 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
In history the two-horned beast of Revelation represents the alliance between the Papacy and the Franks. In 753 AD pope Stephen III allied with Pepin the Short, the Frankish king. On Christmas day 800 AD Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III.
The crowning of Charlemagne formed the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire.
The sixth head of the seven-headed beast was Rome. The seventh head was Constantinople. After the move to Constantinople the sixth head (Rome) fell to the Barbarians in 476. This is described in symbol as ‘one of his heads as it were wounded to death’.
Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
The Holy Roman Empire was the image of the sixth head of the seven headed beast (The Roman Empire) Constructed by the Papacy and the Franks. It constituted the rising again of Rome as an international power (its deadly wound healed). In Revelation 13:12 we are told that this two-horned beast ‘exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him’ (literally ‘in his presence’) indicating that at the time the beast in its seventh head form was alive and well. The Eastern half of the Empire, ruled from Constantinople, continued until AD 1453.
The kingdoms of Western Europe were placed in the religious grip of the Roman Church whose power lay in the willingness of kings to enforce its doctrine – hence the two horns. Bringing down fire from heaven is a symbol for bringing down retribution from the political heaven.
Buying and selling is symbolic language for hearing and preaching the gospel. This is seen in Isaiah 55.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
None could preach without authorisation from the Roman Church and people were not permitted to listen to unauthorised preachers.
Constantine had made the ‘cross’ the official sign of his armies. The Roman Church applies this sign with ‘holy’ water and oil.
‘This sacramental "mark" is important to Catholic people to this day. We are baptized with this sign and this seal of the Holy Trinity. We are anointed, at baptism and at confirmation, by the priest making the sign of the cross on our foreheads with the Oil of Chrism (the oil blessed by bishops at the Mass of Chrism on Holy Thursday). The sign and the chrism are also used at the ordination of a priest or bishop. In administering the sacrament of the sick the priest anoints the person with the sign of the cross made with blessed oil. Also, on Ash Wednesday, our foreheads are marked by the priest with the sign of the cross made with blessed palm ashes.
The persecution of ‘heretics’ by Church and State is a grotesque fact of history brought to an end by the eventual success of the ‘reformation’. The Holy Roman Empire finished in 1806. The temporal power of the Papacy was removed in 1870 (although restored in 1929 when the Vatican State was made independent of Italy by Mussolini).
The mark of the beast is the symbol used as a sacrament in the apostate church which has corrupted the gospel and continues to deceive its adherents by ‘signs and lying wonders’ to this day. With the connivance of kings the Church condemned to death any who disagreed with its doctrines and would not receive its sacraments (its ‘mark’).
The Church continues in the last days as the ‘false prophet’ and will at the return of Christ be destroyed forever. Eternal destruction is symbolised in Revelation by the ‘lake of fire’.
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I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,