Revelation, Dispies, and ‘The Mark of the Beast’

Ok … now I’m seeing the “Mark of the Beast” Dispies going nuts about masks. As Dispies have done my whole life they are ‘Chicken Littles’ running around like their heads are cut off screaming, “The End is Near, The End is Near.” That is because they think the mark of the Beast is the mask, or the chip, or the vaccine or tattoo tracers or whatever and it all means in their cataclysmic minds that we are entering the Great Tribulation.

A brief primer so as to dismiss those well intended folks.

1.) The Mark of the Beast is not necessarily a literal mark, whether a mask, a chip, or a tattoo and it does not necessarily need to be stamped on our right hands or foreheads. If we read the Revelation passage in context (13:17) we find that there is also a mark of the Lamb in Rev. 14:1. That mark is the name of the Lamb and the Father on the foreheads of God’s people. Now the Dispies get hyped about the Mark of the beast on evil people but I’ve never heard anyone talk about having a literal mark of the Lamb on the good guy saints in this supposedly future contest between good and evil.

2.) So, the mark of the beast is likely a prophetic metaphor which was future to the readers of Revelation but is past to us. As to the symbolic nature of the mark it merely symbolizes total dominion and control over a population, however that may occur. The fact that John writes that the mark of the beast is on the right hand and the forehead is merely telling us that the thinking of those under the Beast’s sway will be controlled as well as all their doing. Throughout history Tyrant states have sought this kind of control, whether one is talking about Stalin or King Cetshwayo’s of the 19th century Zulus or Abraham Lincoln.

3.) The time references in Revelation force us to conclude that the threatened Mark of the Beast was future to John’s readers but is past to us today. We are not looking for a “Mark of the Beast” that has any connection to some “this has to happen before Jesus can come back” prophetic timeline. Nearly all of the time marker references in John’s Revelation are references that bespeak an imminent occurrence in the lives of John’s audience. After all, John repeatedly writes of the events under consideration as the time being near, Rev 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10. If we are still looking for John’s “time is near” events then time stamps are useless.

4.) Who John’s book is written to (audience) forces us to dismiss the idea that all that John writes of remains future to us. John was not writing to warn us about a “Mark of the Beast.” John was writing the seven persecuted Churches (Rev. 1:9) of the 1st century to warn them about the “Mark of the Beast.” It would have done precious little good to warn the seven Churches of Revelation about a Mark of the beast that wouldn’t take place for 2000 years.

5.) The purpose of the book of Revelation forces us to dismiss the idea that all John writes of in his Apocalypse remains future to us. John wrote Revelation with the purpose of speaking to the promised coming judgment upon Israel (Rev 1:7; 11:1–2, 8) for her unfaithfulness. The threatened judgment on Israel was fulfilled in AD 70 a time near to the time of the writing of Revelation. (The dating of Revelation is a hotly disputed subject.)

Now, having said that, no one denies that Marks of dominion, and control on the part of future tyrants may well be future to us but such future marks of future beasts have nothing to do with the prophetic “Jesus is coming back” clock. The contemporary masking is indeed a sign of dominion and control and so will be any vaccines or chipping and Christians should be in the front rows of opposition due to the Kingship of Jesus Christ. However, none of that is relevant to the prophecies of Revelation. We may even see the day again where some lunatic, like Nero of old, has divine aspirations and desires worship. If we do though, we will, of course, oppose it as Christians but it will have nothing to do with the prophetic clock.

So, a Biblical hermeneutic insists that the “Mark of the Beast,” in Revelation likely refers to the attempt by Nero to have absolute dominion and control — even unto the point of being worshiped — as other populations were under the shadow of Rome’s hegemony and correspondingly has nothing to do with Jesus coming back in 2020.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

8 thoughts on “Revelation, Dispies, and ‘The Mark of the Beast’”

  1. Old lies tales are easier to retain, especially when spiritual autism is the mindset of our day. Autism doesn’t require pondering lessons of the past, neither desire the responsibility of a vision for the long term; too much pleasure, not enough suffering.
    If only Dispies would notice that their lack of a future mindset caused a vaccum for Christendom’s enemy, Marxism to fill that longterm agenda.

    I pray for God’s mercy of a revival through a reformation of His law by His grace, to replace every wicked law and complacency.

  2. Sounds like you’re a post-mil FULL preterist, whereas I’d call myself ‘inclined’ towards an a-mil partial preterist position. David Engelsma’s eschatology has always found a responsive chord with me … although I wouldn’t dig in my heels (like many Dispies) who say ‘my way or the highway’. I think most biblical prophecies can have both a ‘then’ and ‘future’ referent.

  3. “Nearly all of the time marker references in John’s Revelation are references that bespeak an immanent occurrence in the lives of John’s audience. ”

    ” What is the difference between imminent and immanent?
    When something is imminent, that means it’s “impending.” Immanent isn’t a typo; it means “inherent.” And, e minent means “distinguished.” “

  4. All of The Revelation of Jesus Christ was fulfilled by ad70. To Wit:

    1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants[a] the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

    Does anyone see anything bifurcating the message into two different times? Especially 2000 years
    of seperation?

    The date of its writing is only questioned by people with an agenda. Or useful idiots.

    One of many self authenticating (let scripture interpret scripture) aspects is the fact that John
    sees a vision of a still standing temple. Why would John not mention the destruction of the temple,
    a monumental event in world history at the time if the temple were gone?

    Answer: He would have. Case closed.

    Ron , it would be very interesting to here an expository sermon from Bret on which verses in
    scripture havent been fulfilled. He is so close to a full preterist that I couldnt slide a hair between
    his and my position. I am full preterist. I cant get anything out of him but assertions.

    He is spot on in this piece he just wrote. The mark of the beast is past to us. It was during the
    great tribulation of ad65.5-ad70 Daniel 12:11 this is the great tribulation.

    11 And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13 But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”Also for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. The shattering of the power of the holy
    people occured in ad 70.

    The whole chapter of Daniel 12 is the mini version of the short story Matthew 24 and Revelation is
    the long version. 700 years of gradually revealing more and more up to the climax. The eschaton.

    There is nothing in scripture that occurs after ad70. There is nothing about any person, place, or
    event that occurs after ad70. The subject matter of all scripture contains one theme only about the
    eschaton. There is no jewish resurrection and a general resurrection. The whole story is about them.
    Covenant eschatology, their eschatology. The only eschaton. We have full consummation. Properly
    understood. And christians today reap all the rewards of this great salvation without having to have
    lived through the great tribulation.

    We reap the benefits of the redemption story, we are not and will not be a part of it. We aint in the Book. It simply contains absolute truth for all people, for all time. That is the knowledge that increases
    mentioned in Daniel 12. The mystery and all final revelation was known by many by ad70. They no
    longer saw dimly as through a glass they knew all things because they finally had scripture complete.

    Here is a sound hermeneutic that is reasonable, logical, and uses scripture. Audience relevance.
    Historical grammatical approach. Its real history, real people, and language and grammer and words
    have meaning. First century meaning, not twenty first. You must read the scripture in context ( ancient near east hebrew mindset) because thats who it was written to.

    Many translators have used faulty presuppositions and changed tenses and meaning many times.
    Translation bias. They maybe sincere in trying to make the reader understand, but they change tenses
    and meaning. Look to the greek and use a literal word for word such a Youngs and check everything.

    Jesus says emphatically, clearly, multiple times that His parousia (greek word acknowledged by all
    mainstream scholars as indicating His second coming.) would occur in the first century, specifically
    his apostles, disciples generation. He and they say it over and over. Soon, near, about to (greek mello)
    is used dozens of time in context of the eschaton. At the door, shortly, the hour is here. The end of
    all things (Mosaic covenant things) is near.

    This is a Big Dilemna for Christianity.

    Bret please explain it to us.

    1. Future prophecies yet to be fulfilled

      2nd Advent of Jesus Christ to collect the Church (Distinguished from repeated judgment comings)
      Bodily Resurrection of the dead
      Judgment of the Nations
      Great White Throne Judgment
      End of present earth, all sin, and temporal judgment
      Establishment of the consummate physical re-creation

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