Rome was originally a Republic but Rome, the empire, was not an anarchy. The once free society which had risen to a state of prominence in the Mediterranean with a voluntary welfare system and a locally supported militia became an authoritarian benefactor which led to tyranny and despotism.
How did that happen?
Polybius, the Greek "Historian of Historians", saw the downfall of the republic a 150 years before the first Emperor of Rome. He wrote in his The Histories composed at Rome around 130 BC, "The masses continue with an appetite for benefits and the habit of receiving them by way of a rule of force and violence. The people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others... institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch." [Fragments of Book VI]. This was 175 years before the birth of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist..
Wealth steadily seduced an industrious people into an apathetic welfare state. With a growing system of social benefits came tax burdens upon the rich, which shifted to the craftsmen and laborer. Centralization of power brought a burgeoning bureaucracy. Together they all brought debasement of social morals. The love of wealth, comfort and security replaced the love of simplicity, service and sacrifice.
Many societies became dependent upon elaborate systems of taxation. In Judea Gabbai [tax collector], collected ... ground-, income-, and poll-taxes while the Mokhes collected duty upon imports and exports; on all that was bought and sold.... They had invented taxes that reached into the life of almost everyone. There were taxes based on the number of axles, wheels, pack-animals, pedestrians, the use of roads, highways; on admission to markets; on carriers, bridges, ships, and quays; on crossing rivers, on dams, on licenses, in short, on such a variety of objects, that even the research of modern scholars has not been able to identify all the names.1
They not only had to collect these taxes, but they had to keep track of who had paid and who had not, as well as who was a taxpayer and who was exempt or excluded. Among the slaves, citizens, and residents there were more than one status. They had many ways to keep track of slave and freeman as well as who had paid and who was still owing on the myriad of taxes, fees, and tariffs, including interest, and penalties.
Both Greeks and Romans used small framed boards filled with wax or clay. A thin coating of dark wax was used for brief or short term notations. Scratching letters in the soft wax with a stylus so that the light-colored backing would showed through. The tablets were sometimes linked together with rings, which was called a codex.
Longer documents were written on a paper called papyrus and could be glued together into rolls 15 to 40 feet long called volumen. Contracts might be etched or engraved in wet clay with a quill with marks or seals of the parties pressed in as a signature. After drying they were stored in the temple. This ancient method of record keeping was widely accepted.
Loans of indebtedness and usury sometimes took advantage of this more permanent form. Record keeping solemnized by seals and marks in clay that were fired to make them “unbreakable”.
Slaves in the market place were given dried clay tablets to identify them and their occupation. If these tablets were baked with the seal of the owner they took on a permanency that protected the slave from unwarranted detention as he traveled through the public streets on errands for his master. That etched document was referred to as a charagma2 [ χάραγμα]. The word might refer to several other forms of identification that appeared during Rome's long history.
Some employed servants or slaves were very wealthy because of their skills or position. They might be physicians or engineers or lawyers. Their charagma would identify a status, occupation or use, and might be made of clay, stone, lead, iron, copper, silver, or even gold. It originally was of private issue but became a form of official identification.
A “Charagma is well attested to have been an imperial seal of the Roman Empire used on official documents during the first and second centuries.”3
The word mark in Revelation is from charagma. It is a stamp or a badge or an imprinted mark. It is from the word charax from charasso (to sharpen to a point). A charax is a pole or stake, a palisade. The only connection between a charax and a charagma is that the early charagmas were made in clay with a charax, a sharp stick.
Knowing your status quo during the census required usually required a token to mark those who had been counted subjects of the Empire. The census called for by Augustus “was regarded as the badge of servitude, and incompatible with the Theocratic character of Israel.”4
What is the essential characteristic of a charagma? Is it important to note that it is etched with a sharp object or on the forehead or in the hand? Or is it because a charagma is a badge of servitude? Does it mark who is bound and loosed, who is free and who must serve?
“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them...” Ex 23:24
Is the essential characteristic of a mark its location, shape, form or is it what the mark stands for? A charagma had a specific purpose. It was a mark that expressed ownership, the right of possession, the right to---or the employer of---the use of an item, creature or human as a resource.
"Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts." (Pr 22:26)
The word mark in Revelation is specifically a “badge of servitude”. Charagma appears 9 times in the Bible and is translated graven in Acts 17:29. This is the only place outside of Revelation that charagma appears, and it is also the only place it is not translated mark.
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven [a charagma] by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:28, 30
The word offspring is from genos which is translated, kind, kindred, or nation expressing that God is the original authority in our lives.
The word ought is from the Greek opheilo rather than the more common dei or tis. It is also translated owe, be bound, be (one’s) duty, be a debtor, be guilty, be indebted. Opheilo is defined “to owe, to owe money, be in debt for, that which is due, the debt.” It also appears in John 13:14 expressing this concept of indebtedness: “If I ... have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
The words “graven [charagma] by art and man’s device”, are talking about systems of authority created by men, which include social programs or schemes, making the word of God to none effect.5
The word device here is from enthumesis, which means a thinking, consideration; thoughts. There are no more powerful false gods than those created in our minds and bound by pride. Men begin to worship,6 and give allegiance to their created institution more so than God.
We are commanded not to let the creations of our own thinking become our godhead, our patronus, or our father because we owe that title to our Father in Heaven. No man on earth should stand as our substitute father, with the authority to mark us with his charagma.7
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 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," Revelation 14:8-9
IF ANY MAN is translated from two words; e,i meaning if or whether, and tis, meaning a certain. Together they mean “whoever, whatever” and is followed by conditions which need to be examined.
WORSHIP is from proskuneo meaning an expression of profound reverence… used of homage shown to men of superior rank: such as a profound reverence for an office or a flag or the acceptance of an exercising authority.
Worshiping God has nothing to do with singing in Church. Worshiping has to do with accepting a superior authority. In the Hebrew worship is often translated from “hxv shachah” meaning “to bow down”. If God is the ultimate authority, then to bow down or worship Him is to bow to His authority. Singing may be a gesture along these lines but is concerned with a more substantive behavior. Are we taking His name in vain if we are bowing to other authorities to obtain their benefit. Are we to rule over our fellow man or be ruled by them?
The BEAST is from the word therion from the diminutive thera which means “trap” or “hunting to destroy.” Therion is translated beast, wild beast, venomous beast. In the Bible the beasts always represented governments, such as Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.
There are two fundamental classifications of governments. The first type is based upon faith, hope, love and charity and obeying their natural Father or Creator in heaven. It is a voluntary union of people based on an equal love of neighbor and self, with forgiveness and thanksgiving. This government is created by families coming together in a fellowship, which shares a common acceptance of the Character of God’s Name or Nature, (e.g. justice and mercy) written on their hearts and minds.
The second type is the one that hunts or devours men. It operates on the basis of enforced control, imposed restrictions, exercising authority, and ultimately, bondage and oppression. It seduces the masses by promising security at the expense of their neighbor. It solicits their applications, which, upon acceptance, becomes binding social contracts, covenants, and leagues of allegiance.
“The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and Benefits.” Plutarch, 2000 years ago.
In such systems, men endlessly write and codify laws and become the ruling elite. Born or elected they share a desire to control and rule over their neighbors. They are corrupted by power and a willingness to covet.
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and [will set them] to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 1 Samuel 8:12
The righteous system is spiritually based, and dependent on faith, patience, charity and thanksgiving. It is populated by those who are willing to give---and forgive---under the perfect law of liberty. They maintain free choice by granting the same to others and accepting responsibility for themselves and showing mercy and justice to all.
In a government of liberty people must seek to rule themselves, not their neighbor. They hope to master only charity and mercy, forgiveness and service. They serve God by serving one another.
Both systems depend on faith or allegiance and are composed of dedicated believers. One is based on the authority of men over men, and has a man sitting as a central father (or patronus) or ruling authority. The other has God the Father of all men living in their hearts and minds.
Both types of governments are in essence a family. In one, the family is truly free, in the other men are Parens Patriae, "father of the people".
God the Father’s family is based on the natural family instituted by God with the solemn joining of Husband and Wife. These families freely associate as a nation through a voluntary network. The natural Family holds the dominion of God bound only in love of their neighbor.
Can a government be based on love and charity? Can people unite on a national scale and still remain a free people? Voluntary governments have been the rule in man’s history, “our modern reliance on government to make law and establish order is not the historical norm.”8
“That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who [were] the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered:” Numbers 7:2
Note here the word OVER. It is from amad [dme], which is translated stood or stand or endure hundreds of times and is translated over only one time in the Bible. These fathers were not to rule over each other but came together as equals. In their homes they were to rule as Christ ruled the Church with love and patient service, self sacrifice, and obedience to the Father, enduring the burdens of their Natural Office.
In authoritarian governments, men substitute faith in God for allegiance to men who would be gods over them, the word god simply meaning ruling judges, and was used to address magistrates in court.
“If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.”9
Israel was the kingdom of God, not the religion of Heaven on earth. Herod the Great had been baptizing his citizenry into his version of the kingdom of Heaven. This Hellenization of Judea was rejected by John the Baptist who had another vision for that kingdom of God.
"Herod's scheme of initiation into a new form of Judaism was immensely successful. Jews everywhere were willing to join the worldwide society ... Entry was for members only; they had to show at the door an admission token in the form of a white stone from the river Jordan which the missionaries gave them at baptism." "The missionaries... with their leather wallets full of white stones, would come back with the same wallets full of money, in foreign currency. Once put into Jewish currency by the money-changers, it would be stored in vaults, ready to be used by Herod for his vast building projects, or any subsequent causes."10
Eventually many of the citizens of Judea accepted John's cousin, Yeshua, a.k.a Jesus, as king. Proclaimed by the people as Hosanna son of David, the anointed, and officially recognized King of the citizens of Judea by the Roman god,11 Pontious Pilate.
Eventually thousands of Judeans followed the Way of John and Jesus and were apart of His kingdom at hand; they were excluded from the the social schemes of Herod which we know as the Corban of the Pharisees.
THE IMAGE of the Beast in Revelation 14:9 is translated from the Greek word eikon which means an image or likeness.
Who was the first beast? Was it Babylon or Rome, or does it matter? Are they not all the same, as was Egypt, Ur and even Haran? Who or what is the beast like? What is that image, or similitude, of the beast?
At the time of Jesus, Rome, as a faltering republic, was well into a process of decay.
“Each class contributed its share to the common decay… The free citizens were idle, dissipated, sunken; their chief thoughts of the theater and the arena… more than two hundred thousand persons were thus maintained by the State, what of the old Roman stock remained was rapidly decaying, partly from corruption, but chiefly from the increasing cessation of marriage, and the nameless abominations of what remained of family-life.... The sanctity of marriage had ceased. Female dissipation and the general dissoluteness led at last to an almost entire cessation of marriage. Abortion, and the exposure and murder of newly-born children, were common and tolerated; unnatural vices, which even the greatest philosophers practiced, if not advocated, attained proportions which defy description.”12
Family values were a chief topic of political rhetoric before every election and during the writing of the new constitution by Augustus. The rise of that Empire out of the ashes of a free republic was unrelenting.
After their civil war, the first of the three offices sought by Augustus was Emperator,13 commander in chief of the army and naval forces. The second office was Principas Civitas, the First Citizen, the chief executive officer or President of Rome,14 a municipality. The third office was ApoTheos, literally translated the appointor of gods.
The duties of this office were to appoint all the judges or magistrates for the empirical courts. Each office required an oath based on constitutional restrictions. Successors were determined by an electoral college of the Senate, known as the “Conscripted Fathers.”15
The word ‘and’ in “Worship AND Receive” can make a great difference in the interpretation of this text. If you merely received the mark without worshiping the beast, then you do not qualify. If you receive the mark, through ignorance or deception or a combination of both, but have not made a conscious decision to pay homage, or allegiance to the beast, then you have not really worshipped16 it.
The word RECEIVE [his] mark comes from the Greek word lambano, and means “to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it; to take up a thing to be carried; take possession of, i.e. to appropriate to one’s self … to receive what is offered; not to refuse or reject… give him access to one’s self.”
In the word lambano there is nothing about a tattoo or the injection of a chip into the hand. Taking the mark is about receiving what is offered, it is simply a matter of not refusing or rejecting an offer. It is about an acceptance or to receive what is offered.
We do see the word HAND at the end of the text which is translated from the word khire. Its definition is expressed as “1) by the help or agency of any one, by means of any one.” It is clear by this definition that the word is not limited to the concept of the physical appendage.
The preposition IN could lead us believe the mark must go inside the hand. The word ‘in’ in this verse is translated from the word epi. It is a generic preposition that is translated many different ways. For example, it is translated on, in, upon, come to, by, at, before, over, etc.
There can be no assumption that the mark actually enters the flesh of the hand. One may obtain the use of mark or badge of servitude without ever even touching it with the physical hand. Khire expresses that you may receive the use of the mark through the help or agency of any one.
FOREHEAD is translated from metopon and is defined the space between the eyes, the forehead. Some people have suggested that the mark is a lithium powered microchip injected along the hairline near the ear. Again, there is no reason to make that assumption.
The word metopon is often associated with memory or thought. If you only need to remember the name or the number associated with the mark, it could be assumed that the physical possession of a mark is not even necessary, and that the reference to the forehead or the space between the eyes is cognizant of the mind, thought or memory.
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: Revelation 14:10
What is the WRATH OF GOD? The Hebrew word for wrath [Pa Aleph Phie] is translated face, nostrils, nose, before, countenance, forbearing, forehead, even worthy The same Hebrew letters are also translated also, even, yet, moreover, yea, with, low, therefore, and much.
In the Greek WRATH is from thumos and may include the idea of passion or ardour, and is from the word translated “gods” or “God.”17
The word DRINK is from pino which does mean to drink but figuratively, to receive. To drink of the wine of the wrath of God seems to be a metaphor meaning that they will receive something poured out at full strength and not very diluted.
The words AND HE SHALL BE TORMENTED can give us the idea of torture or punishment. Tormented here is from basanizo which actually means “to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal” It might imply torture but the word was also used by sailors or fishermen whose ship was struggling with a head wind. The word has the sense of a test.
The word PRESENCE is from enopion which is more commonly translated before or in the sight of. To emphasize the nature of these events as a test rather than a cruel punishment with torment and tortures I must ask, “Why would the holy angels and the Lamb want to watch people being tortured and suffering”?
Does the good shepherd take delight in punishing his sheep?
Is this a test of our love, faith, hope, and humility?
What is written in your heart and mind?
"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 14:11
Many will tell you that smoke of their TORMENT ascendeth up means if you take the mark, you will be cast into hell. This is a conclusion based again on the word torment, which we have seen has to do with a test and the words fire and brimstone are not, nor have they ever been, synonymous with hell.
FIRE AND BRIMSTONE appears during the time of the liberation and redemption of the Israelites from Egypt. I suspect that since most of the world is now back in a bondage worse than that of Egypt,18 it would seem reasonable that we will see some “fire and brimstone” before the people are all free souls under God on earth again.
The words SMOKE ASCENDING has also been interpreted as coming from hell. Throughout the Bible the idea of smoke going up has to do with the accepting of a sacrifice as worthy and in the times of the great test men will be called on to sacrifice many things, including their very lives in order to pass the test hence the smoke goes up.
REST is not from the word anesis, meaning a loosening (which is translated rest 3 times and liberty and be eased once each). Nor is it from koimesis, meaning a reposing, taking rest. It is from anapausis, which actually means intermission, cessation of any motion, business or labor. As more is revealed about the nature of the “test,” our understanding of this passage may increase. One may see in this sentence two different points of view. One is that the smoke from the test goes up forever, and the others who do not repent, change their ways, get no cessation or intermission from their labors, their bondage. It may help to examine more of the context to this one line:
"Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12
The word PATIENCE is from hupomone, which means steadfastness, constancy, endurance. This may be disappointing to those who are expecting to be raptured away during this test, since it is clear you are going to need steadfastness, constancy, and endurance to pass.
There is also some requirements to keep the commandments. Salvation is by grace, but God does not owe us salvation simply because we say we believe. Many people proclaim that they believe just as the Pharisees claimed to believe. The test will be a witness to the truth.
"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." Revelation 13:11
The beast comes OUT OF THE EARTH, rather than the sea. If these beasts are governments, it could be presumed that the difference between rising from the land, verses rising from the sea, could have to do with the “Law of the Land” rather than the “Law of the Sea.”
Most people are not schooled in these classic forms of jurisprudence. For simplicity here we will just say that the Law of the Land is based in the Mosaic Law, Common Law and the Law of Nature and Nature’s God, while the Law of the Sea could include Admiralty, Commercial Law and Equity, a.k.a. the law men establish for themselves. One form of law encourages the virtues that set men free and the other lends itself to delivering men into debt and bondage.19
Lamb’s horns could denote that the original authority was small.
"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." Revelation 13:12
Numerous people interpret the beast as the Roman Church who was wounded at a particular point in time and recovered. Amazingly, they also interpret the Roman Church as the Harlot. It seems that it cannot be both. The Beast, at the time of the writing of St. John's Revelation, was clearly the empire of Rome. The image of the beast is not a matter of location, but the nature, characteristics and precepts of the beast.
"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men," Revelation 13:13
One distinction between the beast and the image of the beast is that the latter can make fire come down from heaven in the sight of the men. The emperor, or “commander-in-chief” of Rome, had an army and navy while a modern commander-in-chief often has an air force which gives them the power to MAKE FIRE COME FROM THE SKIES.20
"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." Revelation 13:14
Just about everyone on earth is DECEIVED. What helps bring about this deception are miracles. Are those miracles yet to come or have they already deceived us? We have television, computers, modern medicine the power of flight even into space. Some say that these are miracles.
The Greek word Semeion is defined a sign, mark, token. It is translated sign 50 times and MIRACLE only 23. In this age of modern miracles, could we have been deceived? Where is the image of the beast? Do we give it power?
"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." Revelation 13:15
The words POWER TO GIVE is from didomi and simply means to give. The word LIFE is from pneuma which is the word translated into spirit. It is the beast out of the land with little horns of authority that really gives life and force to the image of the beast. Those who will not pay homage to the image of the beast are to be killed.
There are many words for KILLED in the Greek: Thuo can be translated killed but is usually used in the context of sacrifice. Phoneuo is translated “killed, murder,” and is from the word phonos, to murder. Thanatoo is also translated killed and does mean put to death. Anaire also is translated killed, slay or put to death. Each word can have a different meaning or use. But they are not the word used here.
The word in 13:15 is apokteino which means to kill in any way whatever, to destroy, to allow to perish. The words should be are from hina which means in order that. Because the word apo means of separation the Greek apokteino means more that they would be allowed to die or perish because of separation or exclusion during the test in order that they might perish.
"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:" Rev. 13:16
AND HE CAUSETH what? He causeth to receive. Causeth is from poieo meaning to make as in to be the author of, make ready or to prepare. It is most often translated do. RECEIVE is from didomi which means simply to give, to give something to someone, of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage, to bestow a gift, to grant, give to one asking, let have, to supply, furnish, necessary things… something to be administered. Although the English words causeth to receive may give the idea of force, the Greek text does not support such interpretation. In this verse the original text gives the idea of an offer, gift or grant as a result of asking or applying, not compelling.
Does RIGHT HAND mean that it is okay to receive the mark in our left hand? Right hand is from dexios which is an adjective that is translated right hand 39 times, right 12 times, right side twice. It can mean “the right” or “the right hand side” but it also is commonly used as “a place of honour or authority”. Note that this word is from dechomai, which also means receive, take or accept.
"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." Revelation 13:17
The words And that NO MAN are not translated from oudeis, which is translated 94 times “no man” and “none” 27 times, or “any” or “any man” 6 times. Nor is it from medeis which is translated no man 32 times and means nobody or no one. Nor did the author use ou anthropos meaning no man or no human.
The words THAT NO is translated from “hina me” which is translated “that not” 45 times, or “lest” 43 times and “that … no” only 6 times or even “albeit not” and “so that not” once each.
MAN is translated from “tis” which is an enclitic [leaning] indefinite pronoun translated certain 104 times, some 73, any man 55, any 37, one 34, man 34, anything 24, a 9, certain man 7 times, something 6, somewhat 6, ought 5, some man 4 times.
It is defined “a certain, a certain one ; some, some time, a while”.
It should be becoming clear that many misconceptions, unsupported by the earlier text, are being propagated in the world today. There are many specific statements and words used by the author of the Bible that have been blurred, twisted and distorted by modern versions of the text.
Many are being misled by words like cause and no man. Will no one be allowed to BUY OR SELL if they do not take the mark? The word man is not even in the original text. We may now see that the words of the author, who used an indefinite pronoun to express, at best, that only certain or some would be excluded---and because of this exclusion or separation, they might die because they do not take the mark.
The phrase HAD THE MARK is from“echo.” It means “to have, i.e. to hold. to have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind… 2) to have i.e. own, possess 2a) external things .... 2b) used of those joined to any one by the bonds of natural blood or marriage or friendship or duty or law etc. …” Those who think they have nothing to worry about as long as they do not take the chip implant appear to be deceived.
To have the mark has nothing to do with the injection of a chip but does clearly includes the idea membership, joined by bonds of family, or duty or law. If you have to prove you are a member of the family of the beast with a special identification card or number, or else you will be excluded from the some of the benefits of its commercialized market place, then that would meet the language of the authors of Revelation.
If government policy requires a numerical identifier to get a job, a bank account, credit, business license, marriage license, and even a drivers license (or the individual is excluded from that market place), then such exclusion by the political benefactors and commercial world might make survival difficult or even impossible in a time of deficiencies, deficits and deprivation. Such exclusions are already law according to Section 666, of the United States Codes, Title 42.21
The word MIGHT is from dunamai meaning, “to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom” The word custom includes the synonym “practice” and therefore policy. It is again clear in the Greek text that the author, in the original language, is denoting the idea of favorable circumstance or permission of the legal system---or even just a matter of policy.
All these exclusions presently apply to people without a Social Security Number. They have been excluded for years and those exclusions are growing. Obtaining a Social Security Number is also a key point of consent, since it is absolutely voluntary. The number is linked to similar systems in over a hundred and seventy different countries. Are the social security numbers of the world systems the modern mark of the beast? Shouldn't we look at the biblical and spiritual implications of these systems or schemes?
The word NAME in the text is from onoma which does mean name but is also “... used for everything which the name covers.” It is used to express “one’s rank, authority, interests… the cause or reason named: on this account,…” The word “name” denotes the authority by which the number is used not a particular name but rather an authorization.
The word BUY is from agorazo which means “to be in the market-place, to attend it, hence to do business there, buy or sell”. The marketplace, since we are dealing with the world merchants, traffickers, or Canaanites allow men into their system, first by adoption, the birth certificate, the acceptance of benefits, and finally the application to labor or to serve as a registered member, making your offering.22
The modern social insurance systems with compelled contributions are identical to the system of Corban, or unrighteous mammon,23 instituted by the Pharisees before Christ's arrival. The sacred temple of Rome, called the Capitol, had a similar systems called Qurban. The Pagan and Moslem Qurban or Korban systems were similar.
These words all have to do with the sacrifices of the people, but have not always been collected in the same way. In these systems, the widows and orphans, elderly and needy of society were taken care of by either freewill or compelled offerings. The compelled offering was contrary to the the precept of freewill offerings and were forbidden by Christ, who claimed these traditions, also translated as “ordinances,” made the word of God “of none effect.”24 The religion of the Pharisees was not pure.
As things got worse in Rome there was a rationing of benefits and also essential goods. Those without the “mark” were excluded.
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore25 upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image." Revelation 16:1 2
Many believe this NOISOME AND GRIEVOUS SORE has to do with a lithium battery operated-computer chip that will leak, causing a terrible sore will result. If this hypothesis is incorrect millions of people are being lulled into a false sense of security. The idea that the mark is a chip is really without any true support except in the imaginations of the producers of Christian fables. Let us look with clear eyes.
There are at least nine different words that are used to produce the English word SORE in the King James New Testament text. Eight of them [sphodra, aganakteo, lian, en, polus, ekthambeo, megas, hikanos] have nothing to do with a sore as a sore or wound, or even being sick or ill.
The word NOISOME, describing this sore, is from kakos, meaning “of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be or of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting, base, wrong, wicked or even troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful.”
According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) the word Noisome does mean Noxious to health; hurtful; mischievous; unwholesome; insalubrious; destructive. The problem is that kakos is only translated noisome once and is translated evil forty times. Kakos is not normally be found modifying the word sore or wound.
The second word to modify sore is GRIEVOUS, which is from poneros from a derivative of ponos, meaning great trouble, intense desire. It is also translated evil some fifty-one times and wicked or wicked one some sixteen times. To translate both poneros and kakos into the word evil does not do the Greek text justice. Poneros is defined, “full of labours, annoyances, hardships 1a) pressed and harassed by labours 1b) bringing toils, annoyances, perils;…”
Poneros is commonly used to describe something such as pressed labor or bringing toil and again has an evil or wicked nature. Again, with the words poneros and kakos, we have something that is full of pressed labors and not what it ought to be, with a bad or wicked nature, possibly as a result of wrong thinking. These words have a great deal to do with forced labor for an evil cause or condition. In the bondage of Egypt the people were forced to labor and God delivered them from that state and told them never to return.26
The word helkoo means to make SORE or cause to ulcerate and that word is from helkos which can mean a wound or even a sore or ulcer. It is helkos that appears in the text. Helkoo is from helkos not the other way around. The word helkos with a Strong’s number 1668, is from helkuo or helko which means to draw, drag off. It is akin to the word haireomai which means to take for oneself, to prefer, choose or to choose by vote, elect to office.
Helko appears in Acts 21:30 “they dragged him from the temple” and James 2:6 “Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?” Also the Greek holkos, connected with helko meaning I draw.
In “Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament,” Moulton and Milligan say the Greek term helko or helkuo has almost the sense of dragging by force. It is used of hauling bricks, of towing, of dragging along, and even in connection with impressing people as laborers.
This meaning would fit well with poneros and kakos, NOISOME AND GRIEVOUS, which can both easily be used with the idea of impressing people as laborers as they were in the bondage of Egypt, which at first was a government where the gold and silver were in a central treasury, the people paid 20% income tax,27 and they only had a legal title to their land.28
The fact is a Charagma means a badge of servitude, the Ten Commandments29 tells us not to “serve” the other “gods,” and we are not to covet our neighbors' goods through the agency of governments, including the authoritarian benefactors which Christ told us not to be like in Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42 and Luke 22:25.
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2Pe 2:3
In the Old Testament there is a mark of God related to the forehead.
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4
This is the Mark of the LORD. This mark was not a computer chip either. The Mark of the Beast is the antitheses of the Mark of God. The Mark of God is the Tav, [t]. The Tav is the final letter of the Hebrew Alef-beit. It corresponds to malchut, meaning kingdom. The Tav is said to be the seal of Faith.
Through faith the malchut or kingdom passes in inheritance from generation to generation. The precept of this faith is the secret of the power that makes the kingdom of God a reality at hand.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice; By faith, Enoch was translated; By faith, Abraham obeyed and he went out; By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gedeon, Samson, David, Samuel, and the prophets “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, and escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”30
Christ said the kingdom of God is at hand and we were to seek it and His righteousness, as well as to preach it. We were to have faith and believe that the perfect law of liberty, with Christ in our hearts and minds, would work and be our salvation. When people were baptized under Moses, they were supposed to drink of the same spiritual rock which is Christ.31 But God was displeased with them. Many did not pass the test of faith, and they gave us examples of lust and idolatry, fornication and the rejection of God. Could God be displeased with us now? Do we understand the precepts of that faith that was in the prophets? Do we have that working faith or do we fall short?
We know that “Not every one that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”(Matthew 7:21). There are no magic words or incantations of faith that open the living kingdom of God to men.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not ... done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22). But the answer will be “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”(Matthew 7:23). Jesus even asks the question, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Where do we stand in relationship to this warning? What is the evidence and precepts of faith and what is its antithesis?
The Mark of the Beast is the evidence of a lack of faith in God and His ways. If the Mark of God is a life of faith, hope, and charity, under the perfect law of liberty, where we love our neighbor as ourselves, then the Mark of the Beast would be a life where people force their neighbor to provide for their benefit through benefactors, who exercise authority one over the other. Those who will not live by hope often desire entitlements guaranteed by the right arm of governments. They do not live by charity, but by enforced contributions taken from the sweat and blood of their neighbor. Are they coveting their neighbor's goods and rejecting the righteousness of God.32
The Christian lived in the world of Rome in a much different way than modern Christians live in modern governments today. The Pharisees had ordered that all who saw Jesus as the Christ were to be cast out of the system of Corban managed at the temple. Like Exodus, Pentecost was the liberation of the people from the social contracts that had bound them to the systems established by the Hasmonians, Herod.
This idea of centralizing the control of society and its charitable functions is as old as the city of Cain. Lemech did it. Nimrod and Pharaoh, Saul and Solomon all forced the contributions of the people. Samuel told Saul that because he had done this foolish33 thing and forced the contributions of the people his kingdom would not remain.
The Christian understood that the social programs offered by governments were voluntary in the beginning, but soon became oppressive. Having been cast out of one system, they did not desire to enter another. Christ had set them free. The religion of the Pharisees had conformed to Rome. It was not a pure religion taught by John and Jesus. They took care of the widows and orphans and needy of their society, but they did so with those compelled Corban, like the Romans.
Jas 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world."
The early Christians lived in the world but not of it. They still took their day of rest on the Sabbath, but we also see them meeting on the first work day of the week, For what purpose?
In Justin's First Apology we see an explanation of the government of the Christians with the words, “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place... And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and, in a word, takes care of all who are in need.”
Justin had written the Emperor Antonius Pius, “And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost.”34
The Romans and many other countries had systems of social welfare but to the Christians those were the Nicolaitan35 altars which God hated.
Re 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
The Romans persecuted many of the early Christians because they would not take oaths of allegiance, nor serve, by contributing to the “gods” of Rome. These gods required donations, or tribute, in the form of an excise tax. A small book, or “libellus, made of papyrus”36 was used as a passport throughout their world. It identified you as a contributing member and contained your signature --- and was believed to be the mark of the beast in its time. These temples administered systems of social security, education, justice, and national defense.37 They even operated as a world bank.38
Very few people understand the similarities between the system of the Roman beast and the image of the beast in the world today. Nor do they understand how those early systems came into conflict with the kingdom preached by Christ and the early Church.
In Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” he praised “the union and discipline of the Christian republic.” He pointed out that “it gradually formed an independent and increasing state in the heart of the Roman Empire.”39 How did it work before the apostasy of Constantine?40
Constantine did not require that the people repent. Those who received his baptism continued in the systems offered by Rome. They were instant Christians claiming a new religion but keeping the old ways under a new name. Most modern Christians sometimes follow the ways of Constantine more than Christ. They may cry Lord, Lord in their Church buildings but do they do the will of the Father?
To learn that the Christians would not participate in the social security and welfare systems of that authoritarian world of Rome because they demanded an allegiance rather than faith, force rather than charity. They offered entitlements rather than hope. This is an area of moral and spiritual conflict not addressed by the modern Church. It is in that conflict that we find the defining characteristics of the Mark.
Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:49).
In 168 AD, Marcus Aurelius wanted no child to be left behind. He required, by law, that everyone must register the birth of their children with the Secretary of Treasury or Provincial Registrars within 30 days. The Christians would not. They would called no man on earth Father.
Such registration would be an application to the Father of the State, and would be turning from Christ’s command.41 The State would be “In Loco Parentis” which in the Latin, means “in the place of a parent,” which is a turning away from the Natural Family instituted by God.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Mt 23:9, 11
This is a reiteration of the precepts and the prime directive of the Church.42 Christ was a king. Shepherds knew it, angels knew it, Kings from the east knew it, the Sanhedrin knew it, Pontius Pilate knew it, and thousands on Pentecost knew it. It is modern Christians who seems to not know it, for they have learned a gospel devoid of the kingdom.
Christ said he would take the kingdom from the Pharisees.
Mt 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
He said that he would appoint it to other:
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
And then Christ appointed, with instructions, a new kind of prince.
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; Luke 22:29
Christ gave specific instructions to those he would appoint to minister to His kingdom. Before appointing this kingdom at hand to his new ambassadors he clarified some of those instructions.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Lu 22:25, 26
In modern Churches it is acceptable to pray (apply) to benefactors who exercise authority one over the other. It is acceptable to covet your neighbors' goods through the agency of men who exercise that authority.
There are always those who make the word of God to no effect. They make covenants,43 swear oaths,44 and will not let every man remain subject to the higher liberty.45 There were in the days of Cora, and Saul, Rehoboam and the Pharisees. They gave God lip service, said their prayers, sang their songs, and built their churches but they forgot justice and mercy.
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Mt 7:22
The Mark of the Beast is evidence of who owns our service, our labor, and our estate as free souls under God. Have we become the package, the merchandise, the human resource of a foreign power? Is it faith or allegiance? It is the vain coveting of your neighbors' goods through the agency of government, which has made you merchandise under an alien dominion.
“Redemption is deliverance from the power of an alien dominion and the enjoyment of the resulting freedom. It involves the idea of restoration to one who possesses a more fundamental right or interest. The best example of redemption in the Old Testament was the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage, from the dominion of the alien power in Egypt.”46
The Kingdom of Heaven
The Kingdom of Heaven47 is the same as the Kingdom of God. The phrase kingdom of Heaven only appears in Matthew because he wrote originally in Aramaic. In Aramaic, the word malkuthach is translated into kingdom of heaven. It actually means a dominative realm on earth.
According to John Burnet, ouranos, is best translated “world”.48
“He owns the land from the heavens and to the center of the earth.”49
The word Ouranos actually means not so much what is beyond the sky but it is “the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things with in it.” Ouranos, comes from a root that means “to cover, encompass.” Jesus was a king. His kingdom was not a part of Rome but it was and is at hand upon earth.
Jesus told Pontious Pilate that his kingdom was “not of this world.” He did not use the Greek word meaning “planet.” He used the Greek word meaning “an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government.”50 There are five different Greek words in the New Testament which are occasionally translated into the word world.
The words “kingdom of God” are translated from the words basileia theos. Theos means ruling judge and is often translated God or gods. We know there were “gods many,” because Paul tells us---and because there were many judges throughout the Roman Empire and Judea. The word basileia is translated “kingdom,” but it really means the right to be ruled by. What Jesus was saying is “the right to be ruled by God is at hand.”
“Are men the property of the state? Or are they free souls under God?
This same battle continues throughout the world?”51
God led Abraham out of Ur and Haran. He lead the Israelites out of Egypt. And Jesus led the people out of the the power of Rome, and into the kingdom of heaven. The Pharisees did not want to let go of their acquired power over the people and condemned themselves by saying “we have no king but Caesar.” The Christians found salvation by saying there is another king named Jesus, but they did not just say it, they lived it. They gathered their families together in congregational groups of ten, uniting tens, hundreds and thousands in a system of charity and hope.
What does the kingdom look like? What was the early Church doing, and what were the early Christians really seeking? Is the kingdom of God appointed by Christ the only way to liberty under the God?52
Have we exchanged ritual and form for the spiritual substance of justice and mercy? The kingdom of God is not of the dead, but of the living.53 It does not come by observation.54 It is at hand. We should be seeking it, rather than benefits from those who exercise authority.55
How should the Church be organized today?56 Should it be incorporated by the state?57 Should Christians be getting marriage licenses from the State?58 What about Birth Certificates?59 What was baptism all about?60
The Mark of the Beast is a badge of servitude which you can receive and carry with you or you may just remember its' number. Without it, you will not have much access to the commercial or political benefits of society. You may be excluded from the market place by policy and law.
The modern mark identifies you and is used to prove who is a member entitled. Those with a numerical identifier your faith, hope, and charity may be tested in hard times.
The mark of God is faith, hope, and charity under that perfect law of liberty. It is mercy and justice. It is forgiving and forgiveness. It is thanksgiving among free people. It is about loving God and loving your neighbor as your self. Those who do not cultivate the love of God will feed the beast in their own hearts and minds and in the world.
The “world” means the benefactors and governments that exercise authority one over the other. They are filled with the people who covet their neighbor's goods. The kingdom of God is filled with those who love God and their neighbor as themselves. They would rather go without than to be a part of a system that takes from their neighbor without his daily consent.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. …
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it:
but if it be not worthy, let your peace61 return to you. Mat. 10:7-13.
See also print ready formats:
Mark of the beast booklet
Mark of the Beast Standard print