|Revelation 13:11-17 |
11 Then I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.2
13 And he does great wonders, even making fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,3
14 And deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of those miracles that he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and still lived.
15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.4
16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or on their foreheads.
17 So that no man might buy or sell, except he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.5
5 The mark of the beast is seen by what spiritual fruits a man exhibits: fruits of the flesh instead of fruits of the Spirit. Those with the mark of the beast put their evil spirit, defiled heart, and carnal mind to the upholding of the religion of man, as invented by man; seeking justification by fleshly action, ceremony, and ritual; they are looking for cover, to remain in their fallen, unredeemed, unpurified, unregenerated, imperfect, unholy, carnal, prideful, lusting, fleshly, lying, selfish, hateful, oppressive, dark, beastly nature. In his Introduction to George Fox's Journal, William Penn writes of the beast that became the false church of Babylon:
"Thus the false church sprang up, and mounted the throne. But though she had lost her nature, she would try to keep her good name as the Lamb's bride, which is the true church and mother of the faithful. This false church forced all to receive her mark, either in their forehead or right hand; that is, publicly or privately.* But in deed and in truth she was mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots; mother of those who, with all their show and outward religion, had adulterated and gone from the spirit, nature, and life of Christ; and had grown vain, worldly, ambitious, covetous, and cruel, which are the fruits of the flesh, and not of the spirit."
* The mark in the forehead is symbolic of a public possession or practice of fruits of the flesh, easily seen by everyone; and the mark in the right hand is symbolic of a private possession or practice of fruits of the flesh, (or beastly nature), seen upon examination. (Any religion that accepts sin in man as inevitable until death is a religion of the beast and Satan.)
In the Inquisition's Middle Ages anyone, who tried to increase their measure of Christ by any way that differed from the doctrine of the Roman false church (to buy or sell spiritual oil differently for their lamps), was not only stopped from buying and selling; they were killed — which really made them unable to buy or sell, (See footnote 2 above as to how 9,000,000 were killed throughout Europe.)
Look at the words buy and sell spiritually: Buy the truth, and do not sell it; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Pro 23:23. Obviously you cannot buy the truth, it is a metaphor for acquire the truth, and sell is a metaphor for letting your teachings from Christ's spirit go cold by disobedience; teachings that you hear are spirit and life-giving, (the life of God): The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life-giving. John 6:63. So, what is the life of God? Jesus told us: I am the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6; and I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life, John 8:12. The Holy Spirit has been referred to as gold and eye salve in Rev 3:18: I counsel you to buy from me gold refined and tried in the fire, so that you may be rich; and white garments, so that you may be clothed and the shame of your nakedness may not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see. The wise virgins told the foolish virgins to go and obtain more truth, more life, more light, more Holy Spirit using the metaphor of buying and selling oil. Isaiah further shows how buying is a metaphor for listening to the Holy Spirit:
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money, come, buy and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And your hard-earned money for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to me. Hear [and obey], and your soul shall live; Isa 55:1-3.
The mark of the beast was being a member of the Roman Catholic sect; those not in good standing were killed. They were not allowed to worship or seek God, (buy and sell), in any other manner than Catholic masses with the eating of bread and wine. All the speculation in Christendom about being literally unable to buy or sell is only a distraction from the truth, which is: that the horror of being unable to buy or sell is history; however, those still in the Catholic and Protestant sects are currently serving the beast and so spiritually marked. All the world's religions are serving the beast, denying the consequences of continuing to sin and denying the fallen nature of man, each who must be restored to the purity of righteousness and holiness before being acceptable to God and heaven after death. Even atheists serve the beast because they make themselves God, denying sin, serving their lusts, passions, and pride. All men serve the beast when they walk in darkness, according to their carnal mind and evil imagination instead of walking in the Spirit and light, guiding all their thoughts, words and deeds.
George Fox writes of two, (of the many), examples of the mark of the beast:
"As for sprinkling infants,* it is a thing which the scripture does not hold forth, but has been gotten up since the days of the apostles; it is not witnessed by scripture, but is a tradition of men, an invention of men; and then all may see if it is not a mark of that beastly spirit that is erred from the apostles, and out of the power!"
*Although infant baptism actually includes drawing the sign of the cross on the forehead of the infant, the mark of the beast is not a physical mark; mark is a metaphor for possession of the symptoms, or characteristics, (a sign), of the beastly spirit, evidenced by the fruits of the flesh instead of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, by which you will know them. Since the mark is not a mark, but only a sign of his beastly spirit, by repentance a man can be freed from being a part of that beastly spirit.
"You show yourselves not to be ministers of Christ, but to be such that ever were out of the saints' life, who were found in the spirit of murderers and persecutors; of him you are that is out of the truth, that would drink the blood of the saints; this is the mark of the beast and false prophets, that would kill creatures, and wrestle with flesh and blood."
We can add many more marks of the beast to what George Fox has just explained: the trinity, (nowhere mentioned in scriptures), marriage by priests, vain and prideful buildings called holy, steeples with bells, black robes, black shirts, special collars, creeds, reading sermons, sacraments, vicars, clerks, parsons, curates, bachelors of art, masters, fathers, Christmas, Easter, and bachelors of divinity, separation of revered clergy vs. the second class laity or lay people, elevated stages, choirs, elevated pulpits, confession, penance, rule by bishop or priest, tithes, the cross and crucifix, hail mary, the rosary, the habit, convents, monasteries, seminaries, popes, cardinals, programmed services, altar calls, the sinner's prayer, crusades, revivals, and expiation of sin with words, water, bread and wine — all as George Fox said: "things which the scripture does not hold forth, but has been gotten up since the days of the apostles; it is not witnessed by scripture, but is a tradition of men, an invention of men ... that is erred from the apostles, and out of the power;" — inventions by fallen men ruled by the beastly spirit of Satan and possessing the fruits of the flesh.
And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead, or on his hand; the same will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [of love] into the cup of his indignation; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever. Those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name have no rest day or night. Rev 14:9-11. From the Word of the Lord within: "Those with the mark of the beast will be given thirty days to repent."