Prophecies of Revelation
Mark of the beast
Note: The Bible is most definitely meant to be taken "literally." Although, there are many references that do have symbolic meanings. It is also true, as Betty says below, that if we have the Holy Spirit that He will help us to interpret these verses. Jack Van Impe and Ed Hindson are very good teachers in explaining Bible prophecy. Whatever time mom and I have left on this earth we are trying to share as much as we can on this website. If time allows then we will share more of this. -Admin-
Writer: Betty Miller | bibleresources.org/mark-of-the-beast/
Revelation is a coded book. It was written for Christians so that only they could understand it. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are bewildered by the imagery in this book of the Bible. Even as Christians we have difficulty when approaching Revelation. How do we understand its code? The Bible interprets itself so we can understand Revelation by looking to other portions of the Bible for clues to its interpretation. When we study one portion of the Bible, we can find the same truth in another portion that sheds light on what we are studying. Since Revelation is a coded book, we won't understand it without the help of God's Spirit who inspired it, plus a child-like approach to His Word. We must have God's Spirit and an understanding of the Scriptures to comprehend Revelation. Revelation was written symbolically; a great deal of it is not literal. If we don't understand that Revelation is speaking of spiritual things, then we're going to misinterpret it. We'll end up looking for literal frogs and heads and horns and an actual beast.
To illustrate a portion of the code that almost all Christians are familiar with, consider the usage of the term "lamb." We know when the Scripture refers to "the Lamb," it is symbolically referring to Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross as He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.Revelation 13 verse 8). It is not referring to a literal lamb, the offspring of a sheep. So for us to understand the symbolism of the "beast," we must go to the Scripture for that definition. A modern-day analogy is that we could not operate a computer unless we understood computer language. We must get a Bible definition of "beast" and the Bible definition of "mark" to understand the mark of the beast.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rise up and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1
God wants us to understand the meaning of the terms in this verse, and throughout all of Revelation. He promises that if we wholeheartedly seek Him, He will hear and answer (Jeremiah 29:12-13(verse 12) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
(verse 13) And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29 verses 12-13). If we want to understand, we can. It may not come all at once, but as we seek Him, He will open our eyes. One of our shortcomings as Christians is that many of us have listened to end-time teachings but never have asked the Holy Spirit if the teaching is the truth. We've considered ourselves ignorant and assumed the teachers must have all the answers. But God wants each one of us to understand His Word, and He will give us understanding as we seek Him for it. He will confirm His true teachings if we seek Him by faith and with a pure heart. We have a responsibility to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.1 Thessalonians 5 verse 21).