Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« Ascension Day! | Main | An Article on Christ's Descent into Hell and Other Interesting Things from the Web »

666 and the Mark of the Beast -- Amillennialism 101

666%20bar%20code.jpg666 and the Mark of the Beast

If you are a futurist and believe that the beast of Revelation 13 is not connected to the Roman Empire of the first century and remains yet to be revealed at the end of the age (i.e., during the seven-year tribulation period, as dispensationalists teach), then you will not look at the mark of the beast through the lens of the New Testament and the historical situation when John was given his vision.  Instead, you will understand this mysterious mark as something still hidden in the future.  And given the breakneck pace of the advance being made in all forms of technology, it is only natural that futurists would see John’s reference to the mark of the beast as somehow connected to the technological advantage by which the beast and false prophet will enslave the inhabitants of the world and deceive them into worshiping the Antichrist.

As futurists see it, when John speaks of the mark of the beast, he’s essentially predicting that some future form of technology will be utilized by Antichrist to dominate and control the world’s population.  According to Peter and Paul Lalonde, “The Bible says that the mark of the beast and its accompanying technology will be installed by the antichrist–not as an end in itself, but as a means of managing the new world order that is even now being created” (Peter LaLonde and Paul LaLonde, Racing Toward the Mark of the Beast,  Harvest House Publishers, 1994, 148).

The futurist approach to Revelation is misguided because it pushes off into the distant future what was already a serious threat to Christians in the first century (emperor worship), by ignoring the historical context for the visions of Revelation 13 and 17.  Instead, John’s comments about the mark of the beast should be seen against the backdrop of the imperial cult and the worship of the Roman emperor.  The emperor’s blasphemous image was everywhere in John’s world (Asia Minor), from coins to statues identifying various emperors as deities in most major cities ( cf. S. R. F. Price, Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor, Cambridge University Press, 1984). 
John’s reference to the mark being placed upon the back of the hand or the forehead makes perfect sense in light of the wide-spread first century practice of branding or tattooing slaves–a mark of shame and subjugation (Caird, The Revelation of St. John, 173).

To read the rest of this article, Click here: Riddleblog - The Mark of the Beast

Reader Comments (8)

Just wait till gas hits $6.66 per gallon!

I'll bet "Rapture Ready" will hit an all-time high alert that day!
April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWayne Rohde
My mother - from Duesseldorf, West Germany, was forced into being one of the Hitler youth in Nazi Germany. She loved the Jewish people, and some of her family members lost their lives because they wouldn't kill the Jews.

In a bit of irony - I imagine that the old Soviet Union would have certainly viewed Ronald Reagan as "the beast"!
April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
I've heard DA Carson use a similar argument in his series on Revelation. Tongue-in-cheek, he said that, given enough time and the right language, he could "prove" that 666 referred to Hillary Clinton.

I have a lot of Pre-Mil friends and family and this really helps. My mom is still quite scared about implanted microchips. I've often thought scanning your wrist at the supermarket would be pretty convenient. No more "Can I see your ID?" Forehead might be a little awkward though;)

Thanks for posting.
April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdrew@jonah
Yes, this has been a wonderful review and explanation. I pointed my readers and congregation in this direction. Just too much Dispy influence to let such an opportunity pass.
April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy
Have you spent any time considering a link between 666 in Revelation and 666 in 1 Kings 10 (and 2 Chronicles 9)?

<i>“The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues brought in by merchants and traders. Also all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the territories brought gold and silver to Solomon.”</i>

There are a number of parallels and allusions that are worth noting: first, obviously the reference to 666 in both passages. Second, John’s call for wisdom and insight, two qualities directly associated with King Solomon. Finally, the mention of revenues from merchants, traders, kings and governors brings to mind the lament over fallen Babylon by the samesuch persons in Revelation 18.
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElShaddai Edwards
Hate to criticize a brother but it seems that in your criticism of futureism you are createing a straw man. By takeing the most absurd aspects of Futurerist thought and makeing it seem normitve. Also could not the imperalcult be looked upon as a tupe the antitype beingthe future antichrist. Other then that a wellalid out article and dfense of your postion
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
found an interesting site (about ancient coins) that has some connection to this topic:

May 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Strawman Theology is very common with this crowd. That is a true indicator of their weak scriptural position. Funny thing is Riddlebarger and his ilk regularly acccuse "Dispys's" of living by the news headlines when that is exaclty what he is doing by claiming the AC was the Roman Emporer. I didn't read that in the Bible, did you ? Did God forget to put something in there ?
May 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZechariah

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.