UNVEILING THE IMAGE AND THE MARK OF THE BEAST
There is a way which seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25)
The book of Revelation chptr 13 reveals how God considers the practice of trusting in Self-righteousness as another form of idolatry. And the central theme of the passage is The Futility of Self-righteousness.
There are two different types of idols, even as there are two different forms of idolatry. Both Idols and idolatry can be divided into the concrete/physical and the spiritual/abstract.
Physical idols are solid objects, hewn out of stones, carved out of wood, molded from clay, or cast in any of the metals. Some times, even humans and properties are turned into physical idols. But spiritual/abstract idols are fixed behavioral patterns, social norms, manners, etiquettes, codes of conduct etc.
Worship includes but is not limited to the act of physically bowing down to God or physical images. To cherish, adore, love, praise, laud, honor, reverence, regard, respect or conform oneself to any fixed mannerism or etiquette also amounts to one worshipping them.
The Image of the Beast, which is talked about in the book Revelation is not a physical, but a spiritual/abstract idol. The Beast himself is the Present World Systems of Government (PWSG). But his image consists of fixed behavioral patterns, which is popularly called Manners. But, in theology it’s called self-righteousness. Everyone who bothers to inculcate these fixed behavioral patterns into his life is a worshipper of the image of the beast.
God is calling all to get born again, civilized, regenerated and led by the Holy Spirit. The will of God is for us to lead a free non-stereotyped lives, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.(Jn 3:8) We are not designed to observe, honor or inculcate any fixed manners or etiquette, which Orthodox Christendom has set up for the PWSG. We are to speak and act as any given occasion demands, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.(1 Sam. 10:6-7)We are not to seek the praise that comes from men, but from God. (Rom. 2:29)
The worshippers of manners are spiritually-poor individuals who gain nothing, by knowing how to conduct themselves in public.(Ecl. 6:8) They are those who, instead of seeking for the Holy Spirit, kindle strange fires and set brands of self-righteousness alight.(Is. 50:11). The image of the beast is the so-called MANNERS, which is being forcefully inculcated in the inhabitants of the earth, today.
The four previous systems (that’s the Babylonian, the Medo/Persian, the Grecian and the Roman empires) were worshippers ofsolid/physical idols. But the PWSG is a worshipper of the abstract idol–Manners. The PWSG is the fifth and the last beast to rule the world, and the one being described in Dan.11:38 as a king, who will pay no regards to the gods of his Predecessors. But will honor a strange god, whom his fathers (that’s the four previous empires) didn’t know. And that strange god is MANNERS.
The Orthodox Christendom, which has its roots in the rise of the Papacy, is the origin of the image and the mark of the beast. The Orthodox Christendom is the false prophet, who fashioned out both the image and the mark of the beast. Their Chapels and Mission Schools were the main grounds, where the enforcement of the mark and the image of the beast began. Instead of baptizing their converts with the Holy Spirit, they ended up wearying them with innumerable do’s and don’ts. And their mission schools were the ground where they enforced all types of fixed manners upon their students. Table Manners, Tea Manners, Manners of Approach, etc, jointly make up the abstract image, which Orthodox Christendom has set up for the Present World Systems of Government. And it’s the burdensome practice of trying to conform oneself to this image that gives birth to the mark of the beast.
6 is the symbolic mark of Works, as opposed to 5 which is the mark of Grace. But 666 (that’s Works Overemphasized) stands for Seriousness, which can be seen on the forehead or the right hand of those who trust in self-righteousness. 666 or Seriousness is a mark of bondage, which appears on the forehead, in form of Stern/Dismal/Hard Countenance. And it can also be seen on the right hand, in form of uneasy piety.
It’s the onerous task of trying to conform to uncountable do’s and don’ts, manners and etiquettes that gives birth to the mark of the beast– Seriousness. This mark is what Jesus was disapproving when he told his audience not to wear Sad Countenance or disfigure their faces. (Matt. 6:16) Because, the PWSG is the king, called “Stern-faced (Dan.8:23 NIV) therefore, it’s not a surprise that he has lived up to his name. So, when they say “You don’t have manners” they are, simply, telling you that you don’t worship the image of the beast. And, when they say “You are not serious” they are simply saying that you don’t have the mark of the beast.
And, according to Rev. 13:15-17, the false prophet gave breath to the image, so that it could both speak and cause those who refuse to worship it, to be killed. And, those who don’t worship the beast or receive his mark shall not be allowed to buy or sell. That’s exactly what has been happening in the world, today.
Through their continuous preaching of do’s and don’ts, the false prophet (that’s Orthodox and fake Churches) has given worldwide popularity to Manners, so that it can now both speak and cause those who are at ease to become victims of character assassination. They are being called derogatory names, bushman, barbarians, uncivilized, unrefined etc. The so-called good manners of the followers of the beast, is now speaking for itself, and causing carefree people be killed psychologically. In order to protect their so-called hard earned reputation, the worshippers of the image disassociate themselves from freemen and refuse them public exchange of ideas and pleasantries. That is the meaning of “they will not be allowed to buy or sell”.
The worshippers of the image of the beast are those whom Is. 65:5 described as people who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am set apart from you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day. They are fools whose eyes the devil has veiled with many unprofitable do’s and don’ts, so they wouldn’t see the light of the gospel. That’s why Eccl. 10:15 says “The toil of a fool wearies him, so that he does not know the way to the city.” The fixed manners and etiquettes which they cherish and observe have deceived them into regarding themselves as those who have seen the light. But they don’t know that they are walking in thick darkness. (Matt.6:23b [RSV] If then the light in them is darkness, how great is the darkness! However, the truth is every worshipper of the image of the beast can be forgiven, if he repents. And the mark of the beast can also be erased from any recipient, if he repents.
(Watch out for THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET EXPOSED where I will be going into more details about the composition of the beast and the false prophet)
Barth Emeka Ikeagwuonu | PentecostalTheology.com