Discovering the Mark of the Beast
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1990
The Antichristian empire that is prophesied to develop over all the world in the period just prior to the Second Advent of Christ is characterized by an identifying sign or mark- It is called in the Book of Revelation the "Mark of the Beast." This beast represents the final world kingdom of mankind which will exist through the auspices of Satan the Devil and with the full approbation of God the Father and Jesus Christ. All people need to know the tell-tale signs (or the central mark) that will be the standard of identification for this end-time empire. Christians especially need to understand what the Mark of the Beast entails in order to recognize the signs identifying this world empire. This Prophetic Report will provide the essential keys of identification.
A great counterfeit system to the prophesied Kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ is soon to emerge on the political scene. It will resemble so closely the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ that people on earth will come to appraise it as indeed the very kingdom of Jesus Christ and that the person heading it is no less than Christ himself returned to earth. What a shock will be in store for all people in the world when they finally find out that this end-time empire is really that of Satan the Devil himself.
Let us understand some of the main characteristics of Satan the Devil that many people in the world know nothing about. They imagine Satan as looking like the very epitome of a person with a forked tail, horns on his head, red all over, showing the evil eye, pitchfork in hand, a goatee beard and uttering forth a continual stream of obscenities and blasphemies from his mouth. This is the normal depiction of Satan that has been foisted off on the world since the time of Constantine the Great in the fourth century. But such a description is as far off as anyone could get. Indeed, this is the very type of image that Satan himself wishes all people to imagine that he looks like. In no way is such a description correct.
The Bible makes it clear that Satan the Devil appears to mankind as being the very epitome of righteousness and goodness. The apostle Paul under divine inspiration from Christ himself said that Satan appears with his ministers as righteous and holy people. "For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (II Corinthians 11:14,15).
The Bible reveals that Satan is really an "old serpent" (very wise and cagey) who is "called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world" (Revelation12:9). He has deceived the totality of this world, at one time or another, into believing that he is an evil looking personality which represents one of utter repugnance and horror to all human beings no matter who they are in the world. As a matter of fact, all human societies throughout the various ages of the world have depicted some kind of supreme evil being who causes harm and destruction to humans and they almost always depict him as looking like a hideous personality which all humans would naturally abhor.
It is this "evil looking" Satan that Satan has wanted people to imagine the great slanderer and adversary of mankind looks like. The reason for this is to deceive mankind into accepting his teachings and manner of life. In no way does Satan appear as an evil being with horrendous characteristics. He actually appears, as the apostle Paul said, as an angel of light. He looks so good, so wonderful, so resplendent and so righteous on the surface. Note that our first mother Eve was quite attracted to the teachings and appearance of the "serpent" who instructed her in the Garden of Eden. Eve was even able to equate him and his authority with that of God himself. He appeared to Eve as a being that could compete with God and one who had the appearance of authority and wisdom. Eve was deceived into believing that Satan (that old serpent called the Devil) was a representative of heaven itself and one who possessed the wisdom of the Almighty.
The Bible describes Satan and his servants (angels or men) as appearing righteous. People would think them as "true men of God." Note that the spirit entity called the "King of Tyre" was "full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the Garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering.... Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth [his symbolic wings covered the Ark of the Covenant]" Ezekiel 28:12,13,14).
The truth is, when people would see Satan in vision or through some other kind of manifestation (or his angelic cohorts), they would be witnessing resplendent beings who to most people would show righteousness, beauty and Godly authority. Some might even mistake them for Christ Jesus or the Father because of their actions and beauty. Most people today (who imagine Satan as a very repugnant appearing individual) would not think that an appearance of Satan in vision or through some spiritual manifestation was actually Satan. They would be prone to believe that he was a divine being who must be equal in status to Christ or the Father. And this is how he appears to many people.
Indeed, Satan could very well appear to people as though he were Christ Jesus (or perhaps the Father). Is this possible? Without a doubt this is possible. This is because Satan was called by Christ Jesus as a spiritual being who did not abide "in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). He is quite prone to lie to people and to tell them he is Christ or the Father.
The apostle John warned early Christians not to believe every manifestation of a spirit being (in vision or whatever) because many of them are telling falsehoods in the name of God. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God [as most spirits say they are]: because many false prophets [lying prophets] are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Notice that the apostle John did not say a few false prophets had entered the world to deceive people, but there were "many false prophets." Visionaries are often such "prophets."
These false prophets inspired by lying spirits (among whom Satan is the father) can even come in the name of Jesus Christ claiming to be Christ's representatives. Christ Jesus warned his people about these individuals. "And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take heed that no man deceive you. For many (note that Christ did not say the FEW, but he said the MANY) shall come in my name saying [even admitting and confessing] I am the Christ; and shall deceive many [not the few]" (Matthew 24:5).
The majority of people [the MANY, Christ described them] who come in the very name and authority of Christ Jesus will deceive most in the world that they are teachers of the truth and they will all look so good and righteous on the surface. Since the apostle Paul recognized that Satan himself appears as an angel of light, he felt that Satan's ministers would also appear in the same deceptive way. Paul said that Satan's ministers would "also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (II Corinthians 11:15).
These false ministers of Satan will even come in the name of Christ Jesus claiming that Christ is Lord and asking people to accept Christ as their personal savior. Many will even perform miraculous works in Christ's name and claim they are his divine authorities. Some will even claim to have visions from him to "authenticate" their ministerial works. But note Matthew 7:21-23.
"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. Many [note the word MANY, not the FEW] 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 wonderfu1 works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that commit iniquity."
As shown in my previous Prophetic Report for April, 1990 titled "Coming: A New World Order," the kingdom of the Antichrist will arrive on the scene just before the Second Advent of Christ and raise up a worldwide economic and political dominion that will resemble in many ways the prophesied Kingdom of Christ that will occur during the Millennium. The word "anti" in Anti-Christ actually signifies "in the place of," Christ. Its primary meaning is not "against" Christ. The apostle John meant that this man's kingdom will be like Christ's kingdom and that it will be raised up by Satan to replace the prophesied kingdom of Christ. It will be like the kingdom of Solomon and it will emphasize peace, safety and prosperity for mankind, not military war and destruction. [Read my April Prophetic Report for more information on the type of kingdom or world empire this government of the Antichrist will be.]
When this Man of Sin (called the Antichrist or the Beast in the Book of Revelation) appears on the world scene, he will govern a glorious empire. It will be the epitome of man's endeavor to bring in the kind of society of peace and safety that mankind has been looking for from the time of the Garden of Eden. It will resemble in almost all its details the very kingdom of Christ, but it will actually be that of Satan the Devil.
So cleverly deceptive will the exterior factors of this kingdom be shown to mankind that most will come to the conclusion that this Satanic system is indeed the prophesied kingdom of Christ on earth. Christ told his apostles that even they (and the very elect themselves) would be within an ace of believing that this final kingdom of man will be that of Christ and that the ruler of that kingdom is Christ Jesus returned from heaven. Note what Christ said to his apostles about two days before his crucifixion.
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth (to rally to him: behold, he is in the secret chambers (inside the temple of God; believe it not. For as the lightning (the Sun] comes out of the east, and shines unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be."
Let's face it. If this human ruler called the Antichrist (the False Christ) would come looking like some Babylonian Gentile priest with a mitre of Dagon the fish-god on his head, demanding Sunday worship, the observance of pagan holy days associated with the Spring Equinox or the Winter Solstice, and teaching that all should come under the authority of a Gentile city in Europe, there would not be any apostle of Christ (who lived in the first century) who would accept this man as the supposed Christ.
Indeed, there will even be a fake "Second Advent" that the world will witness and mistake as that of the true Christ. Recall that Satan and his angels will be thrown out of heaven Revelation 12:7-17). These angels of Satan will even appear to some people disguised as recently departed loved ones or prominent individuals and people will mistake this for the resurrection of the dead that is prophesied to occur at Christ's true advent. This will be just like the familiar spirit that came to Saul disguised as Samuel though the real Samuel was dead in his grave and longer alive (I Samuel 28:11,14). The majority of the world will actually believe that Christ has returned and the resurrection from the dead has occurred for the "righteous." The world will believe it because the apostle Paul said that "God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie" (II Thessalonians 2:11 Greek, emphasis mine).
The Antichrist will look so much like the prophesied Christ that he will put into force Sabbath observance (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), along with the biblical holy days, and he will make his capital at Jerusalem. He will use the holy days of God in order to control completely the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities of the people of the world. So strict will he make the observance of the weekly Sabbath that if anyone tries to flee from his authority on the Sabbath, he or she will be easily spotted and rounded up for punishment (Matthew 24:20). While the Sabbath and holy day laws of themselves are good and proper if people wish to adopt them in order to worship God in a personal way, they can be a means of absolute servitude to men if men put them into action in order to control and rule other men.
The prophecies of the Scriptures show that this Antichrist will adopt the Mosaic days as well as the religious principles and teachings advocated by Moses (with Christian interpretations) to control the affairs of mankind throughout the earth. His procedures will look so much like people expect Christ to introduce at the Millennium that even the very elect people of God would be close to accepting him as Christ returned from heaven if they did not know better and this even includes the apostles of Christ.
And look at this important point. The apostles who lived with Christ throughout the span of his ministry on earth would not only know about the intimate teachings of Christ given to them in private but they would be aware of all the personal nuances of his physical and psychological characteristics that were associated with him. Personal attributes such as these can normally help to identify a person in a precise way. But even with the advantage of knowing these personal and unique nuances associated with Christ's character, Christ still told the apostles that even they would be close to accepting the claims of this man if they did not know better.
In order to deceive the world (and even the very elect if that were possible), the Antichrist will force into action (in a wrong way) the very laws of God in order to put yokes of subservience on the people just as the Jewish authorities demanded of the Jews in the time of the apostles (e.g. Acts 15:10). Just because one establishes such laws for world observance does not make the person or his kingdom righteous and holy. After all, the Jewish society in the early first century was the most rigorous in demanding Sabbath observance, holy day keeping and adhering to the principal laws of Moses, yet Christ called that society a "generation of vipers" (Matthew 23:33). That generation of Sabbath keepers wound up crucifying Christ and killing most of the apostles of Christ.
Once it is understood that the world empire of the Antichrist will be a counterfeit of Christ's millennial kingdom (and that the Man of Sin inspired by Satan will misuse the Mosaic legislation with Christian overtones to control the world), it will be easy to recognize what the mark of the beast really is. In fact, any Jewish person reading the Book of Revelation in the first century would have had no difficulty in comprehending what the "mark" was. Let us notice the factors that identify the "mark."
"And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark."
One of the cardinal rules for properly interpreting the Scriptures is to let the teachings in other sections of the Bible (which use the same terms or principles in other contexts) be the guide to understanding the more obscure sections. In the Bible there is only one other usage of the phrases "in the hand" and "in the foreheads." These are all in the Law of Moses and they refer to keeping the commandments statutes, judgments and holy seasons or days given to the Israelites in the time of Moses. The first reference is Exodus 13:9 where it states that the Days of Unleavened Bread associated with the Passover were given "for a SIGN unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes [in the forehead]."
The word "sign" in the above verse is translated "mark" in its second occurrence in the Bible and it refers to the "mark" given to Cain (Genesis 4:15). The biblical definition of the "mark" (or "sign") in the hand and forehead is associated with holy days on the Mosaic calendar. The next usage is recorded in Deuteronomy 6:8. There it refers to the commandments, statutes and judgements that the Israelites were to perform when they entered the land of Canaan. "Thou shalt bind them for a sign [or MARK] upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes [in the forehead]." The third reference is Similar to this and is given in Deuteronomy 11:18. The weekly Sabbath is described as such a "sign" [or MARK] in Exodus 31:12-17.
If we thus let the Bible interpret the Bible then the MARK [or sign] in the hand and in the forehead refers to the keeping of the Mosaic legislation (its holy day system and regulations for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan). And this is precisely what the Antichrist will subject the world to when he commences his reign in Jerusalem just before the Second Advent. He will display to the world his supposed divinity (and the world will accept it) and then he will sit himself with great ceremony in the temple at Jerusalem and he will proclaim himself the true divinity which has come from heaven to reside among men ('1 Thessalonians 2:4).
The Book of Revelation mentions on eight occasions that the Antichrist will set up an image of himself for the people to admire and recognize. And strange as it may seem, even the image that the Antichrist will set up of himself in the very temple of Yahweh to remind people of himself when he is away from Jerusalem is also found within the Mosaic legislation. That's right. The making of such an image is even allowed (it is actually commanded) in the Law of Moses. Let us understand this point clearly because the Mosaic legislation will be used by the Antichrist to legitimatize the setting up of his image in the temple itself. The Book of Daniel and Christ Jesus called this the "abomination of desolation" (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15). The erection of this image will be a wrong use of the Law of Moses.
What many people don't realize is the fact that the Mosaic law does countenance (indeed, it commands) that a single molded-together image (Exodus 37:7) of two spiritual beings be positioned in the Holy of Holies (Exodus 25:18-22). That single image shows a pair of cherubs whose symbolic wings overshadow the Mercy Seat (the throne of Yahweh). It depicts in symbolic form the actual throne of God in heaven. In the Scripture we are told that Yahweh sits between the "cherubim" (eg. Psalms 80:1: 99:1) and the making of this single image of two cherubim with the Mercy Seat was completely legal in the eyes of God. And it is this very image that the Antichrist will restore in the temple at Jerusalem. He will even resemble the two cherubs (both are identical twins in appearance). One is on the right hand of the Father and the other on the left. Who do these two cherubs represent?
The Bible identifies one of the cherubs as "the king of Tyre" (the spiritual entity who ruled or still rules the realm of Tyre - the great merchandising power which exercises commercial authority in the world). He is called "the anointed cherub that covereth [the Mercy Seat]" (Ezekiel 28:14), but he is also shown to be a fallen cherub. "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God [He will be thrown out of the temple]: and I will destroy thee, Oh covering cherub" (verses 15,16).
It is interesting that as soon as Satan is thrown out of heaven with his angels, the "Beast" ascends from the sea or the "bottomless pit" (Revelation 13:1; 17:8) and with his false prophet he begins to rule the world. He will set up an empire based on merchandising and commerce (controlling economic factors on earth so that no one can buy or sell without his permission). Since all of Revelation 18 emphasizes the Beast's commercial control, this is a fit description of the King of Tyre becoming Satan's full agent. This cherub is actually subordinate to Satan, as my research on the Angelic Powers shows.
This Beast (called the Antichrist) will then set up a single image of two cherubs in the temple at Jerusalem to be there when he is in other areas so that people will not forget him or his authority. He will claim the authority of Moses to erect this image in the temple (Exodus 25:18-22) and the whole world will observe this command of Moses and accept it. He will also show the world that Ezekiel also prophesied that cherubs would be depicted on some walls in the millennial temple (Ezekiel 41:17-26). And Ezekiel even shows that a lion depicts a part of a cherubic image (verse 19) and this could well be the reason that the Book of Revelation refers to the Anti-christ also as a "Beast" - a wild beast!
The actions of the Antichrist could cause even the apostles themselves to accept his credentials as the true Christ if they did not know better. Even the very elect would be close to accepting them. This is because the Antichrist will not set up an idol of Zeus (or some other pagan deity) in the Holy Place at Jerusalem. Why, no apostle or elect person of God (or even the Jewish or Moslem people) would accept such sacrilege. But to erect an image (molded together as one piece) of two cherubs with a human and lion motif (the beast part) would be readily allowed because such a thing is called for in the Law of Moses and even the millennial temple of Ezekiel displays cherubs.
These two cherubs covering the Mercy Seat (associated with the Ark of the Covenant) were located in the most holy place in the tabernacle of Moses and also in the temple of Solomon. With the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century before Christ, we no longer hear of the Ark of the Covenant in later temples, either that of Zerubbabel or that of King Herod in the time of Christ. Once the cherub called the "King of Tyre" was demoted in the time of Ezekiel, he was disqualified from being in the temple.
Where is the Ark of the Covenant today (with its image of two cherubs)? We are told in Revelation 11:19 that an Ark is in heaven (the word "testament" means "covenant"). But John may intend the heavenly Ark of which the earthly was a type. As far as the earthly Ark is concerned, we are told in II Maccabees 2:1-13 (written about a hundred years before Christ) that early Jewish records stated that Jeremiah buried it (along with other temple furniture) near the tomb of Moses when the temple was destroyed in the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah is reported to have said that the Ark would one day be found so that it could be placed in a new temple at Jerusalem and that fire would come down from heaven as a sign of dedicating the temple. The Antichrist could be the one to discover this Ark. He could then place it in the new temple even though one cherub was disqualified and it would be an "abomination" for it to be there. But to show God's approval," fire will come down from heaven as "Jeremiah" said (Revelation 13:13). God could permit this as a part of the "great delusion."
It is important to note that both cherubs with their symbolic wings stretched out over the Mercy Seat are identical in appearance. No one would be able to distinguish them if they were separated from the Ark of the Covenant. But one of them is a cherub fallen from favor. Who does the other cherub represent?
Yahweh has an angel that in every way resembles him (see my three research studies on the Angelic Powers which explain this). This angel can act with power of attorney in any situation that Yahweh or Christ Jesus directs. He is called "the Angel of the Lord [Yahweh]," and he is allowed to be called by the name "Yahweh." He so acts like Yahweh that in the Bible they are indistinguishable in certain texts. Though Christ is not an angel (Hebrews 1 & 2), he does use a special angel to represent him (Revelstion 1:1). Christ is shown in superior rank on the Father's right hand, and in Psalm 110 Christ is intimately united with a "right hand" angel (or cherub) called the "King of Salem," or Melchisedec.
Now note this. Ezekiel calls the other cherub the "King of Tyre" and he now represents Satan and his ways. The two cherubs are understood as being perfectly identical in appearance. They are analogous to the two goats selected on the Day of Atonement to carry away the sins of Israel (Leviticus 16). One of the goats was to be Yahweh's (and be killed for the sins of Israel) and the other was the scapegoat (the evil one) who was led away into the wilderness alive. The first in symbol refers to Christ dying for the sins of Israel, while the other is Satan bearing those sins alive in prison for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-5).
Note that angelic beings (whether righteous or evil) often appear like the persons they represent or over whom they are guardians. Christians thought "Peter's angel" looked like Peter (Acts 12:15) and the lying spirit that appeared to Saul (the "familiar spirit") also looked like Samuel to Saul (1 Samuel 28:7-21). Some powerful evil spirits even try to assume the role of Christ Jesus. The spirit entity called the "King of Babylon" was reckoned as the "Son of the Morning" (Isaiah 14:12), though this is the proper title of Christ who is the "Bright and Morning Star" (Revelation 22:16).
There is, however, one sign that can identify the two cherubs on the Ark of the Covenant. We are given a symbolic key of identification when it comes to false and evil spirits. They are presently shown as having long hair -- like the hair of women that flows down over the shoulders (Revelation 9:8). This denotes a sign of shame (1 Corinthians 11:14) which God and Christ do not have associated with them (verse 7). At the present, the cherub who represents righteous-ness has short hair (as he always has had) but the fallen one is groomed with long, flowing feminine hair to accord with the description of wicked spirits who emerge from the "bottomless pit." Any long-haired deity is depicting a fallen spirit.
The Father and the true Christ are in appearance groomed with short hair and Paul dogmatically stated this as fact (I Corinthians 11:3-16). Our modern pictures of a long-haired "Jesus" are groomed after the pagan god Serapis (the Egyptian form of Zeus). But Ezekiel said Yahweh's priests should have short hair "they shall only poll [or trim] their hair" (Ezekiel 44:20). This is an important truth because the priests were the stand-ins for God. When the people saw the priests, they were supposed to be looking at God himself. Indeed, it was common custom for Jewish males to have short hair and this is attested by Josephus the Jewish historian and priest in the first century (Contra Apion I.172-175). Jesus did not have long hair because he would have stood out among Jewish men. Recall that Judas had to kiss Christ to identify him among others. Had he long hair it would have been simple to point out the man with the long hair. And though Jesus was from the town of Nazareth, he was not a Nazarite because he drank wine (Luke 7:33,34).
But who are depicted with long hair? Fallen spirits or angels who ascend from the "bottomless pit" are shown as having long hair - "the hair of women" (Revelation 9:8). Christ went to these fallen angels after his resurrection and preached to them (1 Peter 3:18,19) and Paul referred to this angelic visit in I Timothy 3:16 and also in Ephesians 4:8 when he quoted Psalm 68:18 that Christ led captive the wicked angels who had captivated humans and he then gave their angelic authority to the apostles, etc.
Psalm 68 quoted by Paul spoke of those rebellious angels in their watery prison. "God himself shall smite the head of his enemies, those proud sinners with their flowing locks. The Lord says, I will return from the Dragon, I will return from the depths of the sea" (verses 21,22, New English Bible). Remember that Paul said Christ had actually gone "into the depths of the earth" -into the prison of the wicked angels (Ephesians 4:9) - and that he returned (or ascended) from the underworld in order to take away the captivity that wicked spirits had imposed on humanity (verse 8). Dr. Moffatt and the Jerusalem Bible (Catholic) state that the Hebrew of Psalm 68:21 shows those rebellious ones in their watery prison are described as being "long-haired" (the King James has "hairy scalp"). This agrees with what the apostle John recorded about those evil spirits the prison called the "bottomless pit." They have long hair - "the hair of women."
Even Josephus tells us that Jewish men who were similarly in human prisons expressed their shame for their crimes by letting their hair grow long (Antiquities XIV. 172). Ordinary Jewish males shunned wearing long hair like women because of its association with criminals and those wicked spirits who were normally consigned to the "bottomless pit" (Psalm 68:21; Revelation 9:8). And remember, the Beast (the Antichrist) ascends from the "bottomless pit" (Revelation 17:8). It is interesting that most of the cherubs of the Gentiles who were reckoned as their spiritual rulers were depicted in ancient times with long hair (see my work on the Angelic Powers for their pictures). If a being (either in vision or in person) appears with long hair flowing down to the shoulders (like the hair of women), it is clearly a lying spirit from the underworld.
And what about the cherub called the "King of Tyre'? From the time of Ezekiel, that cherub became an evil angel who was then thrown out of his position next to Yahweh in the temple. That cherub is now abominable and under the sway of Satan. It then became improper to place him in same position with the righteous cherub within the temple. Thus, Jeremiah buried the Ark with its cherubs and stated that the time was coming when no Ark of the Covenant will be needed in worshipping Yahweh (Jeremiah 3:16). This is one reason why there was no Ark with its two cherubs in the temples of Zerubbabel or Herod nor in Ezekiel's millennial temple. Ezekiel's temple (which will be located at Shilo, not Jerusalem, to accord with the prophecy of Genesis 49:10) has cherubs only pictured on the walls and doors of the Holy Place. But if II Maccabees is recording reliable information from Jeremiah, he did say that the Ark (with its two cherubs) would again be discovered and dedicated in a new temple. This could only be the "Anti-Christ's temple" when the Beast will install his cherubic image in his temple at Jerusalem.
Remember, the two cherubs with the Ark were like twins in appearance (though one now has long hair). They are like Jacob (Israel) and Esau (Edom). Esau was the "hairy one" who was defrauded of his birthright and blessing by Jacob, his deceptive brother and twin. Jacob was not "hairy" like Esau. He is described as being a "smooth" man. The Pulpit Commentary states: "The primary idea of ‘smooth’ is to cut off the hair" (Vol I, p.335). In a word. Esau was uncultivated in grooming - "a cunning hunter, a man of the field." Esau was more hairy. The hair of his head was long and his right and left hand sides (not hands alone) were "hairy." But Jacob was "smooth of the neck" - he had short hair.
In order to deceive Isaac, Jacob had to wear the skins of goats on his head and the sides of his body. Note what Keil and Delitzsch say about this covering of hair. "We must not think of our European goats whose skins would be quite unsuitable for any such description. It is the camel-goat of the East, whose black, silk-like hair was used even by the Romans as a substitute for human hair. See Martial xii.46" (Vol I, p.275). The long straight hair with its jet black color is referred to in the Song of Solomon as equal to the natural hair of beautiful women (4:1; 6:5).
This account in Genesis of Esau (Edom) and Jacob (Israel) shows that Esau was not only more hairy in body than Jacob but he also wore his hair long, while Jacob was different in his grooming and exposed the "smooth of the neck" -he wore his hair short. But Esau (Edom) had his birthright and blessing taken away from him by the deceptive tactics of Jacob. Isaac did give (Edom) a different blessing and told him that a time was coming when his descendants "shall have the dominion and that they would break the yoke of Jacob from his neck (Genesis 27:40). That time would come at the end-time.
And Isaiah said that the final end-time worldly kingdom that God will destroy is that of Edom (Isaiah 34). Indeed, much of the cardinal teaching of the Book of Revelation comes directly from Isaiah 34 about Edom. The world empire of the Beast will actually be the kingdom of the "hairy one" - Edom The word "Edom" when vowel-pointed correctly means "man" or "mankind" and James interpreted it that way in Acts 15:17 when he quoted Amos 9:12. The number of the Beast is 666 - the number of man or Edom.
The final world empire will be activated by Esau (Edom) trying to recover from Jacob (Israel) the birthright and blessing stolen from him by his twin brother. Since Jacob deceived his father Isaac by putting on the hairy mantle, the "King of Tyre" (representing "Edom") will think it proper to deceive the world by taking off his covering of long-hair. (In a future Prophetic Report I will give historical proof that Tyre was colonized by Edomites and that the literal "King of Tyre" was actually an Edomite.) Since we are told that God will send the world "strong delusion" to believe the lie (II Thessalonians 2:11), the fallen cherub will once again appear "righteous." Indeed, he will claim to be Christ returned from heaven. He will finally proclaim that the daily animal sacrifices are no longer needed as a substitute for him (Daniel 9:27; 12:4) and he will even (finally) dispose of the Ark of the Covenant and his image to accord with Jeremiah 3:16.
But how can the Antichrist pull off this strategy since the Book of Revelation makes it clear in chapters 13, 17 and 18 what he and his false prophet will do? There is a simple way if one has the wisdom to see it- Before the career of the Antichrist begins in a full way, there will appear on earth two witnesses from God who will prophesy from the temple at Jerusalem (Revelation 11). These two witnesses have roles that resemble those of Moses and Elijah. In fact, it may well be that one of these two witnesses (who will certainly be priests because they are able to enter the Holy Place) will be the prophesied Elijah to come (Malachi 4:5,6; Matthew 17:11).
Now look at this. The world will not like these two witnesses. They have power to stop the rains and they can turn the waters of the sea into blood (verse 6). The world will not like their prophesyings and they will be put to death by the Antichrist (verse 7). Then the Antichrist will establish his world empire of "peace."
Since the Antichrist will claim to be the returned Christ (though the Beast will actually be inspired by Satan expelled from heaven – Revelation 12:7-17), he will point to chapter 13 of Revelation and state to the world that those two witnesses were in fact the Beast and the False Prophet mentioned in Revelation and that they have now been destroyed and the rule of the "true" Christ with his "true" Elijah can now begin.
The Beast and False Prophet will charge the two witnesses with being the Beast and False Prophet of the Book of Revelation and that they are the returned "Christ" and the prophesied "Elijah." After all, this False Prophet will be able to bring down fire out of heaven in the sight of men (Revelation 13:13) like Elijah did when he countered the prophets of Baal (1Kin~ 18:38).
Malachi said that an "Elijah" would be sent to the Jews just before the Day of the Lord to turn the children to the fathers (4:5,6). This is one reason why the Beast and the False Prophet will reintroduce the Law of Moses. However, instead of this applying to the Jews in the Holy Land, they will extend its strictures for all the world -- including Gentiles. The true Elijah will restore this for the Jews only, and all Jews will be expected to adhere to the Law's precepts. Let's face it, the Law of Moses is the law of God for the Jewish people and that it is a proper legislation for those to whom it was (or will be) intended. But it was never designed to be used for Gentiles or to make God's people to be the slaves of the religious hierarchies of men. Christ said that "duty" was not the reason for establishing the Sabbath: "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" (Matthew 12:7). The Sabbath day of itself was made for the benefit of man. It is even acceptable for people to assign the days on the Mosaic calendar as days for reflection on biblical themes if they voluntarily wish to do so (though observing them is not necessary for salvation - Romans 14:1-6; Galatians 4:10; Colossians 2:16,17). Some Christians may even wish to keep the various Sabbaths for nostalgic reasons. God will allow it, but Paul said such people are "weak in the faith" since "days" are no longer required (Romans 14:1).
The Mosaic legislation of itself (with its Sabbaths, holy days, judgments and statutes) is not bad. The law is actually "holy, just and good" (Romans 7:12) if a person uses it properly. Paul stated this fact with dogmatism. "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully" (I Timothy 1:8). But herein lies the problem. What man has ever used the law lawfully? The Jewish authorities did not use it lawfully in the days of Christ or the apostles, and the apostle Peter absolutely stated this to be the case (Act8 15:10). I know of a number of denominations today who use a part or all of the Mosaic laws to rule over their people and making them to be slaves to the church hierarchies. They are using the "Mark of the Beast" already and Paul knew it: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now lets [hinders] will let until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed" (II Thessalonians 2: 7,8).
The Man of Edom (666) will use "Moses" in an unlawful way to bring the world under his religious slavery. But Christ's real kingdom will be different- He will loose us from slavery, make us to be kings, and come down from his throne to serve us at table (Psalm 23:5; Luke 12:37; 22:24-30). In the Prophetic Report for April, 1990, I gave scriptural assurances that we who will live at the time of the Antichrist can have protection from God to escape his slavery. Protection is ours. Remember: "Cast all your care upon him (Christ); for he cares for you" (I Peter 5:6,7).
Ernest L. Martin
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