PMT 2015-117 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Once again I am offering some succinct answers to a reader’s question. Sometimes brevity can more quickly assist our understanding. (But please do not tell the publisher of my upcoming 1700 page commentary on Revelation.) Here is today’s question and brief answer.
What is the “Mark of the Beast”? And since your answer will obviously have to have some first century application, isn’t it at all curious to you that for the first time in human history — with microchips, retinal scanners, a growing one-world economy, etc.—that the technology exists to make the “Mark of the Beast” a reality?
Thanks for your question. This type of thinking is fairly common in our American dispensationalist-dominated religious environment. However, I believe it is quite erroneous. The computer technology of today does not fit the requirements of the text of Revelation for the several reasons.
Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD by Ken Gentry)
A biblical and historical argument for Nero being the beast of Revelation. Professionally recorded and edited with Question and Answers session.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
But first, let’s look at Rev 13:18: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” Does this require computer technology? I do not believe so.
- We must read this statement in its own literary setting. The mark of the Beast is no more a literal mark than the mark of the Lamb in the next few verse. In Rev 14:1 we read: “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”
I have never heard anyone teaching that the followers of the Lamb during the (supposed future) great tribulation will have a computer chip on their foreheads which holds the name of the Lamb in it.
- In fact, this mark is actually an image of dominion and control. Notice that in Rev 13 no one may buy or sell without the mark (13:17). And note also that it is placed on the right hand and the forehead, which appear to represent that which we do (the right hand) and that which we think (the forehead). This speaks of oppressive, domineering control — which does not require computer chips to effect. There have been many totalitarian governments in the world.
In fact, today ISIS is a current example of such an attempt to control a person’s thinking and actions. And they do not need computer chips to do so.
- The idea involved here is of a “beast” who imposes this mark due to his divine pretensions. He attempts for force men to worship him (Rev 13:4, 8). This may easily apply to emperor worship, which was well known in the historical setting of the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:4, 11). And given a number of other interpretive angles this divine pretender would seem to be Nero Caesar, an egomaniac who actually did seek worship from men.
“Postmillennialism and Preterism“
Sacramento Eschatology Conference. Lectures (4 mp3s).
(1) Postmillennialism: Wishful Thinking or Certain Hope?
(2) The Identity of the Beast of Revelation.
(3) The Resurrection of the Dead.
(4) The Great Tribulation is Past.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
- The Book of Revelation is an extremely OT-oriented book. Thus, we always do well to check the OT background to see if we can find help. It appears that this mark on the right hand and forehead is a negative reflection on God’s requiring his Law on his people (Dt 6:8). God rightly imposes his Law on man; the “beast” (Nero Caesar?) wickedly seeks to impose his will, as if he is a god.
- Any present day mark goes against John’s time-frame (near, Rev 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10), relevance (persecuted churches, Rev 1:9), and theme (judgment of Israel, Rev 1:7; 11:1–2, 8). The computer chip idea may excite the minds of devotees of science fiction, but it should not sway devotees of God’s historical word.
Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.
OLIVET IN CONTEXT: A Commentary on Matthew 21–25
I am currently researching a commentary on Matthew 21–25, the literary context of the Olivet Discourse from Matthew’s perspective. My research will demonstrate that Matthew’s presentation demands that the Olivet Discourse refer to AD 70 (Matt. 24:3–35) as an event that anticipates the Final Judgment at the Second Advent (Matt. 24:36–25:46). This will explode the myth that Jesus was a Jewish sage focusing only on Israel. The commentary will be about 250 pages in length.
If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!
Tagged: 666, beast of Revelation, computer chips
Wow how naive can you be. You’re obviously a postmodern postmillennialist.
Algorithms tell my phone when I’m passing something that it knows I’ve visited or invites me etc. I pay with my phone, I unlock my phone by facial recognition. Today the ceo of google was getting grilled about contro an rejection. Lying to push leftist agendas. Blocking truth etc. etc. there’s already chips that will do everything the phone does and sends and keepsa bio of your info in the cloud. I’m only touching the service as far as the technology. Globalism socialism and migration are the top subjects today. Brexit, Paris Sweden Germany. Trump has put a thorn into the globalists who in another eight years would have brought America down. The American liberal and deep state are bucking for bigger government positions on the global stage. America is standing in the way. People are erasing history and no longer embracing
Sound doctrine. I pity you. Repent, he’ll is ready to be unleashed and you just may have mocked the rapture one to many times. Pride
Blinds. Humility is like a child
Well Brent, support your position with scripture(s) and convince everyone that is postmillennial that we are naive.
I had hoped the answer would shed more light on why current events LOOK like the events described in Revelation. The simple answer is because “there is nothing new under the sun”. Humans and tyrants just act the same way over and over again. But why is it so easy to make Revelation ” fit” what we see in today’s headlines? Of course, we should take into account all the FAILED interpretations in even my 60 year lifetime. How many times do dispensationalists have to be proven wrong before they get it?
Very concise…nicely done! I was actually reading through David Chilton’s exposition of Rev 13 today as I’ve been hearing various chirps from dispensationally bent brethren of the “mark” due to the desire of governmental overreach in light of the current COVID-19 scare. Anyway, I appreciated your shortened approach to answering this question. You mention Deut 6 and the head and hand references. I’ve been of the position that this is in reference to our image bearing status as God’s creatures. We are created to think God’s thoughts after Him (as Dr. Bahnsen opined it). The beast from the sea (Rev 13) reflects the dragon in Rev 12, so it makes sense that he’d want those people under him to reflect his way of thinking and acting.
While I believe as a result of reading works by you , Bahnsen, DeMar, Chilton, etc. that a proper interpretation of Revelation is set in the first century before the destruction of the temple, I think that an extended application of this fulfilled prophecy is the answer for all the little despots that refuse to kiss the Son (Psa 2). In particular, the machinations at work politically and media driven spheres in our day against the Christian-biblical worldview. Of course I’m thinking of the current crisis that has absorbed much of our thoughts nowadays, but historically this has always been the case I think since our fall in the garden.
You don’t need computers or chips to control people’s thoughts and actions you only need to appeal to our sinful hearts. Newspaper exegesis seems to be the go to for many people, but I’m thankful for your more balanced approach. Thanks for the teaching.
Hi, dr. Kenneth.
Revelation 19:20 says that the beast and false prophet were cast into Lake of fire. How culd the Best (Roman empire) and the false prophet (apostate judaism) be cast into the Lake of fire since they are not people? How culd a system be cast into the Lake of fire?
Actually the “beast” is a two-fold referent. It refers to Roman Empire and the reigning emperor of the empire, Nero Caesar. The fact of this double-referent is acknowledged by liberal and conservative scholars, including even dispensationalists (like John F. Walvoord). This is like “the body of Christ” referring to both Jesus’ physical body and to his redeemed people as a community.
The false prophet is actually the leadership of apostate Judaism, the high priest, who represents Israel before God.
I am still waiting for your 1700 page commentary on Revelation. I think the secret rapture will happen first. LOL!
My theory is that the Internet is the beast, since the letter W (vav) is also the number 6 in Hebrew, which could make 666 equal to WWW. We hold our smartphones in our right hands, and some of us have VR/AR devices on our foreheads. It is becoming difficult to buy or sell without the mark, the number (ip address), or name (web address) of the beast. Unfortunately, everyone worships the Internet more than any god has ever been worshipped, so not many people are willing to admit that it could be the beast.
Then I had better wait. Or my theories would be exposed!
The first century cell phones and Internet didn’t function so smoothly.
Computer is design of 666
A(1) B(2) C(3) D(4) E(5) F(6) G(7) H(8) I(9) J(10) K(11) L(12) M(13) N(14) O(15) P(16) Q(17) R(18) S(19) T(20) U(21) V(22) W(23) X(24) Y(25) Z(26)
According to revelation 13: 18
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
So the point now is the number of man , what is the number of man ? The number of man is 6, God created man in 6 days.
C – 3 multiply by number of man (6) =18
O-15 multiply by number of man (6)= 90
M-13 multiply by number of man (6)=78
P-16 multiply by number of man (6)= 96
U-21 multiply by number of man (6) =126
T-20 multiply by number of man (6)=120
E-5 multiply by number of man (6). =30
R-18 multiply by number of man (6)=108
I see your point. I take it all back. 😉
You did not really touch on why is the computer the mark of the beast? Here is wisdom let him caculate the number……Take a piece if paper write the alphebet a through z then go by sixes a being 6. b being 12. C being 18. And so on all the way through z. Then take your paper and write computer down the side and add the letters up c=18 o=90 m=78 p=96 u=126 t=120 e=30 r=108 add them up 666 so tell me please how is this possiable? And it dont end there i can show you some more even scarier stuff…are you going to say that is a coincediance? No its not like i said it goes deeper. So how did that get into revalations? Please help me understand that. I really appreciate you responce and the time you took to respond.
I did not touch on the computer idea because John says the events were soon in his day (Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10).