by Thomas Bass | Les Feldick
We have been talking about the false prophet and you may wonder where we get these words. Let’s turn to Revelation Chapter 19 verse 20 and look at it. Here they are defined very clearly. This is after the Tribulation has run its course, and Christ has returned.
“And the beast (the Anti-christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both (men born of women, raised up like any other child, but they become, you might say, tools of Satan. One, the political leader and the other a religious leader)were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
For another reference go to Revelation 20:10. This will be after the 1000 years reign of Christ has run it’s course and we are ready to go into eternity. Here we’re about to be introduced to the Great White Throne Judgment. This is for the lost of all humanity in verse 11:
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are (see they are still there after a 1000 years), and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
So these three personalities who made up the unholy trinity of the Tribulation go straight to that eternal doom, the lake of fire that burneth forever and ever. And they go immediately without benefit of the Great White Throne Judgment. They will be joined by all the lost of the ages who will at least have their moment of time before the Lord at the Great White Throne Judgment. Let’s get back to Chapter 13 and pick up with the verse we left off in our last lesson.
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the Anti-christ. Remember, he begins his power base in this revived Roman Empire, in the Mediterranean and Western Europe. By the time of the Tribulation, the Anti-christ’s power will be world-wide. So this false prophet had power); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.”
“And he (this false prophet)had power to give life to the image of the beast,…”
I previously have said that the Japanese have a technology to build a biological computer. In other words, it won’t be just electronic, but will have living biological cells. Now what they are driving at, I don’t know. But it will be a computer that will put the present day computers to shame. And I think that is just an indication of what we have here. That this image is going to be the brain of our technology so that it will actually be able to speak and think and give orders. One of our national news magazines a few weeks ago had a lead article on the electronic explosion that is about to come upon us. Where television will not only be the incoming of information, but also the outflow. The old TV set will just be the center of everything. This is being set up for just exactly this situation, where one world government will have their thumb on every home around the planet. Nobody will be left out. So this image was able to speak.
“…that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Again, I think it will come through the information of television. The powers that be will know all activity of every home. There will be no escaping it. I’ve told my classes that `they’ know all about you. And more than once someone will say, “And who are `they?’” I don’t know precisely, but I know it and you know it. We’ve all read articles about how they know where we spend our money and where we have it invested. They know our health. They know everything. And so who are they? The powers that be. Insurance companies, financial institutions, magazines. In farm magazines I can get a free subscription by completing a survey which asks how many cows I have, how many acres I have, etc. I quit filling them out. I’d rather pay for my subscription because they don’t have to know. It is the same in every other occupation. They want to know everything about your business. It seems so innocent, but it isn’t. It will come back to haunt people that someone out there knows everything about them. Once you are in someone’s computer this information is kept and added to every time there is a transaction. They, who are they? Anyway, verse 16. So this great religious leader:
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man (also women)might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast (the power, the political system, the religious system, etc.): for it is the number of a man (and that is always ‘six’ in Scripture); and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
That’s where we get the 666. Now let’s clarify. You and I don’t have to worry tonight about receiving the mark of the beast. This is a Tribulation event, and believers will not be here. Anyway, everybody isn’t immediately going to accept this demand to have this mark placed on them. Just like Social Security would like everyone have direct deposit. But how slow are most people to accept it. They want to see that check in their hands and deposit it themselves. So there is foot-dragging, even though it’s probably safer and faster. I use it. I’m not afraid of direct deposit. But it will be the same way with this mark of the beast. Multitudes of people will drag their feet. They won’t take it right away, human nature being what it is. So it won’t instantly take over. That will be a blessing in disguise, because anyone who has not taken that mark of the beast will have an opportunity of salvation as those 144,000 Jews will be proclaiming it. But if they have taken the mark, then they can preach their hearts out and that individual will have no chance for salvation. He’s doomed the minute he takes the mark.
Now what is the mark of the beast? I said long before most of the big wheels began to realize it, that I was convinced that this mark of the beast is nothing more than an eighteen digit computer number. In other words, three sets of six numbers or digits. Most of you are acquainted with the little bars and lines on every product that you buy, especially in our supermarkets. What’s it called? The universal product code. And the outside bars, and the very middle bar has a value of six. Now it’s not on your boxes of cereals and so forth. Some of the other numbers are. You might see a 2 or 3 or 4, but remember, the outside and middle bars are valued at 6. Now all they have to do is expand this universal product code a little more and you will have eighteen digits. And that is sufficient to give everyone on the face of the earth a separate number. If they can keep track of products in a supermarket down to the last nitty gritty, simply by running it over a scanner, then they won’t have any problem keeping track of every human being. In fact the largest computer on earth is reported to be in Brussels, Belgium. And that thing is huge (I think I read it takes a city block just to house it). It is very capable of keeping track of every human being on earth. So just simply bring this whole mark of the beast down to something that is so common already. An eighteen digit number of 666, and you have the mark of the beast.
We also know that there have been places that have tried a cashless society. Can a community actually go for 30 or 60 days without ever using a checkbook or billfold? The only problems that they have is the check-out lines start backing up, because the people in this test area can never find their card in their purse. This secular article suggests that if there were some way of putting a mark on the flesh so that it can be scanned, it would speed up the check-out lines. It is all there, the technology is simply waiting to be implemented.
Believers don’t have a fear of the 666. We have all the evidence of the world that the precursors of it are with us. You and I use it everyday. You can’t go and get a drivers license without it, or file your taxes without it and what is it? Your social security number. It is not the mark of the beast, but it is the forerunner of it. And remember America is not the only nation with a social security system. I was surprised when I read a few months ago that even the small nations in what we call the third world have social security systems and all of their citizens have a number. Germany, years ago, began tattooing a number on the heels of newborn infants before they left the hospital. So we can see the world is getting ready for the fact that they can’t do anything without a number. If it gets to the place where it is a completely cashless society, and if you haven’t got that number, it will be impossible to do anything. So people without it will die for the lack of the necessities of life. This is why in Matthew 25 Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. But it probably wasn’t in the right area, because this is simply the survivors of the Tribulation. And some of them are sheep – they are believers in that Chapter, because they responded to the message of the 144,000 and survived. Not very many will, but a few will, Isaiah says. You will have a few who are still lost, who rejected the message. And they have also survived. So Jesus brings them all before His throne room in Jerusalem. Matthew 25 says:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, `Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.’”
What are these verses? They are believers who, much like the Christians in Nazi Germany who hid the Jews for only one reason, had the love of Christ in their heart. Because of it they put their own neck on the block, you might say. And so during the closing days of the Tribulation, believers who have believed the Gospel of the Kingdom from these 144,000 Jews, because of their new relationship and because they have survived, they will minister to their needs. And that is what Jesus meant when he said in verse 40:
“…Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (remember no one is a brethren of Jesus except the Jew. So He’s referring to the 144,000), ye have done it unto me.”
And the goats, the unbelievers who made it through the Tribulation say:
“… Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? “ And so the Lord answers them the same way.
“Then shall he answer them, saying, `Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these (the 144,000), ye did it not to me.’”
The mark of the beast is for those who have given in to the rule of the Anti-christ, and the demands of the religious system. If they take it, they may get along with the powers that be, but they seal their eternal doom with no more opportunity for salvation. Now skip over to Chapter 17:
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, `Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.’”
Now the language kind of shocks us I know, but we want to remember we are not talking about physical immorality here, but spiritual. And spiritual adultery is when religious organizations take that from the pagan world and mix it with New Testament Christianity. That is spiritual adultery. So this “whore,” as the word is used, is not a woman of the street, but is a system that adulterates the things of God. And God is going to judge it. Now verse 2:
“With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman…”
It’s unfortunate the Scripture often uses a woman in a bad light, but it does. And it is not a put-down, but some of these things are just simply unavoidable. Let’s look at Chapter 2 of Revelation for example. Here, Jesus is speaking to the Church in Thyatira:
“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
Would you like to be that woman? Why, no! because it’s in a bad light. Now let’s look at another example in Matthew Chapter 13:
“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven (in Scripture leaven is always referred to as sin, or evil), which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
And again, the woman here is used in a bad light. It was a woman who was guilty of inserting evil into a situation, and consequently, God was displeased with it. Now back to Revelation 17. This system, then, is referred to in the female gender:
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”
Here we have a religious system referred to in the female gender. And how many times in our everyday speech, do we refer to a religious system as she or her.