After His resurrection Yeshua spend a further 40 days (Acts 1:3) with His disciples and taught them more about the Kingdom of God. In the Book of Acts (1:6) the following question is put to him: ‘Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ His response to His friends (John 15:15) is this (Acts 1:7): ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’
Considering verse 7 on its own it appears to be an aloof answer. Not so. This answer was wedding talk. In Jewish wedding traditions when the bridegroom left his bride, he would go back to his father’s house to construct a canopy or ‘chuppah.’ However, it was his father’s duty to do a quality check on the structure and then he would give the green light for his son to fetch his bride. If the members of the community then see what he is busy with, they may well ask: ‘So when are you getting married?’ His response would then be: ‘I don’t know- only my father knows.’ Trying to pin down a date and an hour to the return of Messiah is counter-productive, but we can most definitely aim to identify the season of when these things are to happen (Luke 21:29)
The phrase ‘mark of the beast’ appears five times in the Book of Revelation (of Jesus Christ) the first one being: Rev 13:16-17: ‘He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.’ So the relevant body parts are ‘their right hand or on their foreheads.’
There are two broad schools of thought around the interpretation of where this mark is received. Some believe that we should interpret it literally. According to this theory some form of technology will be implanted into the hands or foreheads. In an age where technological capabilities are leaping forward on a year to year basis, this argument does not sound unreasonable. Also, we have also reached a stage where trans-humanism is gaining considerable momentum. What is trans-humanism? ‘Transhumanism (H+) is an international intellectual and cultural movement that affirms that possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to great enhance human intellectual, physical and psychological capacities. They predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves with such great expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘post-human.’ (Source: Wikipedia). This is becoming an increasingly popular movie theme (Hanna, Splice). The terminology is obviously modern but the concept is not new at all. The altering of genetic material dates back to the times of Genesis 6: 2: ‘that the sons of God (fallen ones) saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.’ The result of these mixing of these species is called ‘nephilim’ translated as ‘giants’ into English, because of their size and strength.
Then of course there are those who believe that ‘hands and foreheads’ are symbolic of ‘in your work/deeds’ and ‘in your mind.’ They argue that it refers to violating the 4th Commandment (Edict of Constantine 321 AD, Council of Laodicea circa 363 AD) which the changing it from Saturday to Sunday. The Sabbath is unique in that it is recorded in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) but also in the Feasts (or appointment) of the Lord (Lev 23). In Exodus 20:8 we read: ‘Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy …’ – they further explain that to remember is a mental function in your mind, the ‘forehead’ is then symbolic of the mind. As we do our work with our hands, altering the day of rest then has an impact on when we do our work.
There seems to general consensus among most Bible scholars that the ‘beast’ referred to is a kingdom (Dan 7:23) or empire and that it is the Roman Empire. Now the ancient Roman Empire fell at around 476 AD, but in the European Union we have a revived Roman Empire. The Birth of modern EU in 1957 (Treaty of Rome) and new EU constitution signed in Oct 2004 at a ceremony on Capitoline Hill in Rome.
So out of these structures will arise ‘a man of sin’ or ‘antichrist’ which will impose an global economic system which will control trading (buy and sell) which explains the need for a new or one world order.