In scriptural terms, it is generally accepted that the mark of the beast has a similar function to the seal of God placed on Christians, referred to in Revelation 7:1-8, 14:1, and is therefore the beast’s corresponding seal of ownership on those who follow him. The Bible shows that the ones who receive the mark of the beast are those who give their allegiance to Satan and his earthly agents, while those who have the seal of God are those who bear witness to Jesus and the Word of God.
Since the mark of the beast seems to be connected to personal affiliation, ideological identification or ownership, some scholars doubt that this will be a visible bodily mark despite the fact that it is specifically stated in Revelation 13:16, and 14:9 and 20:4, that the mark of the beast is “received” on the forehead or on the right hand. However, there are two different Greek words used for “receive/d” in this context, and there is no suggestion in either of their meanings that this mark is physically branded or forced upon anyone – rather, it is given or supplied by the false prophet (who is the cause), and taken, accepted or received by the beast’s willing devotees! (cf. Strongs Greek word No. 1325 ”didomi” used in Rev. 13:16, and Strongs Greek word No. 2983 “lambano” used in Rev. 14:9 which both mean that something is granted or received.) Other New Testament uses of these two words do not carry any sinister undertones, but the context usually determines how the meaning should be applied.
Nevertheless, however the mark is received, or in whatever area it is placed, there appears to be some variation in the form that the mark will take. Several options are mentioned. Revelation 13:16-18 indicates that it can be a symbolic mark representing a name, the name itself, or a number which represents a name -
“…a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…
or the name of the beast…
or the number of his name - his number is 666.”
To sharpen our focus, the Greek word used in Revelation for “mark” is “charagma” (Strongs Greek work No. 5480 - meaning mark, stamp, image, idol or graven mark). It is a technical term, used for the Roman imperial seal that carried the name and date of the emperor which was imprinted or stamped on various documents.[i] Some of the earliest imperial seals used the actual image of the Roman Emperor, engraved as a stamp. Normally the charagma was created by a carved signet ring or reverse engraved die-stamp that was applied to hot sealing wax, resulting in proof of authenticity for the document, or used for sealing a letter to prove that it had not been tampered with.
It is significant therefore, that seals similar to the charagma of the Roman Emperors were also utilised by the Ottoman Caliphs, where they were called “tughra” and used as either a seal or signature. Upon his ascension to power each Ottoman Sultan had his own personal tughra or calligraphic monogram designed (sometimes elaborately) for use during his reign, which was affixed to the Caliphate’s official documents, coins and correspondence.[ii] Mehmed II who called himself QAYSER-I-RÛM (i.e., Caesar of the Roman Empire) after he conquered the Byzantine capital (New Rome/Constantinople), in 1453, also used a tughra for his seal or signature during his reign.[iii]
At this point in time we do not know whether or not the end-time counterfeit Caliph will display his own personal tughra on official documents and coins to proclaim his appointment and authenticate the existence of the Caliphate, but there is certainly an historical precedent for such an identifying mark to be exploited by the leader of an Islamic State and used in its infrastructure. To this end, perhaps the most noticeable and recent example of a charagma or Islamic tughra being displayed, is the round “Seal of Muhammad” which has been adopted as an emblem of the Islamic State (ISIS) and emblazoned on the black flags carried by their forces.
Muhammad’s Seal, which is represented on the terrorists’ black flags by a white circle with black Arabic writing, has for several years been prominently displayed on Islamist websites as Islamic State fighters march or travel in their columns of armoured vehicles in Syria and Iraq. In their propaganda photos, the tughra “Seal of Muhammad” is worn in the middle of the forehead on the terrorists’ black balaclava type headbands, and flaunted on the lower portion of the black flags that they wave in their hands (Rev. 13:16, 14:9-11).[iv] The upper portion of the black flag is used to display in white Arabic writing, the Muslim Shahadah (oath of allegiance to Allah and Muhammad, i.e., “There is no god but Allah. Mohammad is the messenger of Allah.”) Obviously, the fighters’ headbands and flags not only show their commitment to Allah and Muhammad, but these two symbols have been incorporated into their jihadism and ideology in an attempt to authenticate the revived Islamic Caliphate. Also, by displaying the black flag which is sometimes called the “Black Banner” from Khorasan, the Islamic State is conveying important political and messianic implications to other Muslims regarding their belief in the imminent return of the Islamic al-Mahdi. [v]
In addition, official letters (purportedly written by Islamic State commanders), instructing fighters to conduct terrorist attacks, have recently been seen on twitter accounts which show the Seal of Muhammad in the centre of a purple stamp, as a proof of their authenticity.[vi] By way of confirmation, a Google search for “Islamic State emblem on vehicles” yielded a round gold shield, with an insert of white lettering on black background, which replicates the Seal of Muhammad and the Shahadah.[vii]
Furthermore, a simplified facsimile of the “Seal of Muhammad” can be worn as a ring on the hand. The original sacred ring engraved with the Seal of Muhammad is believed to still be housed in the relic room in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. It was last used in the 17th century to stamp Ottoman documents.[viii] Even though some Islamic Imams prohibit the wearing of such seal rings, replicas appear to be commercially available which show part of the Shahadah - “Muhammad messenger of God”.[ix]
Although some prophetic commentators have looked to technology for an explanation for the “mark of the beast” and concluded that it is a subdermal microchip implant (RFID), the truth is that charagma means a “seal” and “stamp of authenticity” or ownership by a head of state. This fact seems to have escaped some peoples’ understanding of what the “mark” represents. Certainly, the use of the Seal of Muhammad on the forehead, flag and hand, by forces of the Islamic State, as well as on their appropriated buildings, vehicles and commercial infrastructure, is a definite indicator that the mark of the beast is operative here and now.
Alternatively, some prophetic commentators believe that the Arabic lettering, “In the name of Allah” bears a rough resemblance to 666 in Greek), and therefore it might refer to the stamp or mark which represents the radical end-time beast power. However, the Arabic lettering that represents the name of Allah[x] is not regularly displayed in the global media today and it is therefore not as recognizable as the frequently depicted Seal of Muhammad.
Although the written name of Allah might not be so commonly observed today, the Arabic cry “Allahu-Akbar” which glorifies Allah is becoming more familiar to the general public as a cry of victory, defiance or celebration, especially in the moments before a suicide-bombing, assassination, or after a terrorist attack! The Arabic phrase “Allahu-Akbar” is called the Takbir and it literally means, “God (Allah) is greatest”. Thus the Takbir has been indelibly etched into the minds of those caught up in terrorist attacks, and those who have witnessed angry Muslim mobs carrying the black flag of conquest in demonstrations against the U.S.A. and Israel, in cities around the world.[xi] Scripture indicates that the ultimate sin committed by the political beast entity, the false prophet and the radical ideology they promulgate, is that they denigrate and blaspheme Yahweh (Jehovah), make war on His servants, and carry the identifying mark of the beast, on their person (Rev. 13:4-7, 16-17; 14:9-11; 17:6).
The conclusion reached in this chapter is that the Islamic State and its auxiliary jihadist groups have ingeniously appropriated the Seal of Muhammad to use as their official tughra/charagma in an attempt to legitimise their seizure of territory in Syria and Iraq and portray their terrorist organisation as a globally functioning Caliphate. Furthermore, by using the epigraphic Shahadah together with the notable Seal of Muhammad on their infrastructure, the Islamic State has invoked Allah into its cosmic holy war against the free world.
As we have seen above, there is clearly some variation in the type of mark that will be instituted, (i.e. a mark, a name, or a number), and scholars who have only focused on the number 666, seeking a solution as to whom or what it might represent, have produced a similar number of results!
Similar pictures were shown on numerous news sites - cbsnews.com - brockpress.com – usbibleprophecy.com – nytimes.com - dailymail.co.uk - Free Beacon.com – pinterest.com – the blaze.com – mintpressnews.com – reporterunovo.it – newspeakonline.com – awdnews.com
[vii] Islamic State emblem - http://jihadintel.meforum.org/country/9/iraq
April 12th, 2018
Check out these dates –
During WWI, Jerusalem fell to the British Empire’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force on December 9, 1917; having taken it from the Ottoman Turks; an action that led to the end of WWI, and the eventual defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire between the years 1922-24.
General Allenby entered the Old City section of Jerusalem—on foot via the Jaffa Gate on December 11, 1917.
This action ended the tenure of the seventh head (Islamic Empire) on the God-opposing “leopard/bear/lion” beast of Revelation 13:1; an action that adequately describes the Islamic Caliphate's demise by the “sword” of war (cf. Rev. 13:3, 12b, 14b). Unfortunately, the seventh empire/head was also prophesied to be healed from its deadly wound.
During the course of its revival, the tripartite “leopard/bear/lion” composite “Beast” (cf. Daniel 7:12) was resurrected "for a season and a time" as the eighth head on the God-opposing imperial beast. It became known as the Islamic State (Caliphate) that was declared alive again on Ramadan, June 29, 2014. This declaration was followed by the public appearance of self-appointed Caliph Ibrahim during his Friday sermon on July 4, 2014.
Revelation 13:2–5 indicates that “the dragon… gave authority to the beast… to continue (to make war—as in the past), for forty–two months.” This forty–two month period of "authority” given to the Caliphate was due to expire on December 31, 2017.
NOTE THIS –
On December 9/10, 2017, the P.M. of Iraq declared that the war with ISIS in Iraq was over, just as Russia had declared two days earlier that the war with ISIS in Syria was over. December 9, is the 100 year anniversary of Allenby’s capture of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Caliphate. Its revived successor—Islamic State—has thus been declared defeated on the same date.
However, this does not mean that the revived God-opposing eighth (Beast Caliphate/Empire) has disappeared—it means that the period of "authority" for it to act as a Caliphate has expired (i.e., it had lost its land and Capital).
However, later in Revelation 16 we see that “three unclean spirits like frogs” come out of the mouth of the (satanic) dragon, the leader of the beast/empire, and its (religious) false prophet, “…which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty… And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” (Rev. 16:13–16)
Obviously, although these entities have lost their authority as a Caliphate, they are still around to initiate another World War!
Revelation 16:15 occurs in the middle of the quotation above -
"Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches..."
April 26th , 2018
Saudi Arabia… Mecca… Latter-day Babylon?
Why was Saudi Arabia not included in the maps showing the end time beast?
The primary reason is that Arabia was never part of the ancient Babylonian (lion), Persian (bear), or Grecian (leopard) Empires. Territorial parts of these ancient empires are combined in Revelation 13:1-2 to form the revived tripartite (leopard/bear/lion) Beast Empire (Caliphate) that is prophesied to rise up from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the latter-days.
As mentioned in my previous update, the revived Islamist Caliphate (ISIS) was given “authority to continue for forty-two months.” This period began on 29th June 2014 and ended on 9/10th December 2017, in the 42nd month of its tenure. Although delegitimised and disempowered as a Caliphate (with no Capital or country), it is still a viable and dangerous entity. It should be noted that the “great city” is yet to be destroyed by the ‘beast powers,’ and they have yet to gather the kings of the earth to the battle of Armageddon (Rev.16:13–16).
It appears that Saudi Arabia is destined to fulfil a different role in the end times; i.e., that of providing the finance, and impetus for constructing and re-creating “Mystery Babylon, the great city.”
The photos at these websites are several years old. http://media.al.com/alphotos/photo/2014/10/01/15980998-standard.jpg
This developing “great city” is scheduled to be destroyed by the beast caliphate and its ten associated terrorist groups (Rev.17:15–18).
However, the Bible indicates that in addition to the revived Caliphate and its ten affiliate groups, additional marauding forces are at large in the end time. These forces are of particular relevance to Israel.
The information in Daniel 11:40-45 shows that “at the time of the end” a "king of the North" (i.e., a latter-day fulfilment of the ancient Grecian-Seleucid prophecy) will arise. This latter-day "king of the North" is identifiable as the mounting Shi’a alliance between Iran/Iraqi/Syria and Hezbollah (Lebanon); nations that occupy the same territories held historically by the Seleucid Empire. According to Daniel, this northern power will—after provocation by the “king of the South” (Southern alliance)—advance south and “enter” many countries until the "king of the North" has “power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.” (Dan. 11:43).
Recent news bulletins indicate that this Southern alliance is being formed by Sunni Saudi Arabia and Israel. Jordan and Egypt (adjoining Sunni countries) will not be far behind.
It is interesting to note that in Daniel’s prophecy, the King of the North (aka “Axis of Resistance”) is goaded into retaliating after suffering persistent attacks by the King of the South.
This week Iran vowed to retaliate against Israel for its recent bombing of its arms storage facilities in Syria. Daniel 11:40 is being fulfilled!