The Genesis Parable
The Mark of the Beast
In our last study, we found in 1st John 2:15-17, that “all that is in the world” in regard to you and me is summed up in three things; appetite, avarice, and ambition, or as the NIV Bible puts it, the “cravings of sinful man,” the “lust of his eyes,” and “the boasting of what he has and does.” This is what is pictured in our Genesis parable and the story of Eve and Adam’s temptation by the serpent in Genesis, Chapter 3, which correlates with our divine and universal principle of sowing and reaping as Paul outlined in Galatians, Chapter 6, verses 7 through 10.
Our word “cravings” in I John 2:16 is the word “lust” in the King James, defined as, “A longing (especially for what is forbidden).” Beloved, when we “long” for something, it simply means we have a “desire” for it. So it is that James wrote the following.
James 1:14-15 (ESV)
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own DESIRE. 15 Then DESIRE when it has CONCEIVED gives BIRTH TO SIN, and SIN when it is FULLY GROWN brings forth DEATH.
As we see, each of us are “lured and enticed” by our own desire, and “when it has conceived” it “gives birth to sin.” And “sin” when “fully grown, brings forth death.” As is evident, it begins with “desire,” so at this point, we must ask ourselves, “Is it wrong to desire something”? Certainly not! After all, desire is an intrinsic part of our being. So, if this is true, then what is it that causes “desire” to conceive and give “birth to sin”? Our passage from 1st John 2:16 tells us. It is the element of the “pride of life,” what the NIV renders as the “boasting” of what we have and what we do. As we found, our word “boasting” is also used in James 4:16, derived from the word which means “a wandering” or “roaming.” This connects quite readily with Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, who after killing his brother Abel, declared, “I shall be a FUGITIVE and a VAGABOND on the earth.” Our word “fugitive” means, “To waver,” while our word “vagabond” means, “To nod,” “waver” or “wander.”
Our word “pride” in 1st John 2:16 is defined by Strong’s as, “Braggadocio, i.e. (by implication) self-confidence.” It’s taken from the word which means, “Vagrancy” or “braggart.” At first glance, our word “vagrancy” might seem out of context, however, consider that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online tells us that the first known use of this word was in 1641 which connects to the word “vagary.” “Vagary” is a noun which is defined as, “An erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.” Do you see how this fits with the idea of someone who might speak or act out of an exaggerated “self-confidence”?
Google defines pride as, “A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” This is a very accurate definition which, when we take time to think about it, aptly describes how most of us conduct our lives from day to day. When viewed in the light of the boasting of what we have and do, it should be easy enough to see that we often place far too much importance on our own achievements or those of others, or on certain qualities and possessions. Concerning pride, Paul put it quite simply, stating in Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (NIV).
Remember what our word “avarice” means? It means, “An inordinate or insatiable longing for material gain, be it food, money, status, or power.” This brings me to the following from Proverbs.
Proverbs 27:20 (NASB95)
20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.
Our word “sheol” is the Hebrew word translated 31 times as “hell” in the Old Testament, and corresponds to the word “hades” in the New, while our word “Abaddon” means, “A perishing.” As we see, both connect with the idea that “the eyes of man” are never satisfied, so, to put it raw and honestly, our continual desire for more is the reason why there is so much suffering in the world today. No wonder Paul stressed to us as believers to “look not at the things WHICH ARE SEEN, but at the things WHICH ARE NOT SEEN; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2nd Cor. 4:18; KJV).
Friends, it is the element of pride which causes our natural man to fall into carnality and carnality can be defined as “an exaggerated sense of self.” No wonder then that Jesus stated, “If anyone would come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24; ESV). When we think too highly of our-SELVES, we will, like Cain, “waver” and “wander” because we have no true purpose. When the “self” and all of its attachments are the priority, it will, in the long run, only produce a lack of fulfillment and unhappiness in our lives.
According to Genesis 4, Cain was the firstborn of Adam and Eve. This being true, it fully agrees with what Paul stated in 1st Corinthians 15:46 that “the spiritual is not FIRST, but THE NATURAL, and afterward the spiritual.” In type, when Eve gave birth to Cain and then Cain killed his brother Abel, we see the fulfillment of James 1:14-15. Desire gave birth to sin and once fully grown, it brought forth death.
The name “Cain” means, “Fixity; a lance (as striking fast).” Strong’s also states that this word is “a play upon the affinity to another word which means, “To erect, i.e. create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase (causative sell); by implication to own.” Note in our definition that it states “procure, especially by purchase” and “causative sell.” In other words, we have “buy” and “sell.” Together, our words “buy” and “sell” lead to the following from the book of the Revelation.
Revelation 13:11, 16-18 (ESV)
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon… 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
In our previous studies, we learned that a “beast of the field” not only refers to common animals but also to man in his natural or carnal state. We also learned that the serpent, which we now know points to the boasting of what we have and do, was “more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made” and after Eve’s temptation, was cursed “more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field,” condemned to go on its “belly” and “eat dust” all the “days” of its life. The “belly” represents our fleshly appetites (Rom. 16:18) while “dust” refers to the mind of the flesh, our earthly or carnal state of being, for Paul wrote, “The first man was FROM THE EARTH, A MAN OF DUST” (1st Cor. 15:47; ESV). Since the serpent “eats dust” and goes on its “belly” on the “ground” or “earth,” we have an accurate description of a beast of the earth. When we bring this to our passages from Revelation 13, we have a match, for we are told this entity speaks “like a dragon,” our word “dragon” meaning “a fabulous kind of serpent,” stressing its collective essence. This collective, carnal essence is what some teachers call the Adamic nature. As Revelation 13 shows, it is this Adamic nature which is responsible for causing “all” of us, with no exceptions, “to RECEIVE A MARK” in our “right hand or in our “foreheads,” and that none of us “might BUY or SELL” without this “MARK,” which is the name” or NATURE “of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Our word “mark” in Revelation 13:16 and 17 is defined by Strong’s as, “A scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude).” Strong’s states that this word is the same as the transliteration charax, which means, “To sharpen to a point; akin to grapho through the idea of scratching; a stake.” What does the name Cain mean? “Fixity; a lance (as striking fast).” Finally, our word grapho means, “To ‘grave,’ especially to write.” Do you see the correlation between all of our definitions and how the idea of a “mark” indicates something “written” concerning our own makeup, not by the hand of man, but by the hand of God? See Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10, and especially Romans 7:7-25 and Hebrews 8:10. In confirmation of our idea of “write,” we see that the beast of the earth “causes all” to be “marked.” It doesn’t give the mark but “causes all” to “receive it.” Let’s go now to the following from Genesis where God reckoned with Cain after he murdered his brother Abel.
Genesis 4:13-15 (ESV)
13 Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." 15 Then the Lord said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.
Look closely at what the Lord told Cain. “If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord put a MARK on Cain.” The Hebrew transliteration for “mark” is ʾôt (oath) which Strong’s defines as, “A signal (literal or figurative), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.” This same word is translated as “signs” in the following.
Genesis 1:14 (KJV)
14 And God said, Let there be LIGHTS in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS (ot), and for seasons, and for days, and years…
Here we find the creation of the sun and moon, called the “two great lights” in Genesis 1:16. In other studies, I point out that these “two great lights” are a natural representation of the glory of the Two Covenants of God, Old and New, as Paul stipulates in 2nd Corinthians 3:6-11. Simply put, these “two great lights” are a type, indicating two particular “marks” or “signs.” The first or light of the moon refers to the glory of the Old Covenant Law of God while the second or sun refers to the glory of the New Covenant Promise of God. Beloved, all that has or ever will transpire on this earth is in accordance with these Two Covenants of God which reside over the “night” and “day” of our internal essence. We’ll look more into this in the next study.
Our word for “mark” in Revelation 13:16 and 17 is used a total of eight times in the New Testament, SEVEN of those in Revelation. Does this agree with the idea of “sevenfold,” our number “seven” typifying spiritual completeness or totality? That being said, sevenfold vengeance reveals to us that, unlike man’s vengeance or recompense, the Lord’s is always fair and just. And what do we mean by “vengeance”? Please consider.
Romans 12:19 (ESV)
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
Here, it is evident that we are not to avenge ourselves, “but leave it to the WRATH of God.” And how is the “wrath” of the Lord administered? Paul tells us.
Romans 4:15 (ESV)
15 For the law brings wrath…
Here we go. “The LAW brings WRATH.” This being the case, does the “mark” which God set upon Cain refer to God’s law? I believe it does, and when we consider the idea of the “right hand” and the “foreheads” in Revelation 13, it brings us to the following from Exodus, Chapter 13.
Exodus 13:1-4 (ESV)
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine." 3 Then Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4 Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out.
Here we find the Lord telling Moses to consecrate all the firstborn (man and beast) to Him in remembrance of their exodus from Egypt. This exodus began with the Feast of Passover, which also included the Feast of Unleavened Bread as noted in our passages. Now, consider what is said just a few verses later.
Exodus 13:8-10, 14-16 (ESV)
8 You shall tell your son on that day, 'It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.' 9 And it shall be to you as a SIGN (ot) on your hand and as a MEMORIAL between your eyes, that the LAW OF THE LORD may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year… 14 And when in time to come your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' you shall say to him, 'By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.' 16 It shall be as a MARK (ot) on your hand or FRONTLETS between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt."
Not once, but twice, Israel is instructed to tell their sons in regard to the Feast of Passover, “It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt. And it shall be to you as a SIGN (or ot) on your hand and as a MEMORIAL between your eyes (forehead), that the LAW OF THE LORD may be in your mouth,” and again, “It shall be as a MARK (or ot) on your hand or FRONTLETS between your eyes (forehead).” As we see, “sign” and “mark” are the same word translated as “mark” in the story of Cain.
The reference to “sign on your hand,” “memorial between your eyes,” “mark on your hand,” and “frontlets between your eyes” readily agrees with the “mark” in the “right hand” and “forehead” of Revelation 13. And what was the purpose of these two things? “That the LAW OF THE LORD MAY BE IN YOUR MOUTH.” Here we go, my friends! “THAT THE LAW OF THE LORD MAY BE IN YOUR MOUTH.” What works God’s vengeance and wrath? It is God’s law! So what, may I ask, is the “mark” which God set upon Cain to which the Lord referred to in our passages in Exodus 13? IT’S THE LAW OF GOD. No wonder Jesus said that “man,” all-inclusive, “shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Beloved, the mark of Cain is the mark of the beast, and the “mark” is the law of God. As stated, “beast” refers to our dangerous and carnal nature while “mark” refers to God’s law which was established in order to oversee it. For further confirmation, see Romans 3:19. Now, before I close, let me share one other thing with you about Cain and Abel.
Genesis 4:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the Lord." 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Notice how we read that “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain,” then we’re told, “Then she bore again.” It does not say in regard to Abel that “Adam knew Eve his wife” a second time, so I’m inclined to believe that Cain and Abel were TWINS. So, in essence, we have two children born at basically the same time. Cain was the first to exit the womb, followed by Abel. Also notice that even though Cain was born first, we read, “Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.” Here we see that scripture places Abel BEFORE Cain immediately after their birth, perhaps due to the fact that a “keeper of sheep” indicates one who is righteous and loves his brother whereas a “tiller of the ground” or EARTH indicates one who is unrighteous, carnal, and does not love his brother; see 1st John 2:10 and 11 for confirmation. Might these two sons indicate the presence of both the carnal and spiritual essence of our being? I’m inclined to think so.