The Genesis Parable
The Mark of the Beast - Part 2
In our last study, we discovered that the “mark” which the Lord set on Cain is the same as the “mark” found in the 13th Chapter of the book of the Revelation, establishing the fact that what is true in the beginning remains true in the end. And what is the “mark”? It’s the law of God. Let’s revisit our passage concerning Cain and the “mark.”
Genesis 4:15 (NKJV)
15 And the Lord said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord set a MARK (ot) on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
Our word for “mark” is the Hebrew transliteration ʾôt (oath), defined by Strong’s as, “A signal (literal or figurative), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.” As we see, there are several words given to define the idea of “mark,” but notice the first thing listed in the definition; it’s the word “signal.” Google defines “signal” as, “A gesture, action, or sound that is used to convey information or instructions, typically by prearrangement between the parties involved.” So, this “mark” which God set on Cain was a “signal,” an “action” by our Creator intended to convey information or instruction to us. Would this not fit quite well with the idea that this “mark” then, is the information and instruction provided by His divine law? In perfect agreement with this understanding, we find the first appearance of our word “ot” (oath) in Genesis 1:14.
Genesis 1:14 (NKJV)
14 Then God said, "Let there be LIGHTS in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS (ot) and seasons, and for days and years…
Here we find the fourth day of creation, where “God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them,” i.e. the lights, “be for signs.” As noted, our word “signs” is our word ʾôt (oath). Let’s continue.
Genesis 1:15-19 (NKJV)
15 … and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16 Then God made TWO GREAT LIGHTS: the GREATER LIGHT to rule the day, and the LESSER LIGHT to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to RULE OVER THE DAY and OVER THE NIGHT, and to DIVIDE THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Our “two great lights” are the sun and the moon, the sun the “greater light” and the moon the “lesser light.” Again, this was done on the fourth day of creation. Consider E.W. Bullinger’s explanation of the spiritual meaning of four.
“Now the number four is made up of three and one (3+1=4), and it denotes, therefore, and marks that which follows the revelation of God, namely, His creative works. He is known by the things that are seen. Hence the written revelation commences with the words, ‘In-the-beginning God CREATED.’ Creation is therefore the next thing—the fourth thing, and the number four always has reference to all that is created. It is emphatically the number of Creation; of man in his relation to the world as created… It is the number of things that have a beginning, of things that are made, of material things, and matter itself. It is the number of material completeness. Hence it is the world number, and especially the ‘city’ number.
“The fourth day saw the material creation finished (for on the fifth and sixth days it was only the furnishing and peopling of the earth with living creatures). The sun, moon, and stars completed the work, and they were to give light upon the earth which had been created, and to rule over the day and over the night (Gen 1:14-19).”
Note that Bullinger states, “The fourth day saw the material creation finished (for on the fifth and sixth days it was only the furnishing and peopling of the earth with living creatures). The sun, moon, and stars COMPLETED THE WORK.” Also note that four “is the world number, and especially the ‘city’ number.” What is meant by the “city number”? Beloved, a city is made up of buildings and homes and most buildings and homes are situated on four-sided foundations, thus, four also denotes a foundation. This makes perfect sense in light of our Genesis account, for as stated, the fourth day “saw the material creation,” or foundation “finished,” allowing for the “furnishing and peopling of the earth with living creatures.” First, a foundation, followed by the placement of living creatures.
So on the fourth day, God created “TWO GREAT LIGHTS,” the sun and the moon, which are natural creations typifying a spiritual counterpart. First, the sun, “the greater light to rule the day,” followed by the moon or “lesser light to rule the night.” And why is the moon the “lesser light”? It’s due to the fact that it merely reflects the “greater light” of the sun. As mentioned in our previous study, the sun and moon are natural creations symbolizing the glory or “light” of the TWO COVENANTS of the Lord. Consider Paul’s discourse from 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 3.
2 Corinthians 3:4-11 (ESV)
4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a NEW COVENANT, not of the LETTER but of the SPIRIT. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 Now if THE MINISTRY OF DEATH, carved in letters on stone, came with such GLORY that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its GLORY, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT have even more GLORY? 9 For if there was GLORY in THE MINISTRY OF CONDEMNATION, THE MINISTRY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS must far exceed it in GLORY. 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had GLORY has come to have no GLORY at all, because of the GLORY that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with GLORY, much more will what is permanent have GLORY.
Here Paul addresses the Two Covenants of God. The first or OLD COVENANT is called “the ministry of death” and “condemnation,” while the NEW COVENANT is called “the ministry of the Spirit” and “righteousness.” The first is the “letter” that “kills” while the second is the “Spirit” which “gives life.”
Now, what do the sun and moon have in common? Again, it is LIGHT. Psalms 119, verse 105 tells us, “Your WORD is a LAMP to my feet and a LIGHT to my path” (ESV). John wrote, “In him,” i.e. in Christ or the Spirit, “was LIFE, and the LIFE was the LIGHT of men.” So, just as the moon’s light is merely a reflection of the sun’s light, so the GLORY of the “lesser light” of the OLD COVENANT is but a reflection of the GLORY of the “greater light” of the NEW COVENANT. Whereas the moon is a lifeless planet which simply reflects the light of the sun, it is the sun itself which is responsible for all the LIFE on this planet; without it, everything we know would cease to exist. Beloved, the same is true concerning the living and active components of our Two Covenants.
“Two great lights” defined as two great “signs.” And our word “signs” is ʾôt (oath), the same word used for “mark” concerning Cain. So what Cain’s “mark” signifies is the “lesser light” of the moon, symbolic of the “letter” of the Law. Confirmation is found in the fact that God said, “Whoever kills Cain, VENGEANCE shall be taken on him SEVENFOLD.” As we have learned, “sevenfold” speaks to the fullness of God’s vengeance or WRATH which is reckoned through His law; see Romans 12:19 and 4:15. When we bring this to Romans 7:14 as well as to our principle of sowing and reaping in Galatians 6, here is what we have.
Galatians 6:8 (NKJV)
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption (OLD COVENANT; ministry of death and condemnation), but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (NEW COVENANT; ministry of the Spirit and righteousness).
Romans 7:14 (NKJV)
14 For we know that the LAW (Old Covenant; lesser light) is SPIRITUAL (New Covenant; greater light)…
Now, if you will, let me bring in the following illustration which I first shared with you in Part 2 of this series to clarify our understanding. Note that I’ve changed it to reflect what we are considering in this study.
As we see, I’ve labeled this illustration as “The Two Great Lights” or “Signs” in agreement with our understanding of the “mark.” As our illustration shows, and in agreement with our passages from 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 3, we see the “lesser light” of the moon as symbolic of the Old Covenant and the “greater light” of the sun as symbolic of the New. These Two Covenants are also symbolized by the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” and the “tree of life.” The “lesser light” of the law of God addresses our “soul” and “thoughts” while the “greater light” of its spiritual nature addresses our “spirit” and “intents.” As noted, the foundational principle of sowing and reaping is given beneath each of the two trees, so too our understanding of the “natural body” or “soul” and the “spiritual body” or “spirit” which Paul describes in 1st Corinthians 15:44. Finally, we see Hebrews 4:12 at the top, describing the Word of God as “living,” in regard to His law, and “active,” in regard to His Spirit, and “sharper than any two-edged sword,” dividing the “soul” from the “spirit,” the “joints” from the “marrow,” and discerning the “thoughts” and the “intents” of everyone’s heart.
What stands out about our illustration is the obvious CONNECTIONS between all of our elements. We have ONE sword but TWO edges; ONE light but TWO heavenly bodies; ONE principle of sowing and reaping but TWO different outcomes; ONE law but TWO different aspects, NATURAL or SPIRITUAL. In keeping with this, we have our TWO COVENANTS which are clearly joined by what we read in the following about the New Covenant Promise of God.
Hebrews 8:7, 10-13 (NKJV)
7 For if that FIRST COVENANT had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a SECOND… 10 For THIS IS THE COVENANT that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 13 In that He says, "A NEW COVENANT," He has made the first obsolete. NOW WHAT IS BECOMING OBSOLETE AND GROWING OLD IS READY TO VANISH AWAY.
It is evident that the writer of Hebrews is giving a contrast between our Two Covenants. Now, look closely at what verse 10 states. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.” MY LAWS, i.e. the same laws which God delivered to Moses and Israel at Mount Sinai, however, understand that there is a marked difference between then and now, brothers and sisters. Remember, the “letter” kills, but it is the “Spirit” which gives life. So it is that the government of God in this hour is to bring the SPIRITUAL ESSENCE of His laws into our minds and hearts, changing the very NATURE of who we are. Paul sums this up beautifully in the following passages.
Romans 13:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Here we have the spiritual essence of the Law in the New Covenant. “He who loves another has FULFILLED the law,” and again, “Love does NO HARM to a neighbor; therefore love is the FULFILLMENT of the law.” “No harm,” my friends, none whatsoever. And our word “neighbor”? It means, “Close by,” incorporating everyone.
Beloved, despite the fact that some consider the Ten Commandments archaic and outdated, they are not. Even today they reflect the essence of God’s own divine nature and love for you and me and the love we should have for one another. So, let me close with the following from the book of John.
John 13:34-35 (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."