Gunner Q and the Mark of the Beast, Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed how Gunner Q had identified the Jewish Tefillin as the Mark of the Beast. John the Revelator described the Mark of the Beast in the book of Revelation:[1]

Revelation 13:14-17
And [the second beast] will deceive those who live on the earth by the signs that were given him to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the stroke of the sword and lived. And it was granted to him to give life to it, even to the image to the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he will make everyone, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one will be able to buy or to sell unless he has the mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name.

In scripture there are just three primary references in the Old Testament that reference the “forehead or hand” (the tefillin):

Of these, only the first—the unleavened Passover bread—permits fulfillment of all the requirements for the image and mark of the Beast.[2] Why is that? Because only the unleavened bread is physically created by the hands of man: only the unleavened bread can be subject to idolatrous worship.

Yet, in all that discussion, a few important points were still left out.

First, let’s look at the list of three things again and find a connection that we neglected in part 1: the association of each reference to the Passover. The first, unleavened bread, is obviously associated with the Passover. But so is the second, the redemption of the firstborn. The redemption—monetary payment—of the human firstborn is explicitly associated with a remembrance of the Passover (v14-15), as money is given in lieu of a blood sacrifice normally required of animal firstborn. The third, Deuteronomy 6:9 and 11:20, references writing God’s teaching on the doorposts of one’s house, an allusion to putting the blood on the doorposts of the home prior to the Passover.[3]

Second, the above references mentioned a sign on the forehead, but they didn’t use the Hebrew word for mark. This may be nitpicking the language, but there is a good reason to do so: there is a reference in scripture that discusses explicitly being marked on the forehead that we have not yet discussed, and it is quite relevant:

Ezekiel 9
Then he cried out in my ears with a loud voice, saying,

“Come near, O executioners of the city, each with his destructive weapon in his hand.”

And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces toward the north, every man with his shattering weapon in his hand, and one man was in the midst of them, clothed in linen with a writer’s inkhorn on his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen who had the writer’s inkhorn by his side. And Yahweh said to him,

“Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set (תָּוָה; tavah; verb) a mark (תָּו; tav; noun) on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that groan over all the abominations that are being done in its midst.”

And to the others he said in my hearing,

“Pass through the city after him, and strike; do not let your eye spare, nor have pity; old man, young man, and virgin and infants and women, slay them to annihilation. But do not come near anyone on whom is the mark (תָּו; tav; noun); and begin at my sanctuary.”

Then they began at the old men that were in front of the house. And he said to them,

“Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!”

So they went out and struck down the people in the city. And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell on my face and cried out saying,

“Oh, Lord Yahweh! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?”

Then he said to me,

“The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; for they say, ‘Yahweh has forsaken the land, and Yahweh does not see.’ And as for me also, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will bring what they have done down upon their own heads.”

And behold, the man clothed in linen, who had the inkhorn by his side, brought back word, saying,

“I have done as you have commanded me.”

The Hebrew word for mark is tav.

Tav is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It means “mark” and is represented by a cross.[4] So Ezekiel literally says:

mark a cross mark on the foreheads of the men…

Tertullian noted this very thing:

Tertullian — Against Marcion
Premising, therefore, and likewise subjoining the fact that Christ suffered, He foretold that His just ones should suffer equally with Him — both the apostles and all the faithful in succession; and He signed them with that very seal of which Ezekiel spoke: The Lord said to me, Go through the gate, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set the mark Tau upon the foreheads of the men. Now the Greek letter Tau and our own letter T is the very form of the cross, which He predicted would be the sign on our foreheads

…such as the ascription of glory, and blessing, and praise, and hymns. Now, inasmuch as all these things are also found among you, and the sign upon the forehead, and the sacraments of the church, and the offerings of the pure sacrifice, you ought now to burst forth, and declare that the Spirit of the Creator prophesied of your Christ.

Citation: Tertullian, “Against Marcion, Book III.” Chapter 22

Christ is the final Passover lamb and his symbol is the cross. It is astonishing, therefore, that Tertullian identifies Ezekiel’s prophecy of being marked on the forehead with a cross as being fulfilled in the sacraments (i.e. initiation rites) of the church, in particular one’s baptism—representing Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection—and their first thanksgiving/eucharist offering (or sacrifice). In the ancient church’s eucharistic liturgy, only those who bore Christ’s mark (of the cross) by being baptized could participate in the thanksgiving sacrifice and celebrate the remembrance of Christ’s Passover sacrifice in the Lord’s Supper. The rest had to be dismissed.

The most notable thing we read in Ezekiel 9 is that the people of God are marked and death passes them by. Just as the blood of the lamb on the doorposts marked those for whom the angel of death would pass by, so too in Ezekiel were spared those who had the mark of the cross.

Again, being marked on the forehead is a reference, whether direct or indirectly, to the Passover. Like all these instances of receiving a mark on the hand or forehead that we’ve examined, so too is the Mark of the Beast associated with the Passover.

As we learned in our series on The Eucharist, Roman Catholicism appropriated the “Eucharist” and turned it into a sacrifice of bread, in an idolatrous mockery of Christ’s final Passover sacrifice. Rather than being marked by the cross of Christ on the forehead, such a one is now marked on their forehead by their idolatrous worship of something made by the hands of man: unleavened bread of Passover.

What do all these marks have in common? They show the allegiance and submission to the authority by the one who receives a mark to the one represented by that mark, be they God or Satan.

When the Bible speaks of receiving a mark on the hand or forehead, it is in the context of the Passover. Yet, none of the popular explanations for identifying the Mark of the Beast associate it with the Passover! How can this be?

The people to whom John originally wrote Revelation could only have associated the Mark of the Beast with the Passover in some capacity, because that was the only possible scriptural association they had available. The churches that received John’s Revelation must have already had the information needed to identify the nature of what Image—and thus the Mark—of the Beast would be. Any other explanation makes Revelation unintelligible and incoherent.

So many predictions for the Image and Mark of the Beast fail to come to pass because they don’t fulfill all the signs. The early church obviously had no concept of computer chips embedded under the skin, which notably have nothing to do with the Passover anyway. Similarly, Gunner Q’s hypothesis of a Jewish Mark of the Beast will, like all the many other guesses people have made before it, simply not come to pass because it doesn’t fulfill the signs of the prophecy.[5]

Let’s go back now to our discussion of Ezekiel 9, and ask a couple questions. Why were the people judged by God? What was their crime? For that we must go back to Ezekiel 8:

Ezekiel 8:5-16
Then he said to me,

“Son of man, lift up your eyes now in the direction of the north.”

So I lifted up my eyes in the direction of the north, and behold, northward of the Altar Gate, by the entrance, was this image that aroused God’s jealousy.  He said to me,

“Son of man, do you see what they are doing, even the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, so that I must go far away from my sanctuary? But you will see even greater abominations.”

He brought me to the entrance of the courtyard, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. Then he said to me,

“Son of man, now dig through the wall,”

and when I had dug through the wall, behold, a doorway. And he said to me,

“Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are doing here.”

So I went in and saw. And behold, engraved on the wall all around was every form of creeping things and animals—detestable things—along with all the idols of the house of Israel. And standing in front of them were 70 men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand, and the fragrance of the cloud of incense was rising up. Then he said to me,

“Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each man in his rooms of idolatrous images? For they say, ‘Yahweh does not see us; Yahweh has forsaken the land.’”

He also said to me,

“You will see still greater abominations that they are doing.”

Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of Yahweh, and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. Then he said to me,

“Do you see this, son of man? You will see still greater abominations than these.”

And he brought me into the inner courtyard of the house of Yahweh. And behold, at the entrance of the Temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about 25 men with their backs toward the Temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east.

God judged them and condemned them to death for their idolatry. God marked those who served him: those who not only did not engage in idolatry, but sighed and that groaned over all the abominations.

Who receives the Mark of the cross? Those who worship Christ in Spirit and in truth. They are marked for eternal life.

Who receives the Mark of Satan? Those who worship the bread of the Roman Catholic Eucharist, the earthly imitation of the final Passover sacrifice. Thus are they marked for destruction, as are anyone who does not receive the mark of Christ: the true sacrifice of the cross.

Scripture is plain that being marked on the hand and forehead is associated with worship (or its antithesis, idolatry).  It is associated with life (or its antithesis, death and destruction): the choice between worshiping God or not. It indicates the allegiance and authority behind one’s faith and whether or not death will Passover.

Revelation 7:1-3
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he cried with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Repent and believe! Sigh and groan against the idolatrous abomination that is bread worship. Take the mark of the cross on your hand and forehead. Let death pass over you.


[1] The identification of the second beast—and its image and mark—is found in Revelation 13:11-17, 14:9, 11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20 and 20:4.

[2] Blogger  alleged in “The Three Angel’s Message, Part 1” that the Image of the Beast is an unspecified political/military/regulatory something or someone that images the Papacy and the Mark of the Beast is Sunday as the primary day of worship (rather than the Sabbath/Saturday). To support this he cites Exodus 31:13-17.

This blogger believes, like I do, in the principle of “letting Scripture interpret Scripture.” Consequently, in his series on Roman Catholicism his explanation of the eschatology of Daniel and Revelation is much closer to my own than most others. He gets a great many key details correct. But, there are, specifically, a few notable problems with his approach here.

First, it neglects the three scriptures cited, which better fit. While Sabbath observance is undeniably a sign or symbol, one of a number spoken of in scripture, it is not a mark received on (or associated with) the hand or forehead.

Second, the sign identified specifically as a mark received. Indeed, the Sabbath is an outward sign of one’s worship: one does not receive the Sabbath. In particular, the sign of the Sabbath isn’t given as the tav mark, that is, the mark of the cross.

Third, and most importantly, Revelation tells us that the mark is received as a result of worshiping an idol. The image of the papacy, whatever that is, is not an idol, something made—especially those made by human hands. The “Host” is made by human hands, the object of worship, and, interestingly, received on the hand or mouth.

Fourth, the identification of the unleavened Passover bread of the Roman Catholic Eucharist is a determined by deduction directly from scripture. The identification of the mark as the Sabbath is an inductive inference that is based, in part, on what is not stated. Logically, it is an inferior explanation.

Fifth, because he is unable to precisely articulate the identity of the Image of the Beast, he logically cannot definitively identify the Mark: he is speculating and thus begging-the-question. Of note, he believes that the first beast of Revelation 13 is the Vatican/Papacy and the second beast is the United States. He explains this using figurative language. He does not use scripture-to-interpret-scripture to find the key to unlock the figure’s literal referent, and so promotes a subjective interpretation and future speculation. But the prophecy, when interpreted literally, does not suffer from speculation and subjectivity.

Sixth, while Roman Catholicism is filled with serpent symbology, pagan rites, and references to sun gods, fertility gods, etc., these are not the focus and essence of Roman Catholicism. The Mass Sacrifice—the corruption of Christ and his sacrifice—is its heart and soul. While many Roman Catholic rites involve idolatry, it is the idolatry of the bread and wine that is the most significant.

Thus, for these, and other reasons not stated here, the Sabbath as the mark does not fulfill the signs of the prophecy.


[3] Of the other ceremonial uses of doorposts: Exodus 12:7,22,23 describes the first Passover, which was sealed by a blood covenant with God. Exodus 21:6 refers to a bond by blood, a covenant by blood alluding to the original Passover. Isaiah 57:8 refers to both covenant and idolatry in direct opposition to Deuteronomy 6:6-811:18 (which is itself an allusion to the covenant of Passover). Ezekiel 43:8 joins Isaiah in directly contrasting the doorposts of God with idolatry. Ezekiel 45:19 describes a sacrifice modeled on the Passover sacrifice. 1 Samuel 1:9, Proverbs 8:34, and Ezekiel 46:2 refer to doorposts idiomatically (e.g. re: covenant or authority). In the latter, blood sacrifice, doorposts, and worship are associated together.

[4] Besides Ezekiel, the mark (תָּו; tav) of God is also mentioned is in Job 31:35:

“Oh that I had one to hear me!— (behold, here is my signature,) let El Shaddai answer; let the accuser write my indictment!

But now read it in the Septuagint:

(Oh that I had a hearer,) and if I had not feared the hand of the Lord; and as to the written charge which I had against any one,

As noted in this article and previous ones, the various marks mentioned by scripture are received on the hand or the forehead. So it is very interesting that the same word for the mark of God received on the forehead in Ezekiel is translated idiomatically as hand in the Greek Septuagint in Job 31:35. The Hebrew translator seems to have understood the mark of God—his name; signature; authority—as implicitly associated with the hand, not merely the forehead.

[5] You still might get computer chips under the skin though: that seems inevitable regardless of the prophecies they don’t fulfill.


    1. Derek L. Ramsey


      Thank you for your comment. I will take the time to read your article. Some time later, I will then try to post a critique. (NOTE: I reformatted your bare link into this blog’s default citation style)

      Perhaps instead of “heart and soul” I should have been more clear and said that the Roman Catholic Eucharist is the primary outward focus of Roman Catholicism, its primary ritual observance.

      This, I think, does not preclude your position.


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