It's All in the NAME
In Part I we discovered from John’s Revelation the importance of divine naming to God’s end time claim to a people. We are talking about divine naming right by redemption. Divine naming is a matter of both identity and right of ownership (possession).
We went on to see that divine naming centers on the Name of Jesus, whose Name is brought forward and “stamped” on those He is claiming from the world. God’s Name is further to be expressed through the deeds of the reclaimed.
We also saw that divine naming has stages of impress beginning with conversion, then to the purifying of spirit identity against the general culture, and then to special sealing against the intensity of end time conflict. All naming finally culminates in the fulfilled promise of manifest glorified “name sharing” with all its rights and privileges.
The Names of the Netherworld
But it is not the Lord alone who expresses the right to name and claim possessory rights over men. The kingdom of darkness also bears names and seeks to enforce its identity and ownership by putting its names on the people of the earth.
The very first netherworld name given in Revelation is the name of Death itself:
6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him….
This is followed by another named angel from earth’s subterranean depths:
9:11(niv) They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name … is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer)….
Thus Death and Hades and the Destroyer proceed forth from earth’s core, known as the Abyss, to work their evil upon the populace. Apollyon or Destroyer is a likely reference to satan himself, whose work is as Jesus said “to kill, steal and destroy.”
The Name of the “Beast”
But then we read of yet another abysmal creature arising via the sea called “the beast.” It is this being on which we will focus attention, for it lies at the heart of this divine conflict over the naming rights to mankind:
11:7 … the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with [the saints], ….13:1 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 16 And [a second beast] causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the [sea] beast or the number of his name….14:11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; …those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
These beast actions counter the Lord in the naming conflict over human ownership. Where the Father seeks to enforce His claim through sealing His Name on the forehead, a certain beast moves to enforce satan’s claim by inducing earth’s people to receive the sea beast’s name on the forehead or right hand. (The right hand also signifies authority, being the hand wherein the Lord Himself holds the seven stars (1:16), the Father holds the great scroll (5:1) and by which the great angel makes His oath of no delay (10:5).)
The Lure and Threat of Satanic Naming
Before exposing the actual name of the sea beast for what it is, we want to observe the way by which that name is conferred and sealed upon people. We are told first that people are “caused” (3:16) to take upon them the mark of the beast’s name. Then we are told in addition (“and”—3:17) that people are ultimately prevented from commerce (“no one will be able to buy and sell”) unless they receive this marking (or sealing, or branding).
As we are about to see, the commercial factor is the key to reverse engineering the real nature and name of the beast. But right here, we just want to observe that, typical of satan, there is a two phase inducement to this mark of ownership.
First, the “causing” of people to take on the sea beast’s name speaks of a more subtle luring through deception. This is related to the false end time promise of security, i.e., “peace and safety” (I Th. 5:3), and to Jesus’ word that the end time system befalls men as a “trap” (Lk. 21:34-35)—meaning people do not suspect the true nature of what they are being led into until it is too late.
So men are first caused to take this name through such coachings as, “This is good for you. You really want this. This mark will insure protection and security for you, for your family, for your finances, your health and your welfare. It will prevent ‘identity theft,’ ‘don’t leave home without it,’” etc. (In reality, the mark itself is all about the greatest identity theft of all time, which we will get to later.)
But in its ultimate second phase, people are caused to take the beast’s name by open demand without recourse. What was originally offered optionally is no longer. The mark is now administered under threat, duress and coercion. Unless one receives it, he can’t “buy or sell” anything (3:17). It’s either take the mark, or be shut out of business and die of starvation. It’s a monopolistic racketeering situation. The trap springs shut.
The forceful side of this inducement is underpinned by the fact that the beast is not only commercial in nature, but is supported by force of arms. On this point, the world is heard to exclaim, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” (13:4). This too will prove elemental in understanding the name of the beast.
Before proceeding, it’s important to say that the events portrayed by John are epochal, having a long development. The end time process of commercial luring, entrapment and enforcement is not a quick affair of just a few years. It is drawn out over decades and generations leading to a final apex concentrated on a few years. But within the arch development exists repeating sub-cycles where one generation accepts a commercial security lure (like wearing seat belts or having health insurance) that becomes a non-optional legal and enforceable coercion upon the next generation, until all mankind is totally commercially constricted like a python in how it buys or sells anything.
Commerce, the Law of the Sea and the Nature of the Beast
The commercial threat associated with receiving the name of the beast is rooted in the nature of the beast as a creature of the sea. Prophetically, we are told that the sea refers to many peoples:
17:15 And he said to me, "The waters which you saw … are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”
This shows us that as a sea creature, the beast is international in character. That which he implements crosses all national boundaries. Meanwhile, the power to implement commercial matters speaks to the power to make law.
Put all together, Revelation 13 is telling us that the name of the beast is connected to a realm of international law pertaining to commercial affairs that is militarily enforceable. In the real world this realm alternately embraces all that is called commercial law, international law, maritime (admiralty) law, and “law of the sea.”
In other words, under alternating generational lure and coercive threat from the sea beast, the entire world is being led and will ultimately be forced to become governed by international commercial law. It is the “law of the high seas.”
Now this concept is too vast to fully expound here. But for sake of understanding, we must make room just to explain how commercial sea law differs from what is called “constitutional law,” or the “law of the land” or “common law.”
Very briefly, constitutional common law is concerned with individual natural rights and liberties, moral justice (“thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill”) and due process. But commercial law is concerned only with contracts between business entities, administrative regulations and legal procedures pertaining to money and disputed property. (Mark the words “entity” and “property.” They will have great bearing on the name of the beast in Part III.)
Today, the preeminent form of commercial law in the United States is called the “Uniform Commercial Code,” or “UCC.” True to John’s Revelation, this maritime law has come to be written into and subtly preempt the laws of the land in every state. It is rewriting the nation’s constitutional “DNA.” The same is happening in other countries.
So while we live under “color” of the law of the land, we are in fact being increasingly governed by the law of the sea. With scant regard to individual rights, due process and morality, virtually all court cases are now decided on legal administrative “admiralty-style” procedure under commercial bonding in which court cases themselves are bought and sold. (The courts are actually banks! For those in the U.S.A. see 28 USC 2041 & 2045.) And all is supported by local law enforcement.
For more on the beast and the law of the sea, please see the commentary Pharaoh and the Sea Beast. But we must move on…..
Having fully established the nature of commercial enforcement behind the name of the beast, we are ready to move to directly expose this name for what it is—a NAME by which satan seeks to claim the very ownership of us—spirit, soul and body.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page updated August 27, 2018