The Image and Mark of the Beast

(Revelation 13:14-17)

Both the mark of the beast—Sunday rest—and the image of the beast—the Trinity doctrine—had their beginnings in the First Apology of Justin Martyr to the Roman emperor. Justin Martyr equated the events of Saturday evening (the Jewish first day of the week) to Sunday, and said that the Holy Spirit on Christ was a third person1First Apology, Chapter 13 called “the Spirit of Prophecy,” who was born on the waters in Genesis 1:2.2First Apology, Chapter 60

Justin Martyr’s theory made the anointing of God on the Church to be another “person”—a third person. This was a great departure from the understanding of the Jews, who said that the Ruah of God in Genesis 1:2 was the breath of God described in Psalm 33:6 and Job 34:14.

Because Justin Martyr wrote his First Apology from the church in Rome, these two errors were proclaimed as doctrines of the Church. In about A.D. 229, Origen of Alexandria, in his Commentaries on John, said, “All things were produced through the Word, and the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was produced by the Father through Christ.”3Commentaries on John 2:6 In his Homilies, Origen said, “On Sunday, none of the actions of the world should be done.”4Homil. 23 in Numeros 4, PG 12:749

In A.D. 321, Emperor Constantine declared Sunday a day of rest, and in A.D. 381, the Trinity doctrine became the official doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The image and mark of the beast are two significant themes of the Book of Revelation. Both false teachings are refuted in the first chapter. The Lord’s Day in Revelation 1:10 does not refer to Sunday, as the Church later claimed, and the many manifestations of the Spirit of Christ in verses 13–16 explain the true relationship between Christ and God in the Bible. Christ was the Word, the firstborn spirit, whom John called “the beginning of the creation of God” in Revelation 3:14.