Matthew 23:1-7 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Phylacteries were strips of parchment inscribed with the following texts :
These parchments were enclosed in a small leather case, and fastened by straps to the forehead between the eyes as frontlets. Another form of Phylacteries was two strips of parchment with the same texts enclosed in a black calfskin case and bound to the left arm near the elbow. It was called Tephillah on the arm.
Phylacteries actually is defined in English as "defenses and protections." Let us refer to the texts which are written in the phylacteries to determine what God may have to tell us today, for we know that all things in the Old Testament somehow pointed to Christ and Him crucified.
Exodus 13:3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.Notice in the this text there is a stress to the Israelites that the Lord brought them out of Egypt. Israel was given the law of the feast of unleavened bread in which leaven was removed from their homes in memory of the day Israel left Egypt.
Exodus 13:5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.The stress of God's power in delivering them is again noted as we read, "when the Lord shall bring thee into the land." God brought them out, and God was going to bring them into the Land of Canaan.
Exodus 13:7-9 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD'S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.After reading the same point of stress again, we read the reference to the binding of these words upon their foreheads as frontlets and on their arms. And once again, the Lord reminds them that "the Lord hath brought thee out of Egypt."
Exodus 13:10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.The fact that God deserves all the glory for Israel's deliverance was mentioned again and again. They were to never forget that. And this truth was to be bound to their hands and between their eyes as a memorial. In other words, they must ever remember that God did the work. They could never take glory in themselves. God alone was responsible for their freedom.
Exodus 13 continues and points out another memorial that Israel must bind to their foreheads and hands.
Exodus 13:12-14 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:Once again, God commanded Israel to celebrate another ceremony by sacrificing all the firstborn animals of their herds and offering them to the Lord. But the ass could be redeemed from death. The redemption of the ass was the redemption of a beast of burden. A slave animal. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt. All the Egyptian firstborn children died the night of Passover, but Israel's firstborn were redeemed by the blood of the lamb. And the ceremony of sparing the ass by redemption was a memorial that God's power redeemed Israel.
Exodus 13:15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.The Lord slew the firstborn of Egypt. It was His work. Notice that in both the first reference noted earlier in this chapter it was a stress of God's power. The same is again noted in this second memorial.
Exodus 13:16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes . And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.The great Shema, reference to the ONE GOD truth of the Bible, glorifying God above all thoughts of there even being other gods, was also to be a memorial in the form of phylacteries. There is no other God.... no other entity worthy of glory and praise as the ONE TRUE GOD.
Deuteronomy 11:13-25 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children , in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.The final reference written in the phylacteries include the words of God speaking of the great protection from Israel's enemies that would be experienced should they heed these words of God. God would provide rain and bountiful crops should they keep these words. And this is where the idea of "protections and defenses" in the meaning of the term "phylacteries" really comes into play.
In summary, every reference noted in the phylacteries was a reference to the need for man to give all glory to God and none other.
Deuteronomy 6:12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.Should Israel not keep these words, they would lose protection and their enemies would destroy them. They would be left without the blessings of God. But, should they uphold glory and worship to God alone, they would enjoy His benefits.
They were on their way to Canaan to be KINGDOM OF GOD upon earth. And in order to maintain citizenry in this KINGDOM OF GOD, these truths must be adhered to like frontlets between their eyes and on their hands. These words would be their protections and defenses.
deserves all praise and glory. This truth must be the standard of the Christian
God created Adam, made the woman from him and told them to dress and keep the Garden. God gave man dominion over all the earth to subdue it. Man's entire existence was to rule the world God created and to love His God and serve His God. The only stipulation was that man refrain from eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil lest he die.
Time passed and a creature, who once held power under God, who sought to exalt himself and not worship God alone, entered the garden via the vessel of a serpent. He sought to infect the couple with the same desire he possessed in worshipping and exalting self instead of God.
Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.A beast spoke words to the woman, tempting her to exalt herself and " be as gods." Gods do not worship anything else. Gods are to be worshipped themselves. And a BEAST urged the worship of man upon Adam and Eve, and the couple fell to the temptation and sinned.
But Satan managed to tempt the woman to put forth a certain effort and make herself worthy of praise and worship.
Israel failed to enter into Canaan because they did not mix the word of promise to them with faith.
Adam was to enter a day of rest and never work a day in his life, but the woman was tempted to make herself like God, and to work in doing so. In other words, the promise given to the first couple was disbelieved and they failed to enter rest. God finished the work! There was no more work to be done! But they were duped into working and failing to enter the rest.
The work of Calvary is a finished work. We are to be His workmanship. We do not work to save ourselves, but we are saved by faith. We enter into rest by mixing the word with faith. It is not a salvation that is achieved through works, for we would boast and actually worship ourselves if we could save ourselves. But God planned this salvation so that we would be redeemed and he would receive all the due glory in saving us, too. Not only would we come back to God, but we would bring glory to God in doing so. You see, it was self exaltation that destroyed mankind in Eden. And it is self-denial that saves us.
What a wonderful wisdom God does manifest!
And in our journey, as in Israel's Exodus, we must ever remember that God is the one responsible for giving us this great salvation. God did the work, and we must never forget that. We must never revert to a self-deification after we are saved. We must bind these words between our eyes upon our foreheads, and on our arms!
The reason Jesus mocked the Pharisees for broadening their phylacteries was for the reason that phylacteries were memorials of the need for deification of God alone. And the Pharisees desired themselves to be seen, and through making their phylacteries larger than normal, they would become more conspicuous and noticed, thus drawing attention to themselves. They used a thing that was meant to bring glory to God that it might bring glory to self! They defeated the very purpose of God!
Today this poison of self-deification fills many gatherings of God's people. Some people refuse to even attend church gatherings unless they can be seen and can be in front of the people all the time. Ministers lord it over God's heritage and act like God, Himself, in their domineering spirit of control and legalism, prying into people's personal lives. There is the need to give recommendation as to what God's word teaches about our lifestyles, but to demand whether one can go on vacation or not, or to demand a detailed play-by-play of every step we take each day of the week is to simply indulge in cultism. Only God is God. Not us.
We believe ourselves into a rest with God!
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.Jesus did all the work necessary for our salvation and everything afterwards, including our rest! Of course there is the need to manifest works because of our faith, for faith without works is dead faith. But they are works that do not save us. They are works that are done BECAUSE we are saved. They are signs and indications of a real and actual faith.
Hebrews 4:1-3 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it . For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Its not "what we do" so much as it is "the reason we do it." Do we do things to attract attention to self and have others notice how religious we are? Or do we do them because we love God and simply desire to do anything to please Him? Also, do we do them to save ourselves? Salvation is a free gift that costs us nothing, although it did not come free. It cost the Saviour His life.
When Adam opened his eyes to begin his new life when first created, he saw a world where everything that had to be done was already done. he just was to enter rest, rule and maintain that finished work. It is the same with Christians today. When we open our eyes in newness of life, having been saved by Christ, we dwell in a finished work. Just enter the rest of it all and maintain that position of rest.
But the enemy will lie to us and urge us to exalt ourselves. He will tempt us to work so that we can look at what we did and glorify ourselves through it all. So while we are in our journey to all truth, let us ever maintain the fact that God alone deserves praise and worship.
Any grain of self-praise is poison from the serpent. Protections and defenses are gone from our lives the moment we forget God and seek to attract attention to self.
The very sin that was committed as Moses was on his way to give the ten commandments to Israel was the worship of a golden calf that was alleged to have led them out of Egypt. And the wickedness of idolatry is truly a self worshipping evil. What could be more self-exalting than creating a god with one's own hands, an fashioning him to have such and such traits that we want him to have, and then bowing down to worship it? We dictate what god should be like and then worship it. This is in fact nothing less than self-worship. "Isn't that a powerful god, and one worthy of all praise, that I made?! "
The Lord our God is One Lord. It may sound sufficient to merely say that we must worship "God' and not "gods." "God" is a singular term. But the Bible urges us to recognize that God is not a multiple, but is ONE. The Bible doubly stresses the Oneness of God by telling us that God is One. There is ONE GOD.
This intimates that praise must indeed be given to Him.
Someone said that the Oneness people "Love Jesus more than anybody else." How so? Jesus is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to the Oneness people. Jesus is the name of the Almighty who manifests simultaneously, because He is God, in three different ways -- Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
And this Oneness of God must be bound to our lives like frontlets between our eyes and upon our hands.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Job 41:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?The beast, leviathan, is a coiling serpent, by inference of the Hebrew term "leviathan." And he is father of all the children of pride. It was the serpent who tempted mankind to be as the gods. The serpent was "the most subtle BEAST of the field " (Genesis 3:1). This beast, created on the sixth day, as man was created on the sixth day, was the one used by Satan to fall mankind into self-worship. And this same spirit still works in the earth, and will climax in the end with a great falling away into self-worship. the great fall of mankind will only be worsened in a great falling away in the end. It will be the same spirit and the same impetus and urge to exalt self, only worsened.
Job 41:33-34 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.The great evil today is not a specific religious movement, but a general spirit of self-worship.
The spirit to exalt self rather than God was warned about throughout the epistles.
Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:4-5 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
People blatantly proclaim they can save themselves, and that Christianity is for the weak minded. They exalt themselves and see no need for a saviour whatsoever. They are already bearing phylacteries of hell.... the mark of the beast.
Revelation 13:15-18 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.It was a beast who first lied to the woman, urging her to exalt herself as a god. The serpent created on the sixth day, encouraged mankind to forget about worshiping God and to forget about the finished work of God in the world. He encouraged man to not accept God's finished work, and to instead work man's way to self-exaltation and godhood.
Like God's protections and defenses, the Beast would ensure that those who do not wear these phylacteries of hell should be executed. Without them the person would be killed. Unless one lived by these standards of self-exaltation, one could not be in Satan's kingdom.
Christianity is the only religion on earth where the idea of a finished work is proposed. We are not saved by works of goodness. We are born in sin and have need of a Saviour -- God -- to redeem us. Every other religion promotes self-effort and actually encourages self-glorification. Those religions with much so-called "holiness", who despise the idea of original sin, unconsciously, and sometimes, consciously, encourage one to exalt oneself to holy status, and thus godhood.
Our only hope of righteousness is to receive the gift of God's righteousness.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness ;While speaking of no flesh glorying in God's presence, we are told that even the reason we are saved and in Christ Jesus, is "of him. " It is of God that we are saved. It is His works that saved us, and not our own. And the only way we can be righteous is to indeed be in Christ, because Christ is made righteousness for our sakes! Simply by being in Christ is one righteous, for Christ is our righteousness. We have God's righteousness if we are in Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:28-30 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.We are the righteousness of God if we are in Christ, for Christ was made righteousness for our sakes. Many people do not comprehend this. they are totally mistaken and think they must achieve a status of holiness. But all the holiness and righteousness that God wanted us to have was put in Christ. And we are to get into Christ in order to obtain that.
Even some christians mistakenly think they are to become more holy once they are saved from sin. This is terrible nonsense. The moment we are baptized into Christ is the moment we are as righteous as Jesus Christ, because we then possess His righteousness. Abraham did not lift one finger of effort to become righteous. All he did was believe. And to show the righteousness that he already had, he was circumcised. But the circumcision did not provide the righteousness, but merely indicated it was there. That is what is meant by works that follow faith. Works are an indication that saving faith is present in one's life.
But a beast, created on a sixth day, urged man to exalt self.
The mark we read about in revelation 13 is the mark of the beast . What beast? The same serpent that first lied to the woman. It is a number of 666 since it denotes the day of mankind, as opposed to the day of the Lord. Man was created on the sixth day. Man is a 6. An incomplete entity. God is complete and all-sufficient in himself. The number 7 denotes fullness and completion and rest. The first time this number is used in scripture was when God rested the seventh day. And ever afterwards in the Bible you read about 7 in instances where COMPLETION and REST is implied. Noah and his ark rested on Ararat in the seventh month. God is a SEVEN. He is complete. Man is just one notch short of completeness without God. We are a 6. And the self-deifying beast of Revelation 13 is a MAN worshipping himself.
Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.The world wondered after the BEAST (Rev 13:3). They worshipped the dragon (serpent) when the beast was wounded and resurrected, in counterfeit work of the cross of Christ (Rev 13:4).
Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast ? who is able to make war with him?Notice the supreme praise of God in the Psalm:
Psalm 71:19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!The beast attracts this praise to himself.
Psalm 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
Psalm 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Another beast rises from the earth, from beneath, whereas God came down to where we were. And this beast causes an image to be made of the beast. Christ is the image of the invisible God, but there is an image of the beast. And people are commanded to bear the mark of the beast in an idea similar to phylacteries, although not to be literally taken as actual phylacteries. A mark on the right hand and forehead.
Phylacteries of God included scriptures and words to live by that God's blessings might be upon Israel. When they entered the land of Canaan and dwelt in the Kingdom Of God upon the earth, these truths of the phylacteries must be adhered to, lest they be cut off from Israel. The protections and defenses of God's Kingdom would be upon all those who would deify God and Him alone. But Satan has a Kingdom, also. And he has citizenship there.
God spoke to the lukewarm church at Laodicaea, and commented about their self-exaltation:
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:They had a form of godliness, for they were a church, but they were self-exaltant. they attracted attention to self. they were filled with legalism and self-glory. Therefore, Christ offered them citizenship in His Kingdom:
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.Like the prodigal, these people were God's people, but left the house of God to exalt themselves in the house of self. Like the Corinthians, who envied one another, strove and divided, Laodicaea's "believers" were not heirs of the Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying , and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?To buy of Christ is to get involved in His kingdom. People have speculated the biblical sense out of the mark of the beast and proposed that a computer chip is in store for the endtimes. That is a million miles away from the truth! Buying and selling is a symbolic reference to inclusion in a Kingdom, as much as Christ did not expect Laodicaea to literally purchase gold and raiment. And the same book of Revelation uses the same symbolism in speaking of the buying and selling in Satan's kingdom using the mark of the beast.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations , wrath, strife , seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Israel would have been cut off from the and its blessings Kingdom had they forsaken God and forgot the memorials of the words of the phylacteries. As much as one had to ever exalt God to be involved in His Kingdom, one who lives by the principle of exalting self and resisting God's will is in the kingdom of Hell. And such a one already has the mark of the beast!
It is he who has understanding who will be able to count the number of the beast. This implies spiritual understanding, and not secular intellectuality in mathematics and languages. Spiritually, the number six always indicated mankind. And the beasts were created the same day that man was created.
Genesis 1:25-27 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.Even Nebuchadnezzar's image of self and his idol that deified man was indicative of six.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore (60) cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.60 X 6 cubits.
Instead of looking to mathematical sets of alphanumeric letters of the names of people or places, look to the rest of the Bible for similar instances of the elements in question and find the thought proposed there. The Bible interprets itself! Is there a code to the Bible? Not really. It's just that similar texts and their similar circumstances of reference throughout the Bible, themselves, inform us as to the meaning behind many of the pictures we see in the book of Revelation.
In the end of time, the great lie from the serpent in Genesis will be stressed like never before across the world. "Forget God. Deify yourself! Resist God's will and fulfill your own will." This is the mark of the beast! The Phylacteries of Hell.
Deuteronomy 6:9 said the words of God would be AS FRONTLETS between their eyes. Defences and protections. The mark of the beast is a principle held to one's heart and soul as frontlets between the eyes.
Galatians 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Paul denied self. Paul exalted Christ. He bore the marks of Christ in literal scars, indicating his commitment to never deny Christ. There is the Mark of the Beast and the Mark of the Cross. Self-exaltation versus self-denial.
Let us ensure we never seek to exalt self and forget God. Let us ever refuse the Phylacteries of Hell.