Could the Bible be the mark of the beast?

Questions about God, the Bible and the Christian culture 

(Click here to read Monday Musings ... the place where I discuss the thinking that went into this article.)

Question: There is a video on YouTube that had made me so upset that I am kind of arguing with the people who made it in the comments. They are claiming they are for God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit... but they are arguing against the Bible! They claim that the Bible is the mark of the beast! Clearly, this does not make sense! How do you even know the Trinity unless you got it from the Bible? ... which they then say is evil?

It’s clear these are false prophets, but what's interesting is how much they twisted God's word. I just wanted your input on it. Look at their video called My Bible Let Me Down. Their YouTube channel is “bibleisthemarkofthebeast.” I’m writing because I want to see how level-headed people respond to such blasphemy.

Answer: Greetings friend. Thank you for touching down with us at Mainsail Ministries.

My wife has a pet peeve: she hates it when businesses have names that leave her guessing about what they do. For instance, in Shelton, Connecticut, there’s a business named Centrix, Inc. What do they do there? I have no idea! Well, we don’t have that problem with THE BIBLE IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST! — the ministry of Harland (and Diana) Hoy... because that name states their ministry’s premise.

Hoy believes that we should follow Jesus Christ via the indwelling Holy Spirit. That’s a pretty orthodox statement. As such, we could be dealing with a genuinely saved person here. I too believe that we are saved by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) and not by what we know about Scripture or how we feel about the Bible. But Hoy takes this to a new level.

Hoy bases his theory on the biblical dichotomy observed by both Jesus and the apostle Paul that there is a difference between the Spirit of the law and the letter of the law (Matthew 23:23; 2 Corinthians 3:6). But here’s where he leaves the ranch: Hoy believes the Bible itself has become the letter of the law in people’s hearts — and so much so that it has become the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17).

If you are under the control of the bible then you are controlled by Satan.  Satan uses the scriptures, the old covenant to deceive the whole world. Satan uses the Holy bible, because he can’t get control over people that have the Holy Ghost, but he can control them with Bibles. (http://bibleismarkofbeast.blogspot.com/p/book.html)

With this, we are off and running... running into the world of conspiracy — and it’s a “we never really landed on the moon” level of conspiracy. I think that most believers will be left scratching their heads with this Satan-is-in-charge-of-the-bible premise... although the conspiracy-theory-types among us might be drawn in. His site has the flavor of a Chick Publications tract — only on steroids! Fortunately, the site is poorly executed. If this were not my assignment, I would have left before my eyes started bleeding.

To get a feeling for The Bible Is the Mark of the Beast’s conspiratorial tone — and to see how it got its name — let me share Hoy’s version of how to calculate the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17).

This second beast authorized an image of God’s word, a mark, and caused all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive this mark in their right hand or in their forehead.

      • King James born in 1566
      • King James VI (6th) of Scotland
      • King James Version of the bible has 66 books
      • The number of a man 666
      • You carry his mark in your hand when you go to church, or you have it memorized in your head.

You will never find God in the bible, he is in the spirit.  You can learn about him from the bible, but you can never know him that way.

However — and as is often the case with Christian craziness — you can find some “good” stuff mixed in with the bad. For instance, Hoy affirms eight foundational teachings: 1. Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. 2. Repent… change to God’s ways. 3. Faith toward God via the Holy Spirit (dodging faith in the Bible, of course). 4. Baptism in water. 5. Baptism in the Spirit of God. 6. God lives in you and uses your body. (We are his temple). 7. The resurrection of the dead. 8. Eternal judgment.

Those eight are at least in the range of things most Christians would affirm. However, adding a wrong answer to a right answer makes the right answer wrong — and Hoy adds a lot of wrong affirmations. Let me highlight just a few.

First, Hoy argues ad hominem. Several places in his “book,” he cited where Bible-affirming people were homosexuals. (There are fifteen references to homoerotic or homosexual in his book.) Now, it is never a good thing for God-affirming people to practice homosexuality… but this is also never a good argument. All Christians sin! The thing we cannot do is say that, since all Bible-believing people sin, this proves that the Bible is the work of Satan. (Find Hoy’s book at  http://bibleismarkofbeast.blogspot.com/p/book.html)

Second, Hoy commits the taxicab fallacy — but in spades. The taxicab fallacy occurs when a person “travels” from a point of view that he uses to build his argument to its opposite when he gets in trouble because of the first; this is like hopping in and out of a cab to shift logical locations during the argument… hence, the name “taxicab fallacy.” Hoy does this with the Bible.

I would estimate that as much as one-quarter of the text in his book is Scripture… although most of those citations are missing verse references. You do not have to go too far into his book before you realize that he is using Scripture to argue that we shouldn’t listen to the Bible. If this is reasoning (and I’m not convinced that Hoy meets the threshold of what reason reasonably is), it is circular.

This circularity is a striking — and a bizarre — feature of his book. I kept reading thinking, “I must be missing something!” because I couldn’t believe he was doing that so much and so blatantly. But he is… and so much so that his premise explodes under it logically. Here’s one example.

People say Jesus has a church, but he has a kingdom, He is a King.  The word kingdom was changed to church to make Christ seem smaller.  That is one of Satan’s tactics.
(http://bibleismarkofbeast.blogspot.com/p/book.html)

In the above citation, we see the taxicab fallacy: he gets the notion of the kingdom from the Bible, but it’s also plain that the Church is the Body of Christ in the New Testament. However — and by an arbitrary decision — he repudiates the Church and glorifies the kingdom. This arbitrary picking-and-choosing from the Bible is an example of why you should dismiss Hoy’s teachings without consideration.

In Hoy’s defense, he says that you can trust the Old Testament as history… but not as the inspired text that many (most?) Christians believe it is. However, Hoy also indulges in some biblical typology… and biblical typology would be an absurd exercise for anyone who does not honor both the old and the New Testament texts. Again, he is in and out of the taxicab.

Third, Hoy commits what I call “the Jesus fallacy.” You see, what we know about Jesus comes mostly from the Bible. Jesus has historical corroboration in the form of some extra-biblical documents, but they contain nothing like the information we have in the Bible. History does not explain the spiritual dimensions of Jesus that both we and Hoy rely upon.

So, even though Hoy claims that he did not have a religious upbringing, he would have gotten his information about Jesus from the Bible — like the rest of us! And if he loves Jesus enough to study him and rely on his Spirit to do God’s will, he couldn’t help but notice that Jesus gave the Scripture credence by quoting it many times.

Here’s a nice snippet from the Puritan Board about Jesus’ use of the Scripture.

Jesus has been proven to be not only a credible witness, but a messenger from God. In all His teachings He referred to the divine authority of the Old Testament (Mt. 5:17-188:1712:40-42Lk. 4:18-2110:25-2815:29-3117:3224:25-45Jn. 5:39-47). He quoted the Old Testament 78 times, the Pentateuch alone 26 times. He quoted from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Amos, Jonah, Micah, and Malachi. He referred to the Old Testament as “The Scriptures,” “the word of God,” and “the wisdom of God.”

https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/random-question-how-many-times-did-jesus-quote-the-ot-in-the-gospels.57448/

As you requested, I watched the video My Bible Let Me Down. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7FpcTPu8mM)

Unfortunately, this 22-minute video only had about 90 seconds of content... so that’s 22 minutes of my life I’m never getting back! As such, forgive me for not watching more of his videos… but speaking as a man who’s been in Christ for fifty years — and who is considered to be levelheaded by the three people surveyed — my recommendation is that you put all of Hoy’s foolishness out of your head… and never visit his site again.

I hoped this review of The Bible Is the Mark of the Beast! ministry has given you some comfort. God bless you to your journey.

(Mainsail Ministries articles often have a preamble where I discuss the thinking that went into them. These are called Monday Musings — and if you haven’t read the one associated with this article — consider doing so at the following link: 20200511 Is Harland Hoy correct? Could the Bible be the mark of the beast?).

(For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at mainsailep@gmail.com. To submit a question about God, the Bible or the Christian culture, click here.)