THE MARK OF THE BEAST- Part 16
The mark of the beast is one of the most intriguing and important subjects in the Scriptures.
This prophecy involves a beast, an image to the beast, the mysterious number 666 and the deadly mark of the beast.
The Bible uses quite frightening and shocking language to describe the consequences of worshipping the beast, or receiving his mark.
Any person who gets involved with this mark will be lost for eternity.
Tragically, the overwhelming majority of people will receive the mark of the beast.
This is a subject that cannot be overlooked.
If we cannot identify the beast or his mark, we could end up with the mark and not even be aware that we have it.
What is the mark of the beast?
Notice some interesting opinions that can be found on various websites:
• An invisible laser tattoo seen through an electronic eye
• A microchip under the skin or in the bone of the head or hand
• A new currency taking over from the European Dollar
• The Universal Products Code (barcode) tattooed on the forehead
• A communist “red star” tattooed on the forehead
• The tattooed name of Antichrist written in Hebrew, since the
Antichrist must be Jewish
• Your credit card number tattooed onto your forehead
• A number branded or burnt onto you, like branding a cow
With so many interpretations to choose from how can we know the truth? What is the number 666 and how can we avoid any connection with it?
Does anyone have the mark of the beast today? If so, are they doomed?
Does God have His own mark and if so, who receives it?
This study guide identifies the mark of the beast and reveals how we can be absolutely certain to avoid it.
Q1 – WHAT DID THE PROPHET DANIEL SEE HAPPENING ON PLANET EARTH AT THE END OF TIME?
And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never NEVER WAS since there was a nation. Daniel 12.1
Prior to the Second Coming of Jesus, the earth will be a scene of catastrophe and conflict.
The world governments will enforce the mark of the beast and issue a death decree against God’s genuine followers (Revelation 13:15-17).
As God sees the attack against His church, He pours out seven deadly plagues resulting in the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Q2 – WHO ARE THE SURVIVORS OF THIS TIME OF TROUBLE AND WHAT IS THEIR REWARD?
Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God …“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” Revelation 7:2,3
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the VICTORY over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. Revelation 15.2
The survivors of the final conflict will be those who avoid the mark of the beast and receive the seal of God.
The reward is entry to God’s kingdom and the issue is worship and obedience.
Every person on planet earth will soon receive a mark. Those who worship and obey the beast will receive the mark of the beast.
Those who worship and obey the Creator God will receive the mark (or seal) of God. (Note: the words seal, sign and mark can be used interchangeably – see Genesis 17:11, Romans 4:11, Revelation 7:3, Ezekiel 9:4).
Both marks are placed at the same time and both marks are symbolic.
They represent authority and allegiance, approval and ownership.
The good news is, that if you receive the mark of God, you automatically avoid receiving the mark of the beast!
Because the marks are opposites, by defining the mark of God, we simply need to look for the opposite of that mark to identify the mark of the beast.
The Mark of God
Q3 – WHERE IS THE MARK OF GOD PLACED?
“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Revelation 7:3
The mark of God is placed on the forehead (other translations say “in” the forehead).
The forehead is where the frontal lobe of the brain is – the area of the mind where decisions are made.
Anyone who receives the mark of God has made an immovable decision for God.
Q4 WHAT DOES GOD WRITE ON THE FOREHEADS OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE HIS MARK?
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Revelation 22.4
Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelation 14.1
Ancient seals were used, often by kings, to signify authority and approval.
Even today, a personal signature of your name gives authority to a cheque or legal document.
Here we find God writing His name on the saved as His personal authority and guarantee of protection and everlasting life.
This is not a literal mark for everyone to see. It is a mark known only to God and the angels.
The name of God represents His character. When God told Moses what the name of the LORD symbolised, He shared some of the most beautiful aspects of His loving character; “merciful, gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:5,6).
Those who receive the seal of God will have the gracious character of Jesus deeply planted in their minds.
Q5 -WHAT KEY ASPECTS OF WORSHIP ARE INVOLVED IN THE MARK OF GOD?
“Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and KEEP His charge, His statutes, His judgments and His commandments always ...Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” Deuteronomy 11.1,18
A relationship where you love God and keep His Commandments is the greatest sign of worship and allegiance.
These are the words (or concepts) that God wants His people to live out in their actions and always keep in the front of their minds.
God has promised, “I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people” (Hebrews 8:10).
This is the experience of all those who receive the mark of God.
They will accept the promise and power of God and have God’s Commandments written in their hearts and minds.
Q6 – WHO DOES GOD ASK US TO WORSHIP INSTEAD OF THE BEAST?
...and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water (v7) Revelation 14: 6-12
In Revelation 14:6-12, there are three key messages that go to the world just before Jesus returns.
The first message calls for true worship.
The final message warns against false worship.
This is the definitive choice; either worship the Creator (and receive the mark of God), or worship the beast (and receive the mark of the beast).
The call to worship the Creator is quoted from which Commandment? The Sabbath! (See Exodus 20:11).
An integral aspect of true worship is to keep the Sabbath, in honour of God’s creative power.
Q7 -WHICH ASPECT OF GOD’S LAW IS A SPECIAL SIGN OF GOD’S AUTHORITY?
hallow My Sabbaths and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God (v20) Ezekiel 20.12, 20
The Sabbath is a sign or seal that signifies the authority of God.
Those who keep it can “know” that God is in charge of their life.
The Sabbath represents God’s power to create the world and empower your life.
Anyone who keeps the Sabbath is demonstrating allegiance to the Creator God and accepting His complete authority.
Q8 – WHY IS THE SABBATH CALLED THE SEAL OF GOD?
For in six days the Lord created the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day Exodus 20.11
The seal of God represents His authority as our Creator and Redeemer and is found in the heart of His law (Isaiah 8:16).
An official government seal consists of three elements; a name, a title and a territory.
An example would be James II, King of England.
The reason why the Sabbath is called the seal of God is because this Commandment has all three elements of God’s seal within it (see Exodus 20:11).
Q9 – WHO DID THE PROPHET EZEKIEL SEE RECEIVING THE MARK OF GOD?
“Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”Ezekiel 9:4
The people of Israel had slumped into deep apostasy and false worship. They were even involved in sun worship (Ezekiel 8:16). God decided to destroy those involved in false worship.
But He protected His genuine followers. The people who received the mark of God were those who loved Him, obeyed Him and were deeply upset about the false sun worship within the church.
In the last days God’s genuine followers will refuse to participate in false worship. This group receives the mark of God for protection from the judgement of the plagues.
The seal of God is a symbolic mark that signifies God’s genuine followers.
This mark will be placed on those who love Jesus supremely and keep all of God’s Commandments, including the Sabbath.
They refuse to accept or participate in false worship.
They would rather die than dishonour God.
The Mark of the Beast
Q10 – WHO IS THE BEAST THAT HAS HIS OWN MARK OF AUTHORITY?
And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. Revelation 13.12
The most important factor in determining the mark of the beast is to firstly identify the beast.
Once that is clear, then the mark of that specific beast can be determined.
Although it is the second beast of Revelation 13 that enforces the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16), it is doing so on behalf of the first beast (v12-15).
It is the first beast, the Papacy, which receives global worship and has its own special mark of authority.
This is a mark of allegiance and loyalty that will be enforced on all people
(see study guide “The Final Superpower” for the identity of each beast).
Q11 – WHAT IS THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST?
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666 Revelation 13.18
The number of the beast is 666.
The number six played a key role in the life and religion of the ancient pagan cultures.
The Babylonians divided many of their weights, times and measures by six.
It was the Babylonians who recognised 360 degrees (60×6) in a circle, 60 minutes in the hour and 60 seconds in the minute.
The number six also held mysterious significance among the sun worshipping priests in their religion.
Ancient religious sun seals called “Sigilla Solis” have been discovered. They show a table of 36 numbers all adding up to the number 666.
The symbol of “Babylon” in the book of Revelation represents a corrupt Christian church (See Revelation 17:1-6).
The Bible highlights the number 666 as another symbol to demonstrate the link between the false religion and worship of the ancients with the false religion and worship of the last days.
The number 666 is not the mark of the beast! It is the number of a “man” and can be “counted” (Revelation 13:17,18) to help identify who the beast is.
Some Bible scholars have calculated a universal title of the Pope, “Vicarius Filii Dei” (meaning Vicar of the Son of God) through Roman numerals and found that the number totals to 666.
Q12 – WHERE IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST PLACED?
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, Revelation 13.16
The symbol of the hand represents work or action (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
The forehead represents the mind, where decisions are made.
Here we find people who will demonstrate allegiance to the beast either in thought or action.
The mark of the beast is a symbol of allegiance to the false religion of the last days.
Q13 – WHAT DOES THE BEAST CLAIM AS A SPECIAL MARK OF AUTHORITY?
According to the Papacy, the greatest mark of her authority has been the change of the Sabbath day.
Just as the Sabbath is a sign that represents the authority of God, Sunday is a sign that represents the authority of the church.
There are many statements by the church to demonstrate this issue. Notice these comments,“The church has always had a strong sense of its own authority.
…perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the church ever did … the holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday, ‘The Day of the Lord’ (dies Domini) was chosen, not from any directions noted in Scriptures, but from the church’s sense of its own power.” St. Catherine Catholic Church – Sentinel…-Volume 50, #22, Algonac Mich. May 21, 1995
“Of course the Catholic church claims that the change (from Sabbath to Sunday) was her act
… And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” Reply to a letter, October 28, 1894, from Cardinal Gibbons by Chancellor C.F.Thomas
The church claims the change of the Sabbath is a mark of her authority because virtually every Christian church keeps Sunday.
The only basis for keeping Sunday is the authority of the Catholic church.
There is no authority from the Scriptures to keep Sunday.
Q14 – WHAT DOES THE PAPACY THINK IT HAS THE POWER TO DO?
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. Daniel 7.25
CHANGING GOD’S TIME
The Papacy has attempted to change God’s times in two ways:
a. The time of the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday
b. The timing of the worship day was changed from the biblical sunset to sunset (Leviticus 23:32), to the pagan custom of midnight to midnight
“CHANGING GOD’S LAW
The catechisms of the Papacy have revealed the intent to change God’s law in three ways:
a. It has removed the second Commandment (which forbids worship of images and idols)
b. It has reduced the Sabbath Commandment from over 90 words to just eight
c. It has divided the10th Commandment into two Commandments
It is this change to the times and law of God that has left the mark – the mark of the beast!
Q15 – DO PEOPLE WHO CURRENTLY OBSERVE SUNDAY AS A HOLY DAY HAVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
and that no one may buy or sell except except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13.7
There are many Christians who currently keep Sunday, who love God and will receive eternal life.
They do not have the mark of the beast. The enforcement of the mark of the beast is still in the future.
At that time the governments of the world will issue a law to enforce Sunday keeping. They will selectively stop buying
and selling – attempting to starve God’s people into submission.
It is possible that modern technology such as microchips will be used in this process.
However the microchip itself is not the mark of the beast. There is not one text that says the mark of the beast is specifically related to technology – the real issue is worship!
The mark of the beast will be placed on anyone who worships and obeys the false religions of the world.
This tragic scenario depicts many receivers of the mark sincerely thinking they are doing the right thing.
This mark is not just placed on overt “devil worshippers”.
The key point about the mark of the beast is that people will be “deceived” into false worship (Revelation 19:20).
Each of us will need to choose to obey God at a time when the vast majority of the whole world is obeying man, yet convinced they are obeying God.
Q16 – WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THOSE WHO AVOID THE MARK OF THE BEAST?
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (v12). Revelation 14.12
Immediately after the most solemn warning message in the Bible, God outlines the characteristics of those who accept His warning and avoid this dreaded mark.
If you want to avoid the mark of the beast you need to keep God’s Commandments, including the Sabbath.
This comes with having a living faith relationship with Jesus. In fact, anyone who has this experience will never receive the mark of the beast!
Q17 – WHAT RELATIONSHIP DOES JESUS HAVE WITH THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE SEAL OF GOD?
...These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Revelation 14.4
What a beautiful picture of a love relationship! Here are people in heaven who follow Jesus everywhere; learning more about Him and spending as much time as possible with Him.
In order to follow Jesus in heaven, we must first follow Him here on earth.
Jesus had a loving relationship with His Father and kept all of His Commandments.
Jesus wants us to follow Him by living our life each day like He lived His.
The mark of the beast is a symbolic mark that is placed on those who worship and obey the false religions of the world.
It will be placed on the hand or forehead indicating allegiance to the beast in mind or actions.
The mark will be placed on those who are involved in false worship.
These people obey man’s laws but disobey God’s laws.
Three points to remember:
•At the end of time every person on earth will receive a mark
••If you receive the mark of God you automatically avoid the mark of the beast
••• The mark of God is placed on those who love Jesus with all their heart and are obedient to all of God’s Commandments, including the Sabbath.
During an evangelistic program the speaker was challenged after one of the meetings. The subject was the Sabbath.
A tall, well-dressed man approached the speaker and told him that he was a devoted Christian.
He had met the Pope and knew many church theologians.
He then went on to say, “Everything you said tonight about the Sabbath is true. The Sabbath is Saturday. The Sabbath was changed to Sunday worship by the church. But I have one problem.” “
Only one?” the evangelist asked.
“Yes. My problem is that you judge truth by the Bible and the Bible alone,” said the man.
The Speaker took this as a compliment. However, he could see the man was earnest so he said to him, “on what basis do you determine truth?”
The man then said, “I judge the truth by the Bible, tradition and the words of the Pope. If there is a difference between the church and the Bible then I will listen to the Pope since he has the most recent revelation from God.”
That man left the meeting and did not return to any future programs.
What would you have said to this man?
What dangers are inherent in this man’s view?
1. Does keeping the Sabbath alone guarantee you will avoid the mark of the beast? Why?
2. What is the key to obeying God from your heart instead of just outward actions?
3. How can you prepare today to avoid receiving the mark of the beast?
The mark of the beast is coming. Would you like to prepare for the seal of God by keeping all of God’s Commandments, including the Sabbath, as a sign that you will follow Jesus wherever He leads?