What is the mark of the beast? This question has baffled a lot of people down the centuries. If you want to know the answer, then continue reading to find out more!
Mark of the Beast, 666, end-time prophecies – these are just some things that might pop into your mind when you hear the Book of Revelation. However, what baffled and interest people more is the mark of the beast.
Because a lot of people asked the question, sadly, a lot of them also got the wrong answer. This is why I would like to share what the Bible really says about the mark of the beast.
Before we go ahead, let me quote Revelation 13:11-18 where we read about the mark of the beast:
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
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.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
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, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
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.
With that being said, let us now take a deep look at what the mark of the beast is by giving you these seven points.
1. The mark of the beast could be literal or figurative
Throughout the past years, you and I have seen how so many people speculated what the mark of the beast is. A lot of people have asked, “What does the mark of the beast look like?”
Historically speaking, there might be some pieces of evidence that put some parallelism to what the Bible says. In the ancient Babylonian culture, it was a custom for owners to mark their slaves with tattoos on their face or at the back of their hands (H.W.H. Saggs, The Greatness That Was Babylon.)
This isn’t something unique to the Babylonian people as the same practice could also be found in other culture in the Middle East.
Today, some people thought that the mark of the beast could refer to the use of supercomputers to document all the movements of every single person. Some think that it could be a mark of the beast chip or microchip that is embedded under the skin of their hand to allow them to “buy and sell” and participate in the government established by the second beast.
While the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how the mark of the beast would be granted to the people who surrender under the beast power, there might be other possibilities that we are not aware of as of this time.
Aside from the literal possibility of seeing the mark of the Beast, there’s also the possibility of it being a figurative expression.
Earlier in Revelation, we have read how the servants of God has been sealed on their forehead.
We read in Revelation 7:3-4:
Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.
Deuteronomy 6:8-9 adds an interesting dimension to this. We read:
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
From what I know, Jews today follow this command literally. However, as spiritual Christians, the intent of the instruction is more important.
This leads us to the second point.
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2. The mark of the beast is a mark of disobedience to God
The mark of the beast meaning is an identifying sign of those who make the beast as their lord and master instead of God. Thus, there’s no doubt that those who have the mark of the beast are those people who have put their allegiance to the beast rather than to God.
As what we can read in Revelation 13, those who got the mark of the beast are those people who have been deceived by the beast. To avoid getting killed or persecuted by the beast, they receive its mark. Not only that, but because they love their selves more than God, they took the mark and make themselves wealthy in the economic and political system set up by the beast.
Notice where the mark of the Beast is placed. It is put on the right hand or on the forehead. The right hand symbolizes the stronger and dominant hand. It is telling that having the mark on your hand means that your actions are in accordance with the Beast’s will and commandments.
The forehead is seen to be the source of our thinking and intelligence. This shows us that those who have the mark on their forehead would have their way of thinking that is in agreement with the Beast. Instead of filling the mind with God’s word, people under the Beast’s rule fill their mind with the things of Satan.
Having the mark on your forehead and hand means that both your thoughts and actions are controlled by the Beast or are in alignment to Satan’s way of life and thinking.
3. The mark of God as opposed to the mark of the beast
A lot of bible students pointed out if the beast has a mark, God also has His own mark and that is the Sabbath. I believe there is a lot of truth in this.
For example, if you look at the 12 Tribes of Israel, the only one that was not lost is the Tribe of Judah. Of course, if you trace back the history, Tribe of Judah is actually a mixture of Jews and a portion of Benjamites and Levites.
So, how did they kept their identity? Why is it that of all the Tribes of Israel, it is the Jews that have not lost its identity?
The answer is found in Exodus 31:12-17:
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a SIGN between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you…
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a SIGN between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”
Twice in this passage that YAHWEH said that the identifying sign of His people would be the Sabbath. No wonder the Jews didn’t lose its identity. Why? Because they continue to keep the Sabbath, unlike the other tribes who kept other days!
Now, there’s something significant about this verse. A lot of Bible students see the Sabbath as the identifying “mark” of His people even during the end times. The mark of the Sabbath is considered as the opposite of the Mark of the Beast.
To learn more about the Sabbath, please go read:
4. The Majority of mankind will receive the mark of the Beast
Here’s a frightening fact that the Bible reveals about the mark of the Beast. It is not only a few who will be deceived. It will not only be 50% of the world population. It won’t be just 85% or 90%. I would say, it will be 99.99%!
Don’t believe me? Here’s what your Bible says:
He [talking about the beast] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads (Rev. 13:16).
How extensive is this? Let’s read earlier verses:
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:5-8).
As you can see, the majority of mankind will be deceived and would worship the Dragon and the Beast. This is not surprising because we have already read in Revelation 12:9, an earlier verse:
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Did you read that? Satan didn’t just deceive a portion of the world. He didn’t just deceive a third of the world, but he has deceived the WHOLE world.
Now, if you think about it, according to statistics, Christianity is considered to be the largest religion in the world accounting for more than 2 billion people.
You would think that’s impossible. How can Satan be able to deceive the whole world when there are billions of Christians today?
Well, sadly, my friend, the majority of Christianity today isn’t the same Christianity that Yahshua (Jesus) and the Apostles started in the first century. In fact, it has become so diluted with paganism and syncretism that it has actually lost its real substance.
So, no wonder, when the end time comes, those Christians who are already deceived will suffer even greater deception and will even do the UNTHINKABLE – to worship the Beast along with those people who are not of the Christian faith!
5. 666 as the number of the beast and man
The number 666 has fascinated a lot of people, both believers and non-believers alike. We read in the Bible that 666 is the number of the beast and the number of man.
Revelation 13:18 says:
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.
Aside from this passage, the Bible does not tell us much about the meaning of this number. One popular explanation among Bible students is that it is the numerical equivalents of the letters in the word Lateinos – which is the Greek word for ‘Roman.’
It is worth noting that the Bible tells us that the Roman Empire is actually the Beast Power. Today, it is centered in Europe with the European Union (EU) as its modern-day representation.
If you read Revelation 13, it describes the beast as having a deadly wound but now was healed (verse 3). Thus, in the end times, the Roman Empire will rise from ashes and will again dominate the world scene.
In Daniel’s vision of the four beasts, the fourth one was identified as the Roman Empire. As the fourth beast, Daniel describes the Roman Empire as dreadful, terrible, and exceedingly strong. It is considered to be the strongest among the four beasts.
This is a huge topic and so, I just want to suggest that you read this article, The United States of EUROPE IS COMING.
Aside from mark of the beast 666 as the number of the beast or Roman Empire, it is also called the number of man.
In the Bible, we know that the number six signifies the number of man. It was on the sixth day that man was created.
When God repeats something, He means business and He repeats things for better emphasis. If He repeats something twice, we better be listening. If He repeats it thrice, that’s something that we should really not ignore and ensure that we understand what is being told.
666 shows us an extreme expression of the human nature. It gives us an idea that the people who get the mark of the beast will callously obey their human nature rather than God.
The rebellion is so INTENSE that one number 6 is not enough that three sixes are needed to symbolize the great rebellion of mankind in the end time!
6. The two beasts of Revelation 13
Please note that in Revelation 13, there were TWO Beasts mentioned. The first Beast was discussed from verses 1-10. The second beast is the one mentioned in verses 11-18.
It is important for us to set the distinction between the two as this will unlock our understanding of what will happen in the end time.
The first Beast actually represents the Roman Empire. It is a dominant geopolitical authority that has given power by the Dragon, whom we will see as Satan.
The second Beast is the False Prophet.
We read in Revelation 19:19-20:
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
The separation of the state and church will be eliminated at the end time. To take control of the people of the earth, the Roman Empire will use religion through the false prophet.
Through their combined power, they will be able to deceive the world and this is where the mark of the Beast comes in. Those whose names are not found in the Book of Life would receive the mark.
7. The Beast’s religious deception
When the Disciples asked Yahshua or Jesus Christ of what would be the sign of His return, the first response of Christ was astonishing. He said:
“Take heed that no man deceives you” (Matthew 24:3).
Indeed, we have seen even today that religious deception is rampant and it will get worse as we approach the end time. More people would even be convinced to submit the Beast and False Prophet as they witness the supernatural power and miracle they execute. The religious deception is so great that even the Elect will fall victim to it (Matthew 24:24).
So, how do we overcome such deception? Most importantly, how to avoid the mark of the beast?
We must learn and love the truth that we have known from the Bible. The first step is to study the Bible and take its truths as it is. By doing so, we can easily identify religious practices that were rooted in paganism and were promoted by the Great Babylon religion.
When we love the truth to the end and not be afraid of losing our lives for the sake of God, we will be able to receive the seal of God rather than the mark of the beast!
The message of the Book of Revelation
Understanding Biblical prophecies would be useless if it doesn’t change you.
Now that you know better what the mark of the beast is, you need to act on that understanding. When the time comes, you can better answer the question, “Do I have the mark of the beast?”
In the end time, you will be presented two options: one is to obey God and the other is to obey Satan.
If you wish to obey God, you will be persecuted. You will not be able to participate in the commerce of the Beast’s political influence. You will not be able to buy or sell any products. Worst of all, you will be hunted down and be killed for your belief.
On the other hand, if you obey Satan, you will receive the mark of the Beast. You will enjoy a good life. You will become rich as you become part of the Babylonian system set up by the Beast power. You will not lose your life if you only denounce your faith.
The big difference between the two is that living the life of what Satan promises is only temporary. It will not last long.
Living the life of God is PERMANENT. Yes, you will be persecuted but just for now. God will send back His Son to usher the long-awaited, righteous, and perfect Kingdom of God.
Here’s what you need to remember:
Satan’s reward is only temporary. God’s reward is eternal.
Which one will you choose?
The obvious answer would be to express allegiance to God. However, as we have read in the book of Revelation, billions of people will follow Satan rather than God. Only a handful would turn their back from the Beast, resist its mark, and become true servants of the Living God.
It is high time that we start thinking about these things. The world stage is being set for the fulfillment of Bible prophecies.
When the dust finally settles, the question would be, which side will be you be standing – God’s side or Satan’s side?
May we have the faith, courage, and most importantly, wisdom to make the right decision.