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Mark of the Beast

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While no one knows exactly what form that mark will take, there are many who offer suggestions. The only thing we can know for sure is that there will come a time of decision and that decision will have a huge impact on life on earth and the life after this one.

FACT



The book of Revelation in the Bible refers to a mark that will play a huge role in the future of those who dwell on earth in the end times.


VIEWPOINT



A mark?

In February/March of 2022, my wife and I attended a seminar on what the Bible calls the "end times". The seminar consists of 21 sessions of a little more than an hour each, spread out over the course of a month. The subject of one of the sessions was a topic that concerns every person that will be living on earth during a period of trouble often called the Great Tribulation. While not everyone agrees with the words of the Bible about this period of time, those who take the Book seriously are concerned about something called "the mark of the beast".

Over the last few decades, more and more people have thrown out ideas about the nature of this mark and what form it will take when "applied" to the person who "receives" it. A quick search on the internet for "the mark of the beast images" will show you just how prevalent the idea has become (A google search for Mark of the Beast returned about 81,300,000 results in slightly more than half a second). Some of the more popular concepts are microchips, the Covid vaccine, and the number 666.

What does it mean?

Interestingly, the Bible does not describe the "mark", but does mention that being able to buy and sell anything during that period of time will depend on the presence of this "mark". Also interesting is how one obtains this mark. According to the word of God, a time is coming when the world will be under the controlling influence of a single organization, likely with a small group of leaders, or maybe even an individual, pulling the strings. For the purposes of this article, I will refer to this entity, whether organization or individual, as "he" or "it". This is only for convenience and is not intended to imply that, if an individual, that it could not be a woman or even one who is identified as "gender neutral", even though that last one would fall into the "it" classification. The general Biblical term for this organization or individual is "the beast". This beast will make it clear that "he" is against anything and anyone who does not agree to worship him as though he is God. Another name for him is The Anti-Christ. In fact, the Bible says that he claims to be God, and he demands the worship of everyone - every single individual on earth.

Now the term used by the Bible to describe the relationship between "the whole world" and this beast is "worship". This worship is not necessarily voluntary (Revelation 13:15
15The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

), but because of his actions, the whole world "wonders" after him (Revelation 13:3
3One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.

). There is even an "enforcer" group or individual that acts as an intercessor between the people and the beast, convincing any who hesitate to make up their minds. This enforcer is called the "false prophet". Somehow, he has to make sure that everyone is submitting to the demands of the beast. He accomplishes this by the use of something called the "mark of the beast".

What is the mark?

Now, here is where it gets tricky. The identity of the mark is never stated outright. This is why the search for the "mark of the beast" brings so many different results (Mark of the Beast). Everyone and his brother thinks they have the right answer and this is what they will be seeking if they are still around when this takes place in the future. No one even knows how far in the future this will occur. The Bible states that the mark will be placed on the forehead or on the right hand of the receiver. A lot of scholars have come forward to say that this will not be a physical mark, but the reference to the forehead implies that this is something that you believe and the right hand is merely a symbol of the actions based on those beliefs.

What's the big deal?

There will come a time when, if you do not have this mark, you will not be able to buy or sell - anything. That may not seem like such a big deal, until you realize that means no gas (driving), no home (can't pay rent or house payments), no food, no heat in winter, no business, no - anything. Think about it. If you have a family, you must decide whether to stand for or against taking this mark. This is quite a dilemma. You may not even think that taking it is wrong. If the beast has convinced you that he really is Jesus Christ who returned, you may want to identify with him. If you have teenagers who don't think it's a big deal to take the mark, you lose them. Maybe your spouse can't take the cold or hunger any more - you lose them and maybe the kids with them.

In this case, "lose" does not mean moved across town or to another city. If they take the mark of the beast, they are doomed (Revelation 14:9-10
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10they, too, will drink the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb."

) to suffer the wrath of God.

What do we avoid?

If we don't know what the mark will be, how do we know when not to take it? Well, there are a couple of clues that will be readily apparent to one who is familiar with the Bible and the way that God works. First, anyone walking around claiming to be God (or Jesus) who did not appear in the clouds so that "every eye will see him" (Revelation 1:7
7"Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen.

) is suspect and is not going to be worthy of worship. So, when you start hearing of an edict requiring worship of someone walking the earth whom you have never seen, or especially of an image of that person, be suspicious. If you are required to take some mark or make a claim of worship, on pain of death, be suspicious. If you think it must be Jesus just because this guy is popular, remember, "the whole world wondered after the beast". Jesus will never require you to take a mark - He will know your heart and your decision as to whether of not to follow Him. If you have to answer a question as to the object of your worship, answer, "Jesus Christ, the Son of God!", and refuse to take a mark.

Now the confusing part

Everyone and his brother, maybe even his sister, will be telling you that they know what the "mark" will be. "It will definitely be ___________!" You fill in the blank and someone will be saying it. Some will even be saying that there will be no mark, it's only what you believe or how you act.

Wait, a no-mark mark?

During the seminar mentioned during the opening of this page, we learned that the presenters think that this mark will not be physical, but will be related to the acceptance of and obedience to God's ten commandments - particularly the fourth one. This means that if you keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy, and follow the rest of them while staying in the will of the Father, you will likely be persecuted by the Antichrist. The impression they give is that you will be fine if you keep Sunday but not the Sabbath because that will be too Jeewwwiiishhh - or legalistic.

How would that work?

It does seem odd that anyone would be able to control whether we buy or sell things based on a day we keep or the celebration of a pagan holiday without some sort of physical mark. However, if we are involved in what God considers wrong activities, He will know. But, how will that keep us from buying groceries? Maybe the Antichrist will publish a list of church membership (only Sabbath churhces?) and if your name is there, they will block your bank account. Maybe that list will be online so that everyone can check it to see if you are one of those "kooks". Boom! No buying. But what about selling? Maybe every buyer would turn down your cash deal on that used car because they would check to see if you belonged to one of those churches. Seems like that would be pretty hard to do, but who knows what the future will bring?

Pagan worship methods required?

However, two of the marks of the world that are not Biblical, are even anti-Biblical (Deuteronomy 12:1-4
1These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you to possess - as long as you live in the land. 2Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. 3Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.

4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.

) but are celebrated by most of the entire world are the days of Christmas and Easter. Now, everyone who reads this immediately counters with, "But we don't worship other gods during those days". OK. But, read what the words say. He said not to worship HIM the way they worship their gods. When we use Christmas trees, Santa Claus, reindeer, mistletoe, Easter eggs, bunnies, and baby chicks, we are worshiping Him the way the pagans taught us to worship. He even knew that we would do that (Deuteronomy 12:30
30and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same."

), so He warned us in advance. We still haven't learned that lesson, and it was given as a commandment. Still think that's all right with Him? If you start getting weird looks because you don't have your Christmas lights up or a tree in the house, you may be getting put on some list.

Some marks are obvious, but no one pays attention

The presenters also allow those holidays in their congregation while admitting that they are pagan. I think this goes too far, especially when you read Deuteronomy chapter 12. When this time of tribulation comes along, we should make sure that any disobedience to the commandments of God is unquestionably off our tables. We cannot take the position, "Well, we are not worshiping other Gods when we do this, even if we do use their symbols!" That is not what He said.

The only thing you can know for sure is that the mark will be some sort of commitment - one that you cannot take back. You will not be able to change your mind. Just taking the mark because "everyone is doing it" will not be a wise move. We must make sure that we do not take the mark of the beast, whatever it is. Also, we must make sure we are not using the mark of the world, which we have learned from the word of God. Things like Christmas, Easter, keeping Sunday instead of Sabbath, and eating things that God calls "junk" mark us as compromising with the world (James 4:4
4You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

, Romans 12:2
2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

). But, isn't that compromise with the world accomplishing the same thing as the mark of the beast?

Bottom line

What is the result of all this mark business? If you do not take the mark of the beast and worship the ruler of the world during the last days, you will not be able to buy or sell, and you might even be put to death (Revelation 13:15
15The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

). Now, this would be the first death that is the destiny of humans. If you take the mark, your name will not be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and you will be destined for the Lake of Fire. If you do not take the mark, and keep God's commands, you may be killed by the beast, but your name will be written in the Book of Life and you will be destined to spend eternity with the Lord. That's where I want to be.











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