“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,” Revelation 13:16
Not long ago, I was approached by a man who stated that he and his wife were going to cease using their bank cards, debit cards and credit cards – including their social security cards. The reason? They believed that to do so was taking the ‘mark’ of the antichrist. The problem, as I tried to explain to the man’s error, was not that their thought was necessarily wrong, for a day is coming where there most certainly will be a genuine mark placed upon every human being in the distant future, the problem with his belief was it was misplaced. He and his wife were wrong in their estimation of what is the mark of the beast, and instead, were making life very difficult for themselves. It was bad wisdom on their part. Sadly, they are not the only ones who think like this.
For centuries, theologians have argued, debated, studied as to what exactly is the coming mark of the beast? What exactly could be this thing that has perplexed the church in such a way that we would know what to look for when it arrives? However you feel on this subject, we must at least address the topic carefully as to avoid unnecessary fears and worries when something different emerges on the world scene.
John warned of this coming mark, as well as the one who would yield it, so did Peter, as did Paul, the reason? They understood that in the final last days of humanity, where every evil known to man would arise, that one individual would claim global authority upon this world, and thereby yield his power, and his mark, upon the entirety of the human population. The Antichrist.
If the early men of faith warned us in their written words, should we not equally listen and glean from their warnings? Everywhere we look, we can see something is changing in our world, namely in the field of technology. How interesting that within only 140 years, we’ve went from the Bell’s photophone to the Iphone. It seems that the one major advancement, besides warfare, is in fact technology. It is technology which clearly is reaching at a far greater pace than man could ever imagine, but why? I believe the answer to that question is found in the word of God. Daniel the prophet stated it as such, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4
To be clear, we are living in the information age. Whereas past ages were based on industrial periods of human invention, no longer are we inventing industry, instead we are inventing information, to be more precise – technology driven knowledge. This is where I believe Satan is lurking behind the scenes – in modern science. While I do not take away science of having beneficial means to humanity, such as the invention of vaccines, penicillin and other medical discoveries, past, present and future, there is no question something has changed within the scientific community to such a degree that one has to wonder what is in fact truly going on behind those closed doors of science.
From the discovery of genetic DNA strands, to the manipulation of genes (source), science is taking a giant leap forward into undiscovered arenas, and the only answer to this is clear, to change man’s overall need for God, and replace him with something else. It is this writer’s opinion that Satan has in fact become intermixed with science, and is thus leading certain discoveries that is being portrayed as scientific achievements, as nothing more demonic influence. We clearly see this has occurred once before in Genesis 6:1-4, when Satan schemed to pollute the bloodline of man by mingling it with the seed of fallen beings (angels). The result was a species which brought about the world’s first global day of judgment – the flood.
I remain convinced that there is a reason why technology and science has achieved what it has in these past mere 100 years, it’s because time is racing prophetically at such a fast pace, that Satan realizes his time is very short, and in turn, his reach into the many factions of man’s dominance can clearly be seen. Which leads us to the question, what specifically can we say is the mark of the beast?
While I will not make an attempt to state without reservation what that mark is 9we simply do not know), yet if we examine the word in detail, I believe we can deduce what it more than likely is, and if we examine the world of science and technology along with the evil heart of man, we can see, in my estimation, that the mark will be both physical as well as spiritual. Spiritual in the sense that it will do something to those whom take it. Causing not only a permanent mark upon the skin, it will signal complete judgment from God.
To be clear, there is the matter of receiving the mark itself we need to be aware of, one which God gives a very specific warning to those who receive it – even Christians. In the book of Revelation, chapter 14 and verse 9-10, John writes the words God gives him by stating the following, “Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
John makes the warning very clear, those who take the mark cannot inherit heaven, rather, they have sealed their eternal fate. So who can we rectify this verse with the verse in Matthew 12:31? Which states, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” The context is clear, it is not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which condemns, it’s the act of unbelief which actually condemns. The unpardonable sin is the sin of rejection. It is when someone has reached a point where they no longer feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, so this answers the question some ask when they try to question is Revelation 14:9 and Matthew 12:31 in conflict? The answer is no, there is no conflict. The reason is very simple, to receive the mark is to demonstrate complete allegiance to Satan and the man of sin. This rejects God and Christ and the work of the cross, the end result is one cannot be afforded salvation because they have taken upon themselves the full weight of wickedness and evil, which is the mark of the beast himself.
So what is the mark? Let’s dispel what is not the mark:
It is not a microchip.
It is not a tattoo.
It is not an RFID chip.
It is not your debit card.
It is not your credit card.
It is not your social security card.
It is not the UPC symbol on the package of bread, or cereal you buy, or any other item bought or sold.
The mark of the beast, whatever it will take the form of, is just that – a mark. It is something which clearly indicates ownership. Vine defines the word mark as it is used in Revelation 13:16, 14:9-10 as; ‘denotes a stamp, impress, translated “mark”‘. It is a Greek word meaning stigma. This mark, brand or symbol will be placed upon the forehead or right hand to signify complete allegiance, submission and authority to lordship. Sound familiar?
When we who are in Christ, walk in Christ, we take upon ourselves his mark, not a mark that can be seen with natural eyes, but a mark by which signifies someone who has been purchased, in this case, a purchase by blood. We, who are in Christ, bear the mark of Christ in our heart. However, it is Satan’s plan, as it always has been to be like God, and I believe his mark he will impose upon the world will do what he could only slightly do in Genesis 6, to re-create man in his own image, through the use of science and technology.
Satan has always sought to counterfeit God to demonstrate his own pride at attempting to be like the most high God. It is this mark, which I believe would be impossible to be a simple marking upon the body, which will literally change man’s spiritual mind into serving one master – willingly. Thus the role of science and technology. It is no secret that man has been trying to master sickness and death. Today, science has attempted to create the perfect pill to stop hunger, lose weight, gain weight, grow hair, lose hair, have the perfect body. It also seeks to stop diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and every other sort of medical problem which has plagued man – even death. Man has desperately sought to do what only God can do, and I believe Satan will do in part what man can only dream of doing, and it will come at a price, the price of ones soul.
It is my opinion that the mark in Revelation 13:16 has a double meaning, as well as a double purpose. We see that more closely in verse 17 where the verse reads, “And that no man might buy or sell, save he who had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” It is obvious to the reader that the second part or meaning to the mark is an economic one. This would bring about complete control over those who take the mark. The mark is one that will be of both spiritual as well as economical. It will change the very method by which the world works and lives and thinks. It will cause men to abdicate his need for God, thereby re-creating a significant change in both appearance as well as mentality. In other words, this mark will not just be some ID card, or a tattoo, or some chip which can easily be thrown away or peeled off or erased. This mark will be one which, for those who take it, will be like the first Adam, having their eyes opened for the first time, where they will be given all of the secrets of the universe – but it will be a lie. That mark, whatever form it will take, will change the heart to such a degree that people not only will not want to repent, but they will have a evil mindset against God himself and Christ his son, not to mention those who serve him.
The truth is, the mark is something which will be given to this world from something outside our world. From another source. Remember, it comes from the beast himself, it is designed by the beast, promoted by the false prophet, and yielded by something not of this world. To suggest anything less would be foolish. This is the power of Satan which will be seen for all the world to see, for this being will have power over life and death, the elements, and eventually over the church. This is why to receive the mark is damning one to hell, ushering in the wrath of almighty God. This is why the mark is both a symbol of ownership, and one of slavery.
At some point in the future, our world will face its greatest challenge to date, and many will fall under this dark time which is yet to come. Yet this is why Jesus gave us a promise that we who endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Whatever the image the mark takes is insignificant to the greater purpose of the mark itself, which is to damn the soul to eternity. That is the ultimate plan by Satan, to destroy the lives of millions, even billions to an eternal hell, by simply taking the mark. One little mark that has a greater consequence than anything before it, and why the church needs to preach the gospel while it can, before our time comes to an end.