THE MARK OF THE BEAST! (Feb 2005)

 

HOW WILL WE KNOW?

    The Mark of The Beast has long been a mystery and a source of concern to Christians. It has been a mystery in that the Bible does not come right out and tell us what form the mark will take. It, like the rest of the prophesies in Revelation have been veiled. As we have pointed out on this website, some of these prophesies have begun to reveal them selves. This can only mean we are approaching the end.

    What I hope to do here is shed some light on the question I have heard asked, and I have asked, countless times...  "How will we know the Mark when it comes?"

    This is not to say that we know what form the mark will take, but some of the possible motivations behind it may be coming to light.  Let us begin by looking at the earliest mention in the Bible of a mark being placed on a man.

Genesis 4:13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 

    We all know the story. Cain and his brother Able each brought a sacrifice to the Lord. Abel's sacrifice was pleasing to the Lord and was accepted. Cain was not.  Cain got angry, and when no one was looking he killed him.  Except, someone was looking.  As a punishment God drove Cain out, but in his mercy he placed a mark on Cain as a sign to anyone who might want to take revenge against Cain.

In this instance God placed a mark on a man to protect him from other men.

    For comparison sake, I think it is important to look at the Hebrew word used here for mark. You will see that it is essentially a visual mark, something that can be seen by other people. 

אות

'ôth

oth
Probably from H225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: - mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token. 

Next let us look at Ezekiel, chapter 9

Ezekiel 9:1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.  2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. 3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; 4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.  5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

    This is part of a vision given to Ezekiel concerning Gods judgment of Israel because they had turned their back on God. Those marked were to be spared and are referred to elsewhere in this text as a remnant. The Hebrew word used here for mark is different but also implies something visible.

תּו

tâv

tawv
From H8427; a mark; by implication a signature: - desire, mark.

I think it is also interesting to note the parallels between this and Revelation 7.

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,  3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 

    The significance of these three references is that when God marks a man (or seals), it is for his protection that he may be spared. By contrast taking the Mark of the Beast will result in destruction. 

The first appearance of the Mark is in Revelation 13.

Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

χάραγμα

charagma

khar'-ag-mah
From the same as G5482; a scratch or etching, that is, stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue): - graven, mark.

The Greek word used again implies a mark that can be seen.


    The HE in verse 16 is the False Prophet and the Mark comes in conjunction with the creation of and the degree to worship the image of the Beast. I believe this to be around the time that the tribulation of Gods people begins to heat up.

    Now I know for some who are reading this a light just went on in your head. You are thinking that you can stop reading because you will be raptured with the rest of Gods people long before this. This is the danger of the "pretrib" rapture theory.  So many have been fooled into a false sense of security, they will not recognize the signs when they see them. 

This passage provides some very important sign posts.



THE FIRST SIGN POST

    Everyone will be required to take the Mark. Rich, poor, young and old. Men and woman. Everyone. It will be a law.  In the beginning you may get away with stalling, but eventually there will be no getting around it. You will accept the Mark or you will pay the consequences.

    To be saved, refusal of the Mark must go hand in hand with the acceptance of Jesus Christ and the salvation he alone can offer. There will be those will refuse for reasons other then a stand for God. Some will refuse on principal. I think in the end they will change their mind, when they are shown the chopping block. 

    What of Muslims? I am fairly certain they will not accept the Mark. I am positive they will not worship the Image. Will they have the strength to follow through? Or will God cause them to falter in the end as yet another sign that Jesus is the only road to salvation. 

I think we should touch on the consequence for not taking the Mark.

Revelation 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

    I think this is very clear. Refusal to take the Mark will result in the separation of you from your head. Is that really a lot to ask? What is your mortal life worth when God has promised to grant us access to the Tree of Life? The first half of Revelation 20:4 also speaks to the reward for standing firm.

To be fair we should give equal time to the consequences of taking the Mark.

Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  11 And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Enough said.



THE SECOND SIGN POST

 
   Without the Mark you will not be able to buy or sell. The only way this can work, is hand in hand with the elimination of paper money. I know the term "Cashless Society" makes all people roll their eyes. I can not blame them, a lot of people have cried wolf over the years.  I remember sitting in church, listening to the arguments about ATM cards. More then a few people were convinced that this was the Mark of the Beast. ATM cards are not the Mark. I am sure you have one in your wallet. I am equally sure you have at least a couple of bucks in your pocket as well. 

    However those who were nervous about ATM cards may not have been that far off track. Look at the progression. They started as a way to access your cash when the bank was closed. Today you have debit cards and check cards. You can get through the whole day without any cash. Put gas in your car, buy your lottery ticket and stop for lunch without so much as a dime in your pocket. Of course there were credit cards before ATM cards, but you had to have good credit to get a credit card. All you need is a bank account and you have an ATM card. Besides, who wants to pay interest on a gallon of milk?

    It is interesting to note the recent push within the last couple of years to bring the un-banked (those who for one reason or another do not have a bank account) in to the system.  Of course this is meant to improve their lives by helping them integrate into the system.

    The devil will never hit you with the whole thing at once. It is always a little at a time and always meant to be "for your own good". 

    Another thing we should be aware of is the move toward establishing a central data base. This would make your medical records more accessible. Your DNA profile could be added to your medical records. This would be done to make it impossible to falsely convict someone of a crime.

    The most efficient way to use a central data base is for everyone to carry their personal link or access code with them. With the current culture of fear we are living in, the personal link or access code would have to be something safe. Something that could not be stolen or counterfeited. That technology exist today. It has been used in Mexico and has recently been approved by the FDA for human use in the States. 

    Worried about someone stealing your credit card or accessing your accounts fraudulently? Worried about identity theft?  It would not be big leap to link this data base to your financials. Now every transaction can be handled without cash and there would be no question of identify theft. Now you can eliminate cash. Do away with things like counterfeiting and black marketeering. There would be no more drug smuggling or illegal weapons sales. Terrorist cells would be brought to a stand still. 

    Those of you who are saying "this is an invasion of your privacy and would never fly". Remember you live in a democracy, the majority rules. The majority will be more concerned with their own safety and security then your privacy.  If you raise an objection people will start wondering what you are trying to hide.

    Still in verse 17, it refers to the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. I believe this implies that although the Mark will be mandatory, those who accept it will have a couple of options. The options will most likely relate to layers of information. The simplest or first layer being your identification. Your name, birth date, address and financial information. The layers would go up from there. Education, medical records, employment history and security clearances. Everything from any STDs you may or may not have, to how old you were the last time you wet the bed. (This of course is conjecture no my part, but seems likely. If for no other reason then to make it seem less invasive.) 

    When it comes to the number of his name, there are far too many theories to even go into. I will say that I believe the number refers to six hundred and sixty-six, not three sixes.  Also I think it is significant that John states that it is the number of a man. The Beast, in its final form, I believe will be a man possessed by Satan. The number will either refer to a name or a title and is most likely meant as an early warning system or a way to prove the point once he is in power. Beyond that I do not feel there is much more to be said at this time.



THE THIRD SIGN POST

 
   Another key element in identifying the Mark is its placement in the time line of the last days. Chapter 13 does this fairly well. 

Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.  2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

    These first two verses describe the rise of the beast. The image of the sea is often used in prophesy to represent people or nations. This, in my mind, points to the Beast using an existing, accepted institution or country as a spring board. The power and authority of the beast is granted to him by the Dragon.  If you have any doubts about the identity of the Dragon, chapter 12 clears that up. Chapter 12 gives us a snap shot of the entire conflict between God and Satan. Verse 9 clearly identifies the dragon.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    So the Bible is very clear that the Beast gets it power from Satan.  Let me say here that at this point in events I believe that the Beast with its seven heads and ten horns represents more than one person. I think it clearly represents a coalition of governments working toward the same goal. At this point I believe that the Beast will be a corporate entity. 



THE FOURTH SIGN POST

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

    This is the next identifying sign to look for.  Here we see one of the seven heads receiving a deadly wound and being healed. There are a few points that should be made here. It has long been accepted that this refers to a man, a leader being assassinated and coming back to life.  Some have even placed a period of three days between death and resurrection. 

Chapter 17 throws a wrench into that.

Revelation 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

    This states that the seven heads are mountains or possibly continents (which support the idea of a one world government). The ten horns are referred to as kings. The assassination of a king is an easy concept to grasp. The destruction of a mountain or continent is not that hard to visualize either, unfortunately. Its the healing of that mountain or continent that is hard to follow. 

    We have talked about this here at 11TH Hour and have not yet been able to reconcile chapter 17 with the traditional view of chapter 13. It may be that the traditional view is completely wrong. Prophesy is never truly clear until it becomes history. As you get closer to an event the pieces start to fall into place and the picture starts to become clearer. The true purpose of prophesy is not to foresee the future, but to point to elements that have transpired to give creditability to the elements yet to come. 

So what should we take from Revelation 13: 3-4? 

    The event here will be big; it will be something that conventional wisdom will say can not be survived. Yet the Beast will survive. Through this survival the Beast will become even more powerful than before. Powerful enough to warrant worship. I also believe this is the point where the Beast becomes a single entity. Which I believe is supported by 2 Thessalonians.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    I will not use the term antichrist. It is never used in Revelation and actually only shows up a couple of times in the whole Bible.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

In each instance it is used more to describe an attitude then to describe a person.



THE FIFTH SIGN POST

Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world


    The gloves are off; the Beast brings his campaign against God into the light of day. We know that by now the Beast will have attention of the world. Things will also start to heat up for Gods people. 

    The trumpets should have at least started by this time and people will be suffering. God’s people, who have been sealed and protected, will be pleading with the people around them to accept Jesus and be saved. It’s not hard to imagine what people will be thinking...
”What kind of God would do this to us?”
“I’m not a bad person, why should I suffer?”
“What makes these people special?”


    It should be noted that I believe the Trumpets to be Gods last ditch effort to reach people. We are to be part of that effort. It will be our responsibility to get the word out. It will be our responsibility to point to Gods purpose, his grace and the path to salvation.

    It wouldn’t be hard for the Beast to point his finger at Christians and blame them. We’ve seen how easily a group of people can be singled out. Look at WW II. I’m not talking only about what the Germans did to the Jews. The Japanese who were unfortunate enough to live in America in the 40’s were rounded up and put into camps too. They weren’t gassed, but they certainly didn’t do anything to warrant that kind of treatment either. Unless being of Japanese descent was illegal. 

    Just in case anyone is feeling superior, let’s not forget the American Indians. The only thing they did was wake up one morning to find a bunch of white guys wading onto their beach. Now, to bring it a little closer to home. There are quite a few people who are sitting in cells at Guantonamo Bay who have no contact with the outside world, not even a lawyer. When a country like the United States can get away with that. When the United States can toss the Geneva Convention out the window, because it’s quaint and out dated. The tribulation of the saints can’t be that far off. 



THE SIXTH SIGN POST

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.


    The rise of the False Prophet is the last identifying sign that we should be looking for. His job is simple. He will proclaim the Beast to be God. He will erect an image of the Beast and order people to worship it. He will institute the Mark.

    To back up his claims and to encourage people to go along, the Beast will give his "prophet" the ability to work signs and miracles. As Bob said the other night, “We’re not talking about card tricks.” The only thing the Bible calls out specifically is the ability to call fire down from the sky.
I wonder what that will get used for. In addition I believe the False Prophet will be given the power to heal, make it rain, whatever it takes.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Verse 15 states that he will have the power to make the image of the Beast speak. This is not as much of a mystery to us as it must have been to John. With today’s technology that would be easy. Of course I am still open to the idea that there could be something supernatural about this. Verse 15 also states the image of the Beast will bring about the death of anyone who will not worship it. I guess we will have to wait and see on that one. 

    Personally I see the False Prophet as a greasy salesman type and wouldn’t put it past him to resort to cheap tricks. (That would just be conjecture on my part of course).

So we have six Sign Posts or identifiers to look for. 

First; The Mark will be mandatory. They won’t ask you to take it, they will tell you to.

Second; Without the Mark you will not be able to buy or sell.

Third; The rise of the Beast. I believe it will start off looking like a coalition of governments working toward a common goal.

Fourth; One man will move to the forefront in a way that will be undeniably spectacular. He will survive something that should have destroyed him. People will start wondering if he is God.

Fifth; The Beast will turn his attention on Gods people, perhaps blaming them for the suffering that must be going on by now. This is where the real Tribulation starts.

Sixth: The rise of the False Prophet. He will be the one to declare the Beast as God. He will have the ability to perform miracles and wonders. He will build the image. He will order its worship and he will institute the Mark itself.

    I used to believe that there would be no question of what the Mark was and who was behind it. I believed that anyone taking the Mark would know exactly what they were doing and who they were choosing. I no longer believe that. I have talked to quite a few people who are reading the same scriptures that I am reading. They see things in those scriptures that are just not there. I believe some of these people will take the Mark convinced that they are on Gods side. These same people will turn on those of us pleading with them to see the truth. 

    These same people will see us as being in Gods way. Since they have come to believe somehow, that God needs them to clear and secure the L. Z. (landing zone) for him, they will be doing God a favor by getting you out of the way.

    I may find myself coming back to this article at some point and rewriting part of it. If God shows me that something here is inaccurate then it will have to be changed.

    The best protection you can possible have is to invite Jesus into your heart TODAY. Start your closer walk with God TODAY. Only by the grace of God and with his strength do you or any of us have a chance of standing for him in the end.


All Bible references taken from "Theophilos Bible Software" Copyright (c) 1999 by International Bible Translators, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
All Greek and Hebrew references taken form "e-Sword" Copyright © 2000-2005 - Rick Meyers, All rights reserved worldwide

In Christ, E. D. Smith

 


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