What is the mark of the Beast?

By Rev. Charles Cooper

We are told about the mark of the beast in Revelation 13:16-18:

And he (the False Prophet) 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, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast (Antichrist) or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

At the midpoint of Daniel's 70th Week, the Antichrist will "take his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thess. 2:4). This event is called the "Abomination of Desolation" by Daniel and Jesus. From this point on the second beast (the False Prophet ) will begin to enforce the worship of the Antichrist. Part of this worship will include taking his mark upon the right hand or forehead. The mark consists either of the name of the Antichrist or the number of his name, which is 666.

By this time the Antichrist will have control over much of the world's economy. In order to engage in commerce, "to buy or to sell," people will need to take the Antichrist's mark. Those who refuse will not be able to buy or sell.

In recent times, speculations about the exact nature of this mark have abounded. Since the exact name of the beast is unknown, speculation as to what the mark is has received the most attention. A computer chip implant, a bar-code, or a physical brand on the skin have led the list of possibilities at one time or another. However, a closer examination is warranted.

Based on Revelation 13:16-17 and 14:9, there will be three lines of identification: a mark, a name or a number. Most attention has been focused on the number of his name, which is 666. Most fail to appreciate the fact that 666 is an English number. The Bible was not written in English. The book of Revelation is a Greek document. This demands a Greek numbering scheme. So whatever John saw was certainly not the English number 666.

Scripture also tells us very clearly that those who accept the Satanic identification system will be tormented forever:

And 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 upon 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. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. (Rev. 14:9-11)

Engaging in the Satanic identification system will be an act of worship. Those who choose to worship the Antichrist, and identify with him by taking his markings, will receive an eternal punishment. True believers in Jesus Christ will not take the markings of Satan/Antichrist.

It is important at this point to add that believers will not be tricked into taking the markings. Satan/Antichrist has nothing to gain by marking people who are not truly his. With starvation as the penalty, people will gladly take the identification system. Believers will not want to attempt subterfuge--take the identification system externally, but hold allegiance to Christ in their hearts. There are things far worse than physical death. Trying to explain to the Lord our reason for taking a Satanic identification system to escape physical death is one of them.

 

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