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What Is the Mark of the Beast and How Do I Know If I Have It or Not?

Revelation 13 introduces the beast, the Antichrist, who will rule the world during the last week and ultimately devastate the earth for forty-two months. The Apostle John describes another beast, the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11), who also rose to power during the same period and whose mission was to cause people to worship the first beast and his image and receive his mark on their foreheads and/or on the right hand (Revelation 13:14-16). Before we can identify what the mark of the Antichrist is, it is important to understand that the mark of the devil is the opposite of the seal of God, and that these are indeed spiritual seals (not physical seals) that protect and preserve each party’s people.

The devil has always tried to imitate God, so his mark is simply the devil's way of imitating God's seal on God's people. Just as God the Father set His seal on Jesus Christ so that those who believe in Him receive the same seal (John 6:27), the devil delegates the Antichrist to seal his followers (Revelation 13:2,4)

The seal of God is the Holy Spirit and is only received through belief in Jesus Christ, as clearly stated in Ephesians 1:13-14. We also read the same information about God’s seal of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4:30 and 2 Corinthians 1:22. The Scriptures clearly indicate that God recognizes His people by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14); and those whom He has sealed are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2) and kept safe and sustained amid the tribulation of this transient world (Revelation 7:3-4; 9:4).

The mark of the beast (Antichrist) is the direct opposite of the seal of God as it identifies people as followers of Satan. Along the same line of spiritual sealing, the mark of the beast is the spirit of the devil, which rebels against God. The mark of the beast is described in Revelation 13:16–18 and is to be received by Antichrist’s followers on their foreheads (referring to their mind) and on their right hands (meaning their actions). Indeed, the mark of the beast reflects the recipient's status of unbelief, which can also manifest in their actions.

In the world dominated by injustice, it is evident that people without the mark of the beast face worldly disapproval, which makes their lives more difficult than those with the mark. This was predicted in Verse 17 which clearly states that “…no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark….”. Verse 17 also offers further details on the mark of the beast: people only need to have either the name of the beast or the number of its name. Since the name of the beast is already known as Antichrist, then bearing its name amounts to behaving like an anti-Christ by acting against Christ. The number of the beast is further shown in verse 18 as 666. Unlike the number seven which represents that which is complete, perfect, and whole, the number six falls one short of seven, and thus represent imperfection. It is a number of a man: created on the sixth day, disobeyed God, and always seeks self-derived intelligence. The fact that it is repeated three times (666: Imperfect Imperfect Imperfect) implies the emphasis on human imperfection/sinfulness [outside Christ] resulting from the devil's deception.

It is plurally important to note various erroneous interpretations of these passages which often emphasize a physical seal rather than a spiritual seal. Some were made to believe that the beast is the Catholic Pope and attempt to associate the beast's number with the letters on the Pope's hat, or with Sunday worship as opposed to the Sabbath. Some others speculate that there is a connection to the implanted microchip, or the chip found in today's smart credit cards, world currency, or with a tattoo or a type of barcode. Another theory is that the mark of the beast will involve artificial intelligence or genetic modification. Other people even fear unknowingly receiving the mark of the beast through vaccinations, medications, health insurance, electronic ID cards, to name a few. All such claims agitate people’s fears unnecessarily. However scary, dangerous or injurious things may be, we know they are signs of His return and are told not to fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul (Matthiew 10:28). The mark of the beast cannot be something physical but a spiritual mark that reflects the soul's destination in hell.

Another aspect that deserves special attention is timing. People tend to associate the action of the Antichrist only with his prophesied seven-year term of the end times. There are many antichrists and false prophets today (Matthew 7:15, 24:24; Acts 13:6; 1John 2:18, 4:1) as precursors of those to come. They have the same source of power and work hard to pave the way for their master, which is why the last hour should be understood as the Climax of all things. If we truly understand what the mark of the beast is and how the beast works, it is wrong to believe that people will not get the mark of the beast until the final Antichrist rises to power. For people to now become famous, excel in business and flourish in the professional workspace or simply thrive in every angle of this life, you must bear the mark of loyalty to the king of this dark world. If you hold fast to truth, justice, and faithfulness to the Lord, you will likely find that your doors close from time to time, leading you to disapproval, humiliation, and ultimately difficulty in life. We must choose to either prosper in this world and lose eternal life or let go of this world to preserve our eternal inheritance.

In all, we will never see anyone with a physical mark on their body or otherwise displayed to indicate their loyalty to Satan. The important point in all of this is to simply ask ourselves this question: do you have a “mark” that identifies and signifies your loyalty to the devil? Or do you have a “seal” that identifies your loyalty to Christ?

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