The Mark of the Beast
“Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
(Revelation 13:11–17 ESV)
I find it so very odd and frustrating that we need to address this…again.
Unfortunately, every new wave of technology brings with it a scream from some evangelicals that the “mark of the beast” has arrived.
With that scream comes the need to establish what the “mark” really is.
Read carefully…the technology is utterly irrelevant.
The “mark” will signify that you have made a volitional choice to worship the beast.
Without the promise to worship the beast and deny the one true and living God the technology is meaningless.
First century Christians would have understood this.
Every year those who belonged to the trade guilds (along with the rest of the populace) would have to offer a pinch of incense in the public square and affirm that “Caesar is Lord.”
They would receive a “mark” that allowed them to carry on business…without it, they were excluded from the guilds and local commerce.
The end times beast will be a fulfillment of all those who came before him and the last mark will be as the one I noted here.
Once again…the issue isn’t the nature of the mark, it’s the decision to worship the beast and deny Christ.
“And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,”
(Revelation 14:9 ESV)
“So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.”
(Revelation 16:2 ESV)
“And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.”
(Revelation 19:20 ESV)
“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
(Revelation 20:4 ESV)
You cannot “accidentally” receive the mark, nor can it be forced upon you.
You will only receive it if you choose to deny Christ and worship the beast.
Be aware as well that there are orthodox theologians that have a completely different take on these matters that are worth studying.
Now, stop reading all that nonsense…