Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The phrase “the mark of the beast” finds its origins in the book of Revelation. It’s the last book of the Bible, and not the easiest to understand. Revelation contains a series of prophecies that give us insight on what is to come, and how this world will eventually be renewed. The vivid symbolism and terrifying accounts of worldwide disasters leave many of us counting on the interpretations from “scholars” to comprehend its meaning. These explanations have sparked fear, anxiety, or utter disregard – but that was not the intent of this book. Instead, we find warnings, spiritual truths, and hope for the future. So let’s take a closer look at Revelation, and in this devotional, we’ll answer the question – what is the mark of the beast?
The Mark of the Beast in Scripture
First found in Revelation 13:15-17, we read the following regarding the mark:
He [the second beast] was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
The same mark is referenced again in Revelation 14:9-10, as we read:
Then a third angel followed them [two previous angels], saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Recognizing the mark
It’s easy to understand why there is much concern regarding the mark of the beast. Such a mark is associated with last day events, and the choice to align with darkness. Should we go down this path, we would be making permanent decisions that open up ourselves to the wrath of God. You see, a mark conveys identification – signifying who you are, and to whom you belong. The first Biblical account of being marked is found in Genesis 4. God marked Cain, so that no one would kill him because he was cursed by God for killing his brother. God’s mark was one of mercy. The beast’s mark is one of compliance to sin.
For some, it’s even more concerning that while we are told where a person will receive the mark (forehead or hand), we aren’t given a detailed description of the actual mark. This has left us with endless theories on what the mark of the beast might be… ranging from tattoos to the covid vaccine. We see the commentary on buying or selling and are testing ideas against these constructs. We’re afraid that we might miss what the mark of the beast is, thereby obtaining it.
Yet, by placing so much emphasis on the mark itself, we’ve lost sight of the more important part to these scriptures – and that is “the how”. How exactly do you get this mark? Once we answer that, we’ll better understand what the mark of the beast is.
the third angel’s proclamation
If we go back to Revelation 14:9, the third angel’s proclamation starts with the following condition: If anyone worships the beast and his image. The mark conveys who we identify with, but it takes a series of decisions to get us to that place. Worshiping the beast and his image is our choice to make, and each day our actions are pulling us closer to or further away from that reality. If we do not build our spiritual muscle now, we will not have the divine fortitude needed to stand for God during the heaviest of trials. Revelation 13 makes it clear that choosing God will be a decision that comes with persecution; Death will come to those who do not comply.
Choosing to Worship the Beast
Nevertheless, if we choose to worship the beast, we need to know that we are in direct opposition to what God originally intended for us. In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image”. Then, in verse 27 we also read: “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” After the fall, Christ would come to this world to make an atonement for our sins. We are reminded of such a gift in Romans 6:23. It states: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Should we allow Christ to abide in us, and us in Him, we know that restoration is possible.
Satan, however, is influencing this world so that it becomes enamored with his image – a false projection of what and whom we are supposed to be. We’re getting caught up in material possessions, unnecessary comparisons, unrealistic expectations, and unhealed emotional wounds that are blocking us from achieving our divine calling. We’re getting lost in our smartphones and reality tv. We find distractions to numb the pain and avoid the chaos, with little regard to scripture. Unfortunately, when God is not at the center of who we are and what we do, we’ll find ourselves worshipping this world and the temporary pleasures it has to offer.
So now, what is the mark of the beast?
When we make the choice to worship the beast and his image, we open ourselves up to the potential of receiving his mark. It will be placed on our foreheads or hands, speaking to how we think or what actions we take. Yet how is this any different than where we are today? Well, there will come a time in Earth’s history where on a global scale, we will be required to pledge our allegiance to an entity that is not aligned with our belief systems. If we do not comply, we will be iced out of our communities and way of life.
Persecution will come, and some of us will fold. Out of fear, there are those of us who will worship the beast, doing as it commands to save ourselves from the pain of this world. Some of us are experiencing this in microcosms, but it will eventually be at the macro level. It must be, before God returns. Until then, we don’t need to rush the mark of the beast or try to force its hand. We don’t have to fit current scenarios into spiritual prophecy. It will come when it comes and be revealed in due time.
Connecting with God
Until then, we are to focus on connecting with the most High. Today is the day to work through our weaknesses and recommit ourselves to Christ. There is still time to build our faith as we allow God to refine our souls. We need not worry about the mark of the beast. God wanted us to know what would happen so we could recognize the deception, not so that we would worry and become consumed by the conjecture. As we learn and grow in Christ, He will reveal to us the mysteries found in the Bible. Until then, keep the faith and stay focused on His Word.
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