Mark of the Beast

Mark of the Beast
Written by: Chris Stukenberg

"The Mark of the Beast" - what an unbelievable concept and something that has caused much consternation over the centuries! Now with people marching in the streets and holding signs saying, "We won't bear your mark!" concerning the vaccines, or rumors of a cashless society, perhaps we need to clarify what the mark is. Let's start by tracing "marking" throughout the Bible.

God marks Cain. After murdering his brother, Cain is concerned that "whoever finds me will kill me." So, God marks Cain to protect him. This likely was a physical mark, due to the fact that other humans would have to see it.

In Leviticus, God requests that men "not mark" themselves, which is referring to cutting oneself and tattooing for the dead. God asks His people, Israel, to use His word to mark themselves on their hand or forehead instead (Deut. 6:8). In a Bedouin society, the forehead or hand are the only visible locations, so this marking would be very noticeable.

Again, in Revelation 7, God marks His people (v.3) by marking their foreheads and protecting them from the coming judgments and demonic influence.

So, God marks people in Scripture, it seems for:
  1. protective measures, 
  2. to "set them apart,"
  3. to remind them who they belong to.

At times this is a physical mark, while at other times it is unclear whether it is a physical mark or a spiritual one (a mark that only God can see).

Now, let's consider the "Mark of the Beast." The beast of the land follows the beast of the sea who follows the dragon. Many have pointed out that God's trinity is parodied here by an unholy trinity. It also seems interesting that, after God has marked His people, this unholy group moves to mark their own people. If we are following the thread throughout scripture so far, this could be a physical mark, but doesn't have to be. This mark also allows people to purchase sustenance after the judgments have begun on earth (if following Revelation linearly), but only after one chooses to worship the beast/dragon.

This is an image that would have made sense to John's listeners. In the first century, people had to worship the emperor to be allowed to live a good Roman life. The emperors (Julius and Augustus) made a tenuous deal with Herod to create a "Jewish Exception," so the Jews could worship as they felt led, but this was a hot-button issue in the day. John's readers and listeners would have known that people must align themselves with the beast in order to achieve this! People cannot be duped into worshipping another being unless they do not know God, have His mark, or know His word.

So, worship God the Father by the blood sacrifice of the Lamb and through His Spirit. If you are His, you will not be duped, tricked, snatched, vaccinated, or scared into worshipping the beast or his leader. While it is possible that we will face tribulations in this life, we hold fast to God out of love and stand firm on His promises, no matter what. He holds tightly to us and will not let us go.

Trust this. Trust Him. Know the word and don't give in to the constant fear-mongering and reactionary garbage the world throws out. Let's pray that God's purposes advance in this time and that we are worthy ambassadors of the ways of Jesus.
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