The Mark of the Beast

The topic of the mark of the beast is often presented as one of the most dreadful messages from God, giving humanity a grim ultimatum of eternal doom. But I would like to approach this study as a message of love and forbearance. Love, because God is warning His people of an issue that, if not resolved, will cause eternal separation from Him, and forbearance because He’s been patient with us. My goal is to motivate and inspire my viewers with a want to seek God.

This study will review the message found in Revelation 14:9-10, God’s final demand for humanity to return to the worship of the Living God and break off relations with the beast. While others may want to focus on the negative, I’ll be pointing your attention to God’s marvelous love and kindness in giving us this information.

It’s our responsibility as Bible students to make every effort to understand what this mark is according to His scriptures. As I’ve examined popular teachings on this topic, I’ve come to conclude most are simply human conjectures not based on a “thus saith the Lord.” And basing our trust in false doctrines is just dangerous. It’s unwise to approach our salvation hypothesizing when God has given us everything we need in His scriptures.

Father anoint your Words, for we have opened them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall 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 ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)

There’s a lot of information in these verses, but for this video, we’ll focus on the part that says:

“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead…”

In order for us to show what this mark is we must first understand what a beast is and what it’s depicting according to what’s in the Bible. We find an answer to this in Daniel 7:23, defining a beast as a kingdom, or a government, and describing its character.

“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” (Daniel 7:23)

Part 1: Defining a beast

Here we see a beast is defined as a kingdom, and this kingdom (or a government) is ruling over the whole earth.

Look how the writings also describe this beast’s character by telling us it will devour the whole earth, tread it down, and break it into pieces.

Is this making sense so far? Now that we understand what the Bible defines as a beast, let’s take a look at what Revelation 13 has to say about this kingdom. Turning our Bibles to Revelation 13:1-9 we see a description of this 4th beast and verse 1 tells us that this beast, this kingdom, arises from the sea and has a mark.

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.(Revelation 13:1)

Do you see where it says “the name of blasphemy”? This is the mark of the beast. This phrase identifies the character of this kingdom.

Notice how the Bible describes God’s process for sealing, (or marking) His people in Revelation 14:1 and Revelation 22:4.

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

The verse is speaking of the forehead referring to the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for judgment and impulse control. These are marked individuals who have surrendered their lives to Christ and achieved character perfection and are able to stand without an intercessor.

Turn your Bible to Revelation 22:4.

“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)

This is referring to the Father, it is His name engraved in their foreheads. A fulfillment of Jesus’ promise saying:

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

For us to be able to understand what the mark of the beast is, we need to prove how God marks His people. We see an example of this in Exodus chapter 33 when Moses asks God two key questions that upon examination, help us understand what God’s requirements are for His seal of approval to be placed upon the foreheads of those that are His.

In Exodus 33:16 Moses wanted to secure God’s grace for his nation. Towards the end of the verse, you’ll note Moses revealing that a separation between God’s people and those “upon the face of the earth” would take place. This scenario is an example of how a nation received the mark of God, a seal of distinction.

Notice:

“For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Exodus 33:16)

Do you understand? 

How are we to know we’ve found grace in Your sight? Isn’t the token of Your grace that Your presence will remain with us? God’s answer to Moses in the next verse is key.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” (Exodus 33:17)

God said He knew Moses by name. This means he’d found grace in the sight of God. For that reason, his petition would be answered and he’d be allowed to see the glory of God.

To know the correct interpretation of what “a mark in the forehead” is we have to understand this. This answer shows the process of God’s acceptance. Again, before God shows Moses His glory, He re-confirmed His covenant with the nation, by giving Moses the second set of tablets. The nation had been rejected after asking Aaron to build them a golden calf, so before God can answer Moses’ prayer He has to re-establish His law with that nation. Then He proceeds by defining His glory as “the name of the LORD.” The “name” is the character.

“And he [Moses] said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he [God] said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exodus 33:18-19)

This establishes what the Bible means when speaking of a mark, or a name, referring to the character. The scripture uses these terms interchangeably.

In the book Ministry of Healing pg. 464, Ellen White said:

It is our privilege to reach higher and still higher for clearer revealings of the character of God. When Moses prayed,

“I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory,” the Lord did not rebuke him, but He granted his prayer. God declared to His servant, “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.” (Exodus 33:18,19.)

It is sin that darkens our minds and dims our perceptions. As sin is purged from our hearts, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, illuminating His word and reflected from the face of nature, more and more fully will declare Him:

“merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6.)

After God renews the covenant, He answers Moses’ prayer and shows him His glory.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:1, 5-7)

His glory, His name, is His character.

Notice what John says about the glory of God in John 1:12-14:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:12-14)

Do you believe on His name? Are you born of the will of God and is He dwelling among you?

But most importantly, are you beholding His glory through the study of His Word?

To believe is defined as accepting something as true, genuine, or real. Belief involves a commitment to His will, which is why He says:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Jesus is the mark of the name of GOD. That’s why we end our prayers saying “in the name of Jesus…”

Isaiah says:

“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

Let us who are called and chosen to have one mind and give our power and strength to Christ.

Do you understand what the mark of God is?

Part 2: Defining waters

Let’s move on to our next point. We need to establish what Revelation 13:1 meant when it mentioned: “a beast rising out of the sea.”

What does water represent?

For this, we’ll turn to Revelation 17:15.

“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (Revelation 17:15)

So we see here that “water” represents the people that are upon the face of the earth.

Does that sound familiar? If not, read Exodus 33:16 again.

Now wouldn’t you think it imperative to correctly identify this beast (or government) emerging from the waters in Revelation 13? Do you still think the mark of the beast is a microchip or a supercomputer? Father help us to discard preconceived ideas not based on your Word. In Jesus’ name.

To begin identifying the beast of Revelation 13, let’s read Revelation 13:1-8,18:

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Eight identifying characteristics

  • Verse 2 – the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority
  • Verses 3, 7 – this government would become a worldwide power
    • all the world wondered after the beast (v. 3)
    • power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (v. 7)
  • Verse 5 – This power would rule 42 months or 1260 literal years
    • One prophetic day equals one literal year, read Ezekiel 4:6
  • Verses 5, 6 – guilty of blasphemy
    • a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies
    • he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven
    • blasphemy
    • someone claiming to be God, John 10:33
    • someone claiming to have the power to forgive sins, Luke 5:21
  • Verse 3 – would receive a deadly wound that would heal and then the entire world would follow him.
  • Ver 18 – those that understand would count the number of the beast, the number of this man of sin

Now let’s break these points down and begin to identify who this government is.

Verse 2 – the dragon gave this government his power, and his seat, and great authority

Who is the dragon?

Revelation 12:3,4,9 tells us who it is.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. (Rev 12:3)

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Rev 12:4)

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:9)

And verse 4 identifies the dragon as Satan pointing the reader’s attention to a remarkable time in history when Pagan Rome, through king Herod the great initiated the murder of all the infants in Bethlehem attempting to destroy baby Jesus between 6 and 4 b.c., and no, He was not born on December 25th.

With this information, if we look at the history of the Roman Empire, we learn that immediately upon this power’s disintegration, the Roman Catholic church became independent of the state ruling over secular affairs.

“Under the Roman Empire the popes had no temporal powers. But when the Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church not only became independent of the states in religious affairs but dominated secular affairs as well. At times, under such rulers as Charlemagne (768-814), Otto the Great (936-73). and Henry III (1039-56), the civil power controlled the church to some extent; but in general, under the weak political system of feudalism, the well organized, unified, and centralized church, with the pope at its head, was not only independent in ecclesiastical affairs but also controlled civil affairs.” C. Conrad Eckhardt, The Papacy & World-Affairs, p 1.

And in History of the Church page 40 it says:

“The Popes filled the vacant place of the emperors of Rome, inheriting their power, prestige, and titles from paganism.” History of the Church, p 40.

In summary, when taking these points into consideration, we clearly see this kingdom is the Roman church. Now let’s take a look at our second point.

  • Verses 3, 7 – this government would become a worldwide power
    • all the world wondered after the beast (v. 3)
    • power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (v. 7)

During the dark ages the only world superpower that persecuted God’s church and makes war against God’s saints. The Papacy openly claims to have martyred Christians. It is well known that millions were slaughtered throughout the Dark Ages in the inquisition.

  • Verse 5 – This power would rule 42 months or 1260 literal years and receive a deadly wound that would heal

In 1798 the Papal State was abolished with the prophetic deadly wound inflicted on it by Napoleon. This power ruled from 538 to 1798, thus making its reign exactly 1260 years.

  • Verses 5, 6 – guilty of blasphemy, a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies
  • he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven

Sir Issac Newton wrote:

… But it was a kingdom of a different kind than the other ten kingdoms, having a life or soul peculiar to itself, with eyes and a mouth. By its eyes it was a Seer; and by its mouth speaking great things and changing times and laws, it was a Prophet as well as a King. And such a Seer, Prophet and King, is the church of Rome. Newton, Observations, p75], and a mouth [The Pope] speaking great things.

The Papacy openly claims to have the power to forgive sin. According to what’s written in Mark 2:7 only God can forgive sin.

This Bible also tells us that this government would also think to be able to change times and laws. The Papacy openly claims to have changed the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday, a change which they claim has no Scriptural authority.

  • Verse 3 – the entire world would follow him

Pope Francis ‘world’s most popular leader’ – BBC Newswww.bbc.com on Mar 24, 2016, published an article saying that “Pope Francis is more popular than any political world leader.” Everyone knows that the Pope is the most influential world leader. The world is literally wondering after him.

  • Ver 18 – those that understand would count the number of the beast, the number of this man of sin

Now, this verse clearly identifies who the man of sin is, and what government is ruling the earth.

“Vicarius Filii Dei (Latin: Vicar or Representative of the Son of God) is a phrase first used in the forged medieval Donation of Constantine to refer to Saint Peter, a leader of the Early Christian Church and regarded as the first Pope by the Catholic Church. . . The phrase “Vicarius Filii Dei,” reduced to its Roman numerals, sums up to 666. To produce 666, the sum works as follows: VICARIVS FILII DEI = 5+1+100+1+5+1+50+1+1+500+1 = 666.” (Wikipedia)

V – 5 112

I – 1

C – 100

A – 0

R – 0

I – 1

U – 5

S – 0

F – 0 53

I – 1

L – 50

I – 1

I – 1

D – 500 501

E – 0

I – 1

__________________

666

Wikipedia

The only kingdom that claims to be the Vicar of the Son of God is the Papacy. Verses 5, 8 – tells us this beast is a religiopolitical power, usurping the authority of God. The only kingdom upon the face of the earth with these qualities is the Roman Papacy.