But One Mark of The Beast - By Joe Southerland -
"...and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands..." (Revelation 20:4).
There exists a great deal of speculation churning amidst the watchers concerning the technology that is now mature enough to rapidly implement the mark of the Beast. We must remember, however, there is but one mark of the Beast.
As a watcher and pre-tribulation rapture Believer, I am watching for the signs of Christ's return as we draw ever closer to the blessed event of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.* While I do watch the signs of the times intently, one thing I am not personally concerned about is the mark of the Beast arising before the pre-tribulation rapture. Why?
Because the scriptures clearly show that:
Taking the mark of the Beast will be a spiritually "black and white" decision. No one will accidentally take the Beast mark. No one will be tricked into taking the Beast's mark. As always, God will not deny Mankind free will to choose, for as Abraham rhetorically asked in Genesis 18:25, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" And He will. For if Jesus shall not judge justly, Mankind has no hope.
The mark of the Beast is specifically relegated to a known period of time within the Seven-Year Tribulation. There is no time outside this period in which the scriptures indicate this Beast mark Could there be trial runs and foreshadowing? Of course. However, these do not THE mark of the Beast make.
Stick to the Scriptures
As the Church Age draws to its dramatic close and the mysterious mark of the Beast looms closer on the horizon, we must educate ourselves in knowing what the scriptures specifically say concerning the mark of the Beast.
We need to take our role as modern Bereans to heart, educate ourselves concerning the scriptures, and then stick to the scriptures. A caution: it is far too easy to take a little of God's scriptures and pepper them with current events and then create extra-biblical speculation laced with the Word of God. So, let's turn to the scriptures and see what they say concerning the Beast's mark.
Enter the Beast
If you are new to the Bible End-Times study, the Beast is but one of many names given to a Satanically-empowered global dictator. He shall rise from the darkness and come to power during a tumultuous seven-year period of time which comes to an end as Jesus Christ returns to take full dominion over the earth. The Beast is also known as the Antichrist, the Son of Perdition, the Little Horn, the Wicked, and many other names. Isaiah 14:13; Ezekiel 28:2,6,9; Daniel 7:25, 11:36; 1st Corinthians 8:5; Revelation 13:6; 2nd Thessalonians 2:3, 2:8.
When does the Beast come to full power? Like his father, Satan, who attempted to usurp the throne of heaven in Isaiah 14:13, the Beast will proclaim himself God in the yet-to-be-built Third Temple in Jerusalem.
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2nd Thessalonians 2:4, KJV).
From Daniel 9:27, which Jesus references in Matthew 24:15, we know that this occurs in the midst of the Seven-Year Tribulation.
Where We Find the Beast's Mark in the Scriptures
The Beast's mark is only found in the Bible's Book of Revelation. It is found seven times, in five locations, and we will examine all these instances.
It is first mentioned in Revelation Chapter 13, once the Beast has taken both supreme rulership and godship over the world's government, economic and religious systems.
Revelation 13:15-17 is referencing the False Prophet (the Beast's evil religious leader) "...and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Notice here the Beast mark is tied directly to the choice of worshipping the Beast or not worshipping the Beast; a very personal, and eternal spiritual decision.
The next location we find the Beast mark is from an angel sent by God to warn Mankind about taking the Beast mark. Revelation14:9-10a "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." Notice God provides no doubt that the Beast mark is tied to Beast worship.
Next, we find that not taking the Beast mark brings honor, praise and reward from God. Revelation 15:2 "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God."
The "them" here are those in Revelation 13:15 who DID NOT worship the Beast nor take his mark. They are now in heaven for they have won a spiritual victory over the Beast, though it cost them their physical life on earth to do so.
Up next we find, yet again, the Beast mark is related to judgment. Revelation 16:2 "And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."
Notice again, the mark is tied to worshipping the beast.
Finally, we find the Beast mark related to honor, praise and reward. Revelation 20:4 "...and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands;..."
These souls, like those in Revelation 13:15, HAD NOT worshipped the Beast nor taken his mark. They too had won a spiritual victory over the Beast, though it cost them their physical life on earth to do so.
Thus, concludes the Holy Spirit-provided scriptural references concerning the Beast's mark. That is it. There is no more scripture.
What We Can Conclude from the Scripture
The Mark of the Beast will only be valid in the time of the Beast's reign of power and carnage; during a very specific period within the Seven-Year Tribulation. There is absolutely no time recorded in the scripture, external to this period, that the Beast mark will be used by God to judge people's salvation.
The Beast will demand a quid pro quo for his mark: his worship. As we saw in every instance, the Beast's mark is directly related to worship. God even goes to the point of specifically sending Mankind an angel from heaven to warn them of the eternal spiritual consequence of taking the Beast's mark.
According to the scriptures, it is clear that the Beast Mark is an outward physical indicator of a person's internal spiritual state. Each person alive during this time will be forced to make a free-will decision to either be in league with the Beast or with God. They must choose to WORSHIP THE BEAST in order to take the MARK OF THE BEAST. If they take the Beast mark, it will be a deliberate and conscious, eternally impactful, and an irrevocable decision.
In this day, Satan may indeed be softening up Mankind to the idea of taking chips and marks into their bodies in preparation for the Beast's mark. However, there is only one timeframe in which Beast worship and receiving the Beast mark is a quid pro quo demand. There is but one mark of the Beast.
While we can watch for the technological advances, which allow the implementation of the Beast mark, we must remember and be responsible with God's scripture. Then we can inform others that the Beast mark is only valid for judgment within the Beast's final reign of terror during the Seven-Year Tribulation.
That said, I personally will never tattoo my body, nor take a chip into my body...though it is not a salvation issue. Why?
Jesus to the Church of Philadelphia, Revelation 3:12: "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
I want to make sure whatever space Jesus wants to write on is not already taken by another mark.
Time is short! The harvest fields are ripe! Shine forth with the light of Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!
J&J Ranch Ministries "But as for me and my <ranch>, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15)
Pre -Tribulation Rapture Drill Down Part 1 - Hell on Earth
Pre -Tribulation Rapture Drill Down Part 2 - Pre-Trib Proofs & the 24 Elders
All references KJB
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