Note: All scripture is quoted from the King James bible (KJV), unless otherwise noted. The KJV uses italics for words that were not in the original text. I have left those words italicized.
What is the Mark of the Beast?
by Tara Chapman
Written February 2008
You’ve heard everything from your social security card, to a biochip inserted underneath your skin, to a national id card, to a literal stamp upon the skin, and even barcodes. Are any of these things the “mark of the beast” spoken of in Revelation 13:16-17?
This is what Revelation 13:16-17 says about the mark of the beast: “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. 17 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.”
What most people overlook is the fact that God has a mark and a name, too. Notice the very next chapter of Revelation. Chapter fourteen, verse one says, “And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Si’-on, and with him and hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
So, God’s people have His name written in their foreheads, whereas everyone else has the name of the beast in their foreheads (Revelation 13:17) Revelation, chapter seven, verses two and three say, “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Let’s go again to Revelation chapter 14, starting with verse 9, which says, “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, 10 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: 11 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.” This sounds much like the world we live in today. No one wants to take time out of his or her busy schedule to rest on God’s seventh-day Sabbath and focus on Him. This world is awake now day and night, living the way of the world. When God destroys the wicked, they will be burned to ashes, and their smoke will ascend forever.
A “beast” in bible prophecy is a kingdom or king representing his kingdom (Daniel 7:17). When people are focused on worldly desires and worship man’s government, they cannot be focused on God. His kingdom will replace the world’s kingdoms (Daniel 7:18). Notice what the very next verse in Revelation 14 says: (12) “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” What do we hear people saying today? Don’t they teach the Ten Commandments and their statutes have been nailed to the cross? This is not what Jesus taught. Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18).
So, we know that God’s people are they that “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Let’s look at some more scripture, which explain what God’s sign/seal/mark is. Notice the following verses:
Speaking of Passover & Feast of Unleavened Bread:
Exodus 13:9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
Exodus 13:16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.
Speaking of God’s commandments and statutes:
Deuteronomy 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Compare these verses with Revelation 13:16. Does God insert a biochip underneath the skin of His saints? Does he stamp a tattoo on them? (Read Leviticus 19:28) No, he doesn’t! Do you believe he will? If you are one of the millions who believe the mark of the beast is a chip, then you must admit God is literally going to insert a chip or stamp on or in His servants’ foreheads! Besides, no one has complete control over being given a biochip, a tattoo, a social security number, or an id of any type. Babies have no control over anything, and parents are the ones who get the babies social security numbers, or if a woman subjects herself and her child to a hospital birth, the hospital personnel see to it that the baby gets a birth certificate and social security number. A person can be held down and forced to receive a chip or tattoo. They can also be forced to get an id in the same manner. There’s a big difference in “cause” and “force.” The King James bible correctly translates Revelation 13:16 as “causeth,” and not “force,” as some other translations do. A person can be caused to do something, and if they don’t, they may be punished or killed, but they’re still not forced. However, a person who is forced has no choice of giving in or choosing the alternative punishment or death. They can be restrained against their will. God gives everyone a free will, a choice to do what’s right or what’s wrong. Notice in verse 15 that these people are worshiping the image of the beast. A person cannot be forced to worship something. They may be put to death for refusing, but no one can force a person to think a certain way. This goes back to the mind. That’s why “forehead” and “between the eyes” are mentioned in all these scriptures. The mark of the beast (or the mark/seal of God) starts in the mind. It mentions hands, because that’s how people act out what they believe.
Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). You better believe he has deceived everyone concerning the mark of the beast, as well. He has the vast majority believing it to be a microchip. There’s even a computer in Europe named the Beast, and nearly every barcode in this world has a 6 at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end: 666. This is deception from Satan to get people’s focus away from God and His Word, and what it says about obeying Him. Everyone is so confused concerning the mark of the beast, not knowing what it is, but if they’d just study their bibles, the answer is there right in front of them!
Exodus 13:9 is referring to the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Deuteronomy 6:8 and 11:18 are speaking of God’s law in general. Now notice Ezekiel 20:12. “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” This is a repeat of what God already said in Exodus 31:13-17:
Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
See also Ezekiel 20:20.
Now, let’s not get off thinking that God put to death people thousands of years ago for Sabbath transgression but that people today are going to get away with it. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, II Samuel 14:14). He’s fair, and His laws are eternal. They were given to Adam and Eve, and they still stand today. Every single one of them. Jesus did replace animal sacrifices and the priesthood, and people must accept his sacrifice to cover their past sins, but everything that falls under the Ten Commandments is still required to be obeyed. God sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath at Creation (Genesis 2:3). The bible reveals that God’s people will still be keeping the Sabbath during the millennium (Isaiah 66:22-23). Verse 24 of Isaiah 66 talks about what happens to those who transgress God’s laws, including His Sabbath.
There is an account in the ninth chapter of Ezekiel that is worth a look. The Lord commanded six men to slay the wicked in Jerusalem. Notice what verse 4 says: And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst therof. Here God is “sealing” or “setting a mark” on the righteous. He commanded that the rest be slain, “but come not near any man upon who is the mark” (verse 6). Do you think these people were to be actually tattooed or “chipped?” In these verses, marks and seals are used as figurative language to symbolize two things: obedience to God OR obedience to sin/disobedience to God. Notice what Paul says in Romans 6:16. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? In other words, we are only God’s servants if we obey Him. If we are not obeying Him, then we are servants to sin. Remember, only God’s servants will be sealed with His name. So we either are servants to sin, which leads to death; or we are servants to obedience, which leads to righteousness. What is righteousness? Psalm 119:172 says, …for all thy commandments are righteousness.
All this said, I believe true Christians would not willingly choose to be injected with a chip or choose to be tattooed. These things would violate our temple to God, our bodies. We are also told not to get tattoos (Leviticus 19:28). If a Christian is held down and receives one of these things against his or her will, God will not hold her or him responsible. This is another evidence that these theories are flawed. One of the first things biblically ignorant people will object to at this point is: But, what about not being able to buy or sell? The bible says those with the mark of the beast will not be able to buy or sell.
Anyone who is not following God’s commandments simply will not “get it.” Anyone who is diligently obeying God’s commandments, including His Sabbaths and feast days, will have no trouble knowing what this verse means. It is extremely difficult for a true Christian to live in this society. Many lose their jobs or fail at their businesses when they obey God. Many employers will fire employees who are not willing to work on the Sabbath, and God’s holy days also conflict in the same way. Employers are usually irritated that an employee needs off on God’s feast days, even if the employee is willing to work on Satan’s unholy days. Many businesses are closed on these unholy days (ex. Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day). Saturday is also the busiest business day, so Christian business owners cannot compete well with this fact. To top it off, many people observe the "day of the Sun," Sunday, so Christian business owners have a hard time getting business on this day, as well. When Christians were killed by the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages, there were laws that true Christians (labeled heretics by the RCC) and Jews could not buy or sell. This may happen again. There were Sunday laws in the early colonial days of America. If a person did not attend “church” that day and keep Sunday “holy,” then they were punished and even executed, if the person continued to break that law. There is a push by counterfeit Christianity to enforce those laws (still on the books) again. Whether this happens again is irrelevant. In Revelation 17, Mystery Babylon is described, which includes the RCC. Notice “she” has a name written on “her” forehead (verse 5). (In bible prophecy a woman represents a church…this church is a harlot/whore, because it is an idolatrous false church). God begs his people to come out of Babylon (Revelation 18:4) and not to partake of her sins. Anyone who does not heed this warning will be doomed. Notice in 17:6, it describes how the Roman Catholic Church is drunk with the blood of the saints. These saints are the commandment keepers that were killed as “heretics” of the RCC. This will happen again (Revelation 6:9-11). The Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church changed the laws of God, which was prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 7:25). God’s Sabbath was replaced by Sunday (the day of the Sun), and His feast days were replaced by Mithraic (sun worship religion) feast days, such as Easter, Christmas, Halloween, etc. They simply added "Christian" themes and names to these pagan/heathen feast days. God’s Ten Commandments were also altered. The second commandment was deleted, and the tenth commandment was split into two commandments so that there would still be ten commandments. The house of Israel and the house of Judah always had a problem with two of God’s commandments: his second and his fourth. The house of Israel still has a problem with these two commandments (modern-day tribe of Joseph is U.S. and British Commonwealth of Nations). They break the Sabbath and use graven images. Tribulation is coming soon in order to turn their hearts to God. They have simply not learned. The whole reason most Israelitish people do not know their identity is BECAUSE of Sabbath transgression. Remember, God commanded Israel to keep the Sabbath as a sign between them and Him so that they'd know He was their God. We lost our identity when the House of Israel stopped keeping the Sabbath! The Sabbath identifies the Creator, for in six days, He created the earth and everything in it, and on the seventh day he rested!
The Roman Catholic Church proudly admits that they have changed God’s Sabbath. Here are quotes:
"...prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says `Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church." Priest Thomas Enright, Redemptorist Catholic College, Kansas City, Mo., lecture "Sunday in History", p 56, February 18, 1884. (underlining mine)
"It was the Catholic church which...has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church." Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
"Sunday is our mark or authority...the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact." Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1,1923.(underlining and bold mine)
"Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change (Saturday Sabbath to Sunday) was her act...And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical authority in religious things." H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons. (underlining and bold mine)
The bible is FULL of prophecies about both the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church.
Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear should be able to see the bible holds the answers to the truth. Do not be fooled. Consult your bible. Indeed, more people will start being “chipped,” and I am opposed to this practice, but I do not believe it is the biblical mark of the beast. That is a deception from Satan to remove people’s focus off of obedience to God and His commandments. Besides, the people who have already been “chipped” have had the chips injected into their upper arms. Who in the world is going to agree to have one of those things put into his or her forehead? I’m sure there are plenty who would, but I sure wouldn’t!
So, open your bible, and study the Word for yourself.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (I Thessalonians 5:21).