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The Mark of the Beast: What It Is, What It Represents & Why God is Against Anyone Receiving It

Bible scholars, and Christians alike, have contemplated for many years what the mark of the beast is. Different theories have been put forth to explain what the mark of the beast is. Is it a barcode? A microchip? A vaccine? A tattoo? Or, is it a spiritual mark? More so, why is God against the inhabitants of the earth, both Christians and non-Christians, from accepting the mark of the beast? What lies behind the mark that entreats God to caution us against having anything to do with it?

Mar of the beast

Mar of the beast

The Mark of the Beast: What Is It?

Revelation 14 states that the second beast will impel the inhabitants of the earth to have the mark of the beast on either their right hand or forehead. The King James version uses the preposition 'in' instead of 'on' as used in many other Bible translations. This implies that the mark will be implanted in the right hand or forehead.

The unmistakable identifying element of the mark is that people will not be allowed to buy or sell without having that mark. This indicates the mark isn't a spiritual seal but a physical one. It is also evident that people will be forced to receive the mark. In Revelation 13, we are told that the second beast will require "everyone - small and great, rich and poor, free and slave - to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without the mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name."

The mark of the beast isn't a spiritual seal but a physical one that will be detected by local governments, institutions, organisations and individuals.

The Image of the Beast: What Is It?

In Revelation 13, we are told that the second beast will "order the people to make a great statue (image) of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. The the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die."

The second beast will command 'the people' to make an image of the beast. Who are 'the people?' 'The people' referred to in the chapter are experts or specialists who are able to make the image. After the image is made, the second beast will give life to the statue, that is, it will make the image to speak like a human being. Consequently, through the image, people will be commanded to worship the first beast. The image, through its spoken capability, will direct people what to do and not do, and force them to worship the first beast.

In summary, the mark and the image of the beast refers to an implanted electronic device without which you won't be able to buy or sell an item including offering or receiving a service requiring a payment, and the image refers to a virtual human, artificial intelligence, that will act as the first beast's spokesman - telling the inhabitants of the world what to do do and not do and forcing them to pay homage to the first beast.

The Beasts: Who or What Are They?

In relation to Biblical prophecy, a 'beast' is a symbolic figure used to represent a kingdom or an authoritative leader.

Revelation 13 foretells the rise of two nations that will command an aura of authority in the world.

Let's look briefly at these two beasts. It should be noted that these two kingdoms are in operation in our current world.

The 1st Beast

The first beast represents a kingdom that was successful in ruling a large portion of the world. It ruled the world with an iron fist but as prophesied in the Book of Daniel, the kingdom lost its worldly influence when it's stripped off it by another nation.

By being slain, it's rendered powerless - conquered - by another kingdom. This brings out the meaning of the statement, 'It's mortally wounded' - lost its worldly power.

Nevertheless, its mortal wound was healed to the awe of the world meaning it will regain the influence it had over nations. The world will be awestruck at the nation's return on the world stage as the world's central power.

The ruler, Antichrist, who will spring out from this kingdom will openly rebuke God's sovereignty. He will challenge what God stands for - truth and justice.

The beast, the Antichrist, will speak "terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling - that is, those who dwell in heaven." By showing desrespect to God, it wants to prove it can't be dictated to by God, that is, live by God's commandments and teachings.

It wouldn't be surprising that the Antichrist will be controlled by Satan and his evil forces since he'll act as a prototype of Jesus. Concerning this beast, it's stated, "And to it the dragon (Satan) gave his power and his throne and great authority."

By paying allegiance to the beast, the world would be worshipping Satan for the beast's power is derived from Satan. "And they worshipped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast…"

The beast will wage war against God's holy people since they won't accept to worship him or receive its mark. He'll succeed in conquering the people of God, that is, killing them.

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God's holy people are encouraged not to waiver in their faith in Jesus, and all that represents God, at the thought of what they'll undergo during the Antichrist's reign. Many will be tortured to death, killed or beheaded for refusing to worship the beast. "This calls for endurance on the part of God's people, those who obey God's commandments and are faithful to Jesus."

The 2nd Beast

The second beast is a nation which was founded on Christian principles as it's referred to as a lamb. Lamb in the Bible represents Jesus. Jesus was innocent for he knew no sin and sacrificed his life to redeem us from the bondage of sin and the penalty of living under sin. However, this beast will turn against the Biblical principles that guided its formation and catapulted it into the world stage as the most influencing power on the earth.

It will support the first beast in accomplishing its mission - rebellion against God and redirecting the world into worshipping Satan as the true 'God.'

It will devise a technological device, the mark, which it will compel people to take either on their forehead or right hand. It'll also come up with another technological innovation that will compel people to worship the Antichrist.

The purpose of the mark is to propel those who have taken it to pay allegiance to the first beast through the image which controls those who have taken the mark to follow the directives of the first beast.

Through the mark and the image, the second beast will deceive the world into believing the first beast is their saviour and 'god.' The signs or miracles will be based on worldly advanced technology. The image, enabled with a certain degree of human intelligence, will have an ability to track those who do not follow its directives and cause (orders) them to be killed, or tortured to death.

The Significance of the Mark of the Beast

Eve couldn't resist eating one of the fruits of the forbidden tree when Satan told her what eating the fruit meant, and why God didn't want them to eat them. The idea of becoming like God intrigued Eve. She couldn't wait to tell her husband, Adam, who too desired to attain that status. As a result, they were expulsed from the Garden of Eden.

Before they desired to be 'gods' by disobeying God's command, their tempter, Satan, had been chased away from God's heavenly dwelling. He was God's first created being to want to become a 'god.' He salivated God's throne through which he would rule both the heavenly (including God) and earthly beings, and be the Lord of both the visible and invisible things. Similar to our first parents, Satan and the angels who had joined in his rebellion against God's authority were thrown out of God's kingdom.

Since the inception of these two events, man has strived to elevate himself to the status of God. Through pride (baseless boasting) evidenced by his feat of achievements which he believes is a result of his own ingenuity, not bestowed by God, has led man to consider himself as a 'god.' Consequently, he doesn't see the need for God. His ultimate ambition is to wipe out the reality of a Supreme Being (God).

By rejecting the existence of God, he wants to free himself from the reality of being responsible for his actions. This explains another intention of man - to control others. Slavery, throughout the ages, is an example of man's desire to rule (control) other people to do what he wants or wishes for.

Power for control and rebellion against God's rule are two reasons why God forbids Christians, and nonbelievers, from receiving the mark of the beast on their forehead or right hand.

As we have noted, the first beast will engage in an openly rebellion against God, and the second beast will compel people through controlling mechanism, to worship the first beast (whose master is Satan) instead of God.

What God's Word Says about Rebellion and Man's Need to Control Others

We will look at two recorded events in the Bible that warn against rebellion and the need to reign over others.

1st Account: Israelites Demand for a King

In 1st Samuel 8, the elders, on behalf of the people of Israel, approached Samuel, a prophet and the last judge of Israel, to demand for a king. Their call for a king partly had to do with Samuel's two sons who weren't living up to their profession as judges, and secondly, to be like other nations that were ruled by a king.

Samuel wasn't pleased with the Israelites desire to have a king. He talked to God about it. God told him that he should give in to their demand. He revealed to Samuel that they're not rebelling against him (Samuel) by demanding a king, but against him (God). In essence, they wanted to be ruled by a human; not God.

Verses 6-9 states, " So the elders asked for a king to lead them. Samuel thought this was a bad idea, so he prayed to the Lord. The Lord told Samuel, “Do what the people tell you. They have not rejected you. They have rejected me. They don’t want me to be their king. They are doing the same thing they have always done. I took them out of Egypt, but they left me and served other gods. They are doing the same to you. So listen to the people and do what they say. But give them a warning. Tell the people what a king will do to them. Tell them how a king rules people.”

Despite warning them on the consequences of wanting to be ruled by a man, the people insisted they wanted a king.

The Old Testament narrates the ordeal the Israelites underwent under the leadership of Kings even among the upright royal heads. The king's went as far as to cause the people of Israel to commit acts that were abominable to God e.g. worshipping idols.

The demerit of a royal head (president) ruling (presiding) is that he may force people to engage in immoral and evil acts. This is evident throughout centuries from the era of kings, emperors and currently, presidents and prime ministers.

2nd Account: The Tower of Babel

After the flood, a section of people settled in the land of Shinar, one of the cities of Babylon founded by Nimrod, the first man to attain the status of a king.

The people built a tower with the intention of reaching the heaven so as to make a name for themselves (become famous), and to avoid being scattered to the ends of the world.

They rebelled against God's command to spread out and fill the world. They wanted to have their own way, not to be told what to do and not do. They wanted to have a centralized worldwide power. They desired for nations to reckon their achievement and their authority as a central figure (government).

Lastly, they thought by uniting together, they could challenge the authority of God.

In her article, 'Tower of Babel Bible Story Guide,' that was published at Learn Religions, Mary Fairchild notes, "The tower of Babel was about convenience, not obedience. The people were doing what seemed best for themselves and not what God had commanded. The building project symbolized the arrogance of humans who try to be equal with God. In seeking to be free from reliance on God, the people thought they could reach heaven on their own terms."

In conclusion, the mark and the image of the beast represents rebellion against God's supremacy, and as a mechanism to control people, by force, to do things that are humanly sickening (evil) and goes against God's principles that govern humanity, and the world at large.

2nd Account: The Tower of Babel

After the flood, a section of people settled in the land of Shinar, one of the cities of Babylon founded by Nimrod, the first man to attain the status of a king.

The people built a tower with the intention of reaching the heaven, making a name for themselves (becoming famous), and to avoid being scattered to the ends of the world.

They rebelled against God's command to spread out and fill the world. They wanted to have their own way, not to be told what to do and not do.

They wanted to have a centralized worldwide power. They desired for nations to reckon their achievement and their authority as a central figure (government).

Lastly, they thought by uniting together, they could challenge the authority of God.

In her article, 'Tower of Babel Bible Story Guide,' that was published at Learn Religions, Mary Fairchild notes, "The tower of Babel was about convenience, not obedience. The people were doing what seemed best for themselves and not what God had commanded. The building project symbolized the arrogance of humans who try to be equal with God. In seeking to be free from reliance on God, the people thought they could reach heaven on their own terms."

In conclusion, the mark and the image of the beast represents rebellion against God's supremacy, and as a mechanism to control people, by force, to do things that are humanly sickening (evil) and goes against God's principles that govern humanity, and the world at large.

© 2020 Alianess Benny Njuguna

Comments

Alianess Benny Njuguna (author) from Kenya on July 07, 2020:

Thank you, Tim for your comment.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on July 07, 2020:

Interesting explanation. Thank you for exploring this topic thoroughly. Awesome article.

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