The Mark of the Beast
COPYRIGHT ©2019 - James M. Frye
All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.
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What is the mark of the beast?
Many in our day tell us that it is a microchip which will be implanted under the skin. Is that what the Bible teaches, or does it teaching something else? Before we look to the scriptures to find the answer to this question, we must understand one thing. Whatever the answer is, it will be found within the pages of scripture and scripture alone. Scripture alone interprets scripture. We will not find the answer to this question in this morningís newspaper, or in a science journal, or any other place other than the scriptures themselves. The Bible contains, within itself, everything we need to understand and interpret it correctly (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:13). With this in mind, let us look to the scriptures for the answer to this question.
The mark of God upon believers
The Bible tells us that there is not only a mark placed upon the foreheads of those who are lost, but that there is also a mark of God placed upon the foreheads of those who are saved.
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.
Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1 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 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Those who are saved and belong to God have His mark written upon their foreheads, and that mark is Godís name. This marking with a name implies ownership. We write our name upon things which belong unto us to identify them as our own. God does the same.
The mark of Satan upon unbelievers
Just as God places a mark upon those who are his, the devil does the same with those who belong to him.
Revelation 13:16 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:
Revelation 14:9 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,
Also notice that this mark of the beast is the same as the name of the beast.
Revelation 14:11 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.
So the mark of the beast is his name. God writes His name upon those who are his and the beast writes his name upon those who are his.
How should we interpret these things?
Since the book of Revelation speaks of both the mark of Godís name upon believers, and the mark of the beastís name upon unbelievers, however we interpret the one - we must also interpret the other. In other words, we cannot say that the mark of the beastís name is a literal, physical mark, and then say that mark of Godís name is a figurative, symbolic mark. If we interpret one to be a literal, physical mark, we must interpret the other in the same way. Or if we interpret one of them to be figurative and symbolic, then we must interpret the other in the same way.
So which is it? Are these marks literal or figurative? Everyone agree that the mark of Godís name upon the foreheads of believers is a figurative, symbolic mark. It is obvious that believers do not literally have Godís name written on their foreheads. When God says that He writes His name upon believers, it is merely a symbolic expression saying that they belong to Him. Since we must interpret Godís mark as being figurative and symbolic, therefore, we must also interpret the beastís mark as figurative and symbolic as well. Therefore, the mark of the beast is not a literal mark. It is a figurative and symbolic mark. And since this mark is not a literal, physical mark, it most certainly cannot be a literal, physical microchip implanted under the skin.
What then is the mark of the beast?
Since the mark of the beast is clearly not a microchip, what is it? From we have learned so far, we know two things. First, whatever the answer is, it will be found in scripture. Second, that answer will be figurative and not literal. So what does scripture say about figuratively and symbolically writing things upon menís foreheads and hands?
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Godís word was to be written and placed as a sign (symbol) upon his peopleís hands and between their eyes (upon their foreheads). Godís word says that they were to do these things as a sign. In other words these things were symbolic. Therefore, we must understand the meaning of this symbolism. Writing Godís word upon their foreheads indicated that they were to think according to the word of God. And writing Godís word upon their hands symbolized that their actions were to be according to the word of God. These things are seen in the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests.
Leviticus 8:23 And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.
Leviticus 8:24 And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.
Under the Old Covenant (we are no longer under the Old Covenant) blood was placed upon the right ear, right hand, and right foot of priests. Marking the right ear, symbolized that they were to hear what Godís word says. Marking the right hand, symbolized that they were to do what Godís words says. And marking the right foot symbolized that they were to walk in all of the ways of the Lord.
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.
Once again we see the sign (symbolism) of these things in scripture. Godís word is to be written upon His peopleís hands (controlling their actions) and between their eyes (upon their foreheads) Ė controlling their thoughts.
Putting it all together
Now, we need to put these things which we have learned from the Old Testament together with what we have learned from the book of Revelation so that we might understand what the mark of the beast is. As we saw earlier, God places a mark, which is His name, upon the forehead of those who are His (believers). Godís people are those who have His word written upon their foreheads (they think according to the Bible) and upon their right hands (they act according to the Bible). These things are confirmed elsewhere in scripture.
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
The devil also puts the mark of His name upon those who belong to Him (unbelievers). This mark is symbolized as being upon their foreheads because the devil controls the way they think. It is also symbolized as being upon their right hands because the devil controls their actions. These things are also confirmed in scripture elsewhere.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God Ö
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do Ö
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Those who do not receive the truth of Godís word now, will be sent a strong delusion from God during the Great tribulation.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
These people are described symbolically in the book of Revelation as those who receive the mark of the beast. Since they did not want Godís word to control their thoughts and actions (mark of God), they will be given over to deception (Satan is the one deceiving them and controlling their thoughts and actions) Ė mark of the beast.