And he causes 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. Revelation 13:16-17
It is critical to know what taking the "mark of the beast" means. The cost of our souls is at risk if we receive it. We cannot just put it off as some future event. Taking the mark is no little thing. The penalty for receiving the mark is recorded at Revelation 14:9,10:
"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 . . . and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone."
What is the "mark of the beast"? Is it already here? Is it coming in the future? Are we safe as long as we never submit to an implant?
First we need to know what a mark is. The dictionary gives many definitions, but the one that pertains to the book of Revelation is "a symbol used for identification or indication of ownership." (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, 1972). When someone acquires something, he marks it and says, "That's mine."
The Greek word translated "mark" in the book of Revelation is "charagma" (Strongs No. 5480). It is "a scratch or etching, i.e. stamp, (as a badge of servitude)."
What then is a mark? It is a device used by an owner to mark his property. Ranchers, for example, brand their cattle with a distinctive mark to show whom they belong to. The "mark of the beast" is that symbol, sign, or number used to mark that which belongs to the beast. It can be the mark itself, or the name of the beast, or the number of the beast's name. (Revelation 13:17)
The next question is, "Who is the beast spoken of in Revelation who causes all to receive a mark"? Cruden's concordance says that in Revelation, Chapters 13 and 20, "beast" means "antichrist." (See Revelation 13:2, 20:4)
The Bible provides a definition of antichrist at 1 John 4:3:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world.
According to Apostle John's definition, if they do not confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, they are antichrist. That is the case of the kingdoms of the world. They do not confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Nor do they believe on Him or desire His rules or His commandments or His law. They do not acknowledge that He is sitting on the right hand side of the Father, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1:20,21)
Why don't the rulers of the nations acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord? Because they themselves want to be lord. They want to be lord of all.
We are deeply concerned about the people who have made statism, or the nations of this world, their god and their way of life. Everything they do, they do unto the "kingdoms of this world."
You don't believe us? Go downtown and take a look at what everybody worships. Let's take a trip into the heart of the city. Notice the fancy bank buildings and insurance towers. There is always a McDonald's restaurant close by. A few blocks away is the department of motor vehicles and a stately courthouse, often with a lion or other beast as part of the architecture. What are the people doing inside those buildings? Are you financing their activities? Wherever your monies are going, that is what you worship. Look inside. Within one skyscraper are people borrowing funds and becoming servants to "mammon," the money god. Inside the tower, we see big lines of people paying tribute to the "god of safety." Peek inside the fast food restaurant. Scores of people are laughing and gabbing as they greedily worship the belly gods.
There is a much more solemn mood inside the next structure where the gods make sure everyone is marked by them. Row after row of people appease the gods by making payments and filling out forms. In another building nearby, men are brought into large rooms in chains. The gods have taken them hostage and are demanding that they comply with their demands.
Inside all these buildings are men and woman busy paying homage to these "modern gods."
You say Jesus is your Lord and King. You have no other gods before Him. I doubt it. Take a look at your wallet. Pull it out. Inside are the documents you carry with you all the time. That should tell you where your allegiance and loyalty lies.
Let's see, here's a social security card. Where did that come from? Did it come from Jesus Christ who is an ever present help in times of trouble? No, it is a protection plan put out by the kingdoms of the world. Oh, and it is also a number so that the world system can keep track of you.
The next item in your wallet is a State driver license. You have obviously volunteered to have the world system regulate your traveling.
Here are a couple credit cards. You are apparently part of a banking system and you've been given the privilege of buying things before you have the funds to pay for them. So these cards are what you depend upon to take care of you in emergencies. But wait a minute, what about Jesus? I didn't see anything of His. When does Jesus Christ show up in all this?
It looks like you've done a fine job of becoming enslaved to men. Who owns you anyway? The real issue boils down to this: You are either marked by the Beast or you are marked by Jesus Christ. "No. I don't have the mark of the beast," you say. "Those things in my wallet are just numbers required by modern society." But why have you allowed the world system to mark you? Look deep into those documents. Do you see the symbols, seals and other marks on them? Have you mingled your mark with their marks? Whose marks are they? Who issued those numbers?
What do you think qualifies as the mark of the beast? Will you not consider yourself "marked" unless you are forced to have a microchip inserted under your skin? Wait a minute. I think men have been marked for a long time. Can you not see that you have already allowed yourself to be marked by the antichrist world system? Have you not already received the "name" and the "number of the beast"? You have obviously allowed unregenerated men to mark you with numbers that they have issued. You are known in their system and they claim you as one of theirs.
We are to keep ourselves "unspotted (unmarked) from the world" (James 1:27) and to be holy as He is holy. We are not to see how much we can be involved with the world system and not offend God. Instead, we are commanded to, "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4
If you confess Jesus with your lips, but have let the world system mark you, your heart is not with Him. You have gone whoring after other gods. You have committed idolatry. You are worshiping men who want to be your god.
The world system, which does not confess Jesus Christ, has succeeded in marking almost every one of us through birth certificates, licenses, permits, and social security numbers. Whether these marks of the world are "the mark" spoken of in Revelation, each one of us must decide.
We do know that those who are the "called out ones" by Jesus Christ must come out of the world system and be separate. And that means persecution by the world. But we, like Apostle Paul, desire to be marked by the Lord, not by the world. Apostle Paul says, "I bear branded on my body the marks of my owner, the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17).
It is a tough time we live in. "All the world wondered after the beast . . . and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:3,4) This is your hour of decision. It is important. If you yoke and bind yourself with the kingdoms of this world and with unbelievers and unregenerated men, the end is death. Eternal Damnation, Fire and Hellstorms await you. When someone receives the mark of the beast, the Bible says they are doomed to eternal damnation. That is mighty serious. There is another option and that is to have the name of Jesus' Father written on your forehead. "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). Isn't that the mark you want? Don't you want to be marked by the Lamb? Salvation is in Christ. Don't you want to be written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Take the mark of Christ now by giving your heart and mind and soul to Him and forsaking all other gods. Don't delay.