5 Things the Bible Says about the Mark of the Beast
Some aspects of the mark of the Beast are unclear. However, the following five observations can be found through a close look at the context of these verses.
1. The Antichrist will require it.
Revelation 13:16 notes, “It forced all people…to receive a mark.” This “it” refers to the Beast or Antichrist. This global leader will arise during the Tribulation period and demand every person to take his mark.
2. The mark will be on either the right hand or forehead.
The same verse reads, “…to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads…” We are not specifically told whether the mark will be visible or not. It could refer to an outward symbol, but could also refer to some type of scanning technology. Though some scholars suggest this mark is symbolic, the context indicates a literal mark, whether visible to other people or not.
3. The mark will be required to buy or sell during the Tribulation.
Those who refuse the Mark of the Beast will face severe persecution. Why? They will no longer be able to conduct business or legally purchase food or other items.
4. The mark will be required of every person.
Revelation 13:16 also says the Beast or Antichrist “…forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave…” Sadly, some slaves will exist during the last days. All people, regardless of class, financial status, or ethnic background, will be forced to comply.
Those who refuse the mark will be killed (Revelation 13:15) since this will show a refusal to worship and obey the Antichrist. Such a severe consequence will lead all but authentic believers in Jesus to receive the mark.
5. The mark is associated with the number 666.
Commentators differ regarding the meaning of the number 666. Some have tried to associate the number with the evil Emperor Nero.
Others note it is “man’s number” or “humanity’s number,” referring to a symbol of humanity that stands opposed to Christ. If so, the number 666 could be representative of any human-focused symbol that places human achievement above God.
Others emphasize the words of Revelation 13:18 which state, “Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast.” This could indicate the mark is associated with the Antichrist himself. This is the most likely conclusion, based on the Antichrist’s actions throughout Revelation. He demands all people worship him, take his symbol, and oppose Jesus and those who follow Christ.
Those who hold to a Pre-Tribulation view of the Rapture, believe the Tribulation period will take place following the Rapture. This means we do not need to fear the Mark of the Beast, because we will not be here during the Antichrist’s rule. We will not face that decision.
However, those who come to faith in Christ after the Rapture will face the terrible persecution that will take place at the hands of the Antichrist. This will include the inability to buy or sell goods, forcing Tribulation saints to fully depend on Christ to survive this challenging Tribulation period.
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