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:
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.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
There is much discussion about what exactly this Mark of the Beast will actually be.
Some believe it will be an implanted chip. Some believe it may be some sort of tattooed barcode. While others speculate that it could be a new form of technology yet to be unveiled.
One thing is for sure, our world is becoming more and more connected as the days and months go by, via The Internet, all sorts of smart devices, and gadgets that are currently being developed as we speak. Just think of how unheard of it would have been back in the early 1980s for an average person, here in the US, to talk on a cordless phone with their friend, in London, and both parties be able to hear each other clearly. Another example is law enforcement’s ability to take photos of large crowds at sporting events or concerts, and then run the photos through face recognition software in criminal databases.
Though we do not know what form this mark will take, I do have an opinion on how it’s going to come about.
I want to make it clear that I believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. That being said, keep in mind that Jesus will have already Raptured the church, and the Antichrist and False Prophet will have been on the scene for approx. 3 1/2 years.
So my thought is we know that around the 3 ½ year mark of the Tribulation, The Antichrist will sustain an apparent fatal wound to his head, and appear to resurrect himself. This is Satan’s scheme to counterfeit Christ’s resurrection. Upon being “resurrected”, Satan will personally possess the Antichrist. Now from what we’ve read about Satan’s exploits in the Bible, and what we’ve had to deal with from him; he is the most selfish, arrogant, egotistical being that has ever existed. Case and point, his attempt to place himself above God(Read Isaiah14:12-14), and his attempt to get Jesus to worship him.(Read Matthew 4:8-9)
Sadly, throughout history mankind has had a terrible habit of wanting to worship everything and everyone except God. Think of all of the statues built to Greek gods. Think about how so many people would rather speak of “Mother Nature” rather than acknowledging God, when referencing the weather. How about the way so much of our society idolizes Hollywood actors and music artists.
So taking what I’ve said into account, my thinking is that the Trinity of Evil()Satan, the Antichrist, and the False prophet) will boast about how the Antichrist has proven his divinity by “rising from the dead”, and therefore should be worshipped as the one true god. They will then institute the Mark of the Beast as a loyalty marker, and insist that everyone take the mark as a show of loyalty to the Antichrist and his world order. They will then insist that anyone who refuses the mark will be considered an enemy of the new world order, and the punishment for this rebellion will be death via beheading.(Hmmm, this seems very similar to what we are seeing from ISIS, right now)
The Tribulation will be a period of God pouring out His judgment upon the earth, not in an effort to destroy mankind, but instead to get humanity’s attention and to convince as many will will to repent of their sins and accept salvation through Jesus Christ. Even in the mist of administering judgment to a rebellious world, God’s limitless love will still shine through, as our Heavenly Father will send out an angel to warn the people of the Earth not to take the Mark.
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,
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.
So from the passage above, we gain the understanding that taking the Mark is a once and for all decision to align one’s self with the kingdom of Satan, and therefore there is no hope of salvation once the Mark is received. Revelation also details that those who take the Mark will be afflicted by several of the other judgments such as: noisome and grievous soresRevelation 16:2).
I pray that most who read this will be reading this prior to the Rapture. You don’t have to face the deception of the Antichrist and False Prophet, nor the other judgments of the Tribulation period. You can avoid the Mark of the Beast completely. All of this is possible by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and allowing Him to be the Lord of your life. Jesus promise to keep all who place their trust in Him prior to the Rapture from these horrible events(See Revelation 3:10)
If you are reading this post after the Rapture, please know that God loves you and there is still hope for you, BUT you MUST NOT TAKE THE MARK. Refusing the mark will make you and outlaw, and if you are captured you will most certainly be physically killed, however if you remain faithful to Jesus Christ until the end, He has promised that you will reign with Him during His Millennial Kingdom here on Earth, and for all of eternity.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.