Theories abound, but what is the truth of the "mark of the Beast" in the book of Revelation?
[Darris McNeely] Of all the questions in the Book of Revelation about prophecy, perhaps the one about 666, the mark of the beast, that's probably one that draws more questions for us and a great deal of discussion from this biblical topic. Recently I was talking with a group of people about the Bible. We were discussing various topics, it got around to prophecy and it got to the mark of the beast. And one individual pointed out to me because I had my smartphone in front of me at the time, he said, "This is the mark of the beast. What you've got in your hand, your smartphone. They can track you, they can do anything they want with you. They know everything about you and that's what you've got in your hand." I had to smile and I had to back a little bit away from that comment and then forcefully answer the question for the individual that no, this is not the mark of the beast.
When we look in the Bible we see what we are told about this and look at all the speculation that's quite fascinating but usually quite wrong about this topic. We have to take that step back in order to gain the understanding we need. In Revelation 13 it talks about these powers of the beast power, this political, religious beast that arise at the...in the age just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, creating tremendous problems and movements of people and events upon the world's scene. And in verse 16 it talks about this beast, this power that says, "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads that they...that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name." And then it says, "Here is wisdom: Let him who is understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666."
There have been many attempts through the years to explain exactly what 666 means and various gyrations are usually taken to attach this to perhaps a personage, some individual. The problem is most people that I've read that it's been attached to and being named as the beast, they usually are dead or wind up passing from the scene and so you can't say that they...that particular political or figure perhaps is this image of the...is beast, this...holding this mark.
When we look at what the Scripture tells us in the context of the topic of the mark of the beast, we're looking at a power that certainly is there but we're talking about its control in an economic sense upon the world and upon individuals. And for you and I, when we stop to think about the entire message of the book of Revelation, how we avoid receiving that mark in our right hand or in our forehead is going to come down to our relationship with God. In chapter 15 there's another reference to this and it is speaking to those who are in a relationship with God. In verse 2 of chapter 15 of Revelation it says, "As John saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name standing on the sea of glass having harps of God." Here are the individuals who have a relationship with God through obedience, through righteousness, through keeping the Commandments of God which the entire context of Revelation really does show us about how it is that we will be able to avoid the implications of what this particular prophetic event is talking about.
I urge you to stay away from the extreme ideas regarding 666 and the mark of the beast. I also urge you to watch Beyond Today television program that we've done on the topic that goes into it in far more detail. But above all, stay close to God and don't worry that you're going to be caught in that so much as you are worried about your relationship with God and developing a strong, positive relationship there. Do that and you're not going to have to worry.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.