Bible prophecy describes a mysterious mark that impacts commerce. What could it be?
[Steve Myers] We had a question come in, "What is the mark of the beast talked about in the book of Revelation?" Well, that's found in Revelation 13:16 Revelation 13:16And 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:
American King James Version×. Let's notice what it says. It 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. And no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here's wisdom, let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for it is the number of a man. His number is 666." That infamous number that so many have heard about and wondered what does that mean. Well, you know, as a literal mark, if you went back to ancient Babylon—and, of course, in Revelation this governmental system is compared to a modern Babylon—in ancient Babylon, they actually identified slaves with tattoos, some kind of a mark they would put branded on their face and oftentimes on their hands.
Now, could this be something that is showing us—well, it will happen in the future? I think there's some parallels between those—that ancient practice and what will evolve when we come to the end time as well. So many have speculated that perhaps this mark is some type of a brand, perhaps it's some type of a super computer that will identify who you are. Or maybe it will be a microchip that will be in your hand or be on your forehead. So, there have been many speculations, but it's interesting the Bible is a little vague when it comes to that. It doesn't tell us the exact method, but certainly some means will come about where people will be identified so they may not buy, may not sell without this mark.
Now, there's also a figurative interpretation as well. If we went back just a couple of chapters, in Revelation chapter 7, we find that God's people—those who are loyal to God—He says, "They don't harm the earth or the sea," this is in Revelation 7:3 Revelation 7:3Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
American King James Version×, "Or the trees until we've sealed the servants of God on their foreheads." Now, that doesn't seem to refer to a literal mark, but that seems to refer to something else. So when you think of that in terms of this mark of the beast, that marks that's on their foreheads or on their right hands, what would that be if you think of it in a figurative sense? Well, if you think about your forehead, that's revolving around your thinking—your hand, what you're doing. So somehow, this power of the beast will influence peoples thinking and their actions. So when you think about, how am I going to buy things, am I influenced by the beast, is he directing me, have I got my control over my ability to buy and sell from him—and that's what it seems to be indicating as well. So it could be literal, but it could also be figurative—that it's going to affect how I think. It's going to affect what I do. And so that's that representation there, that we can't be dedicated to the beast, to this evil, satanic power. We've got to be dedicated to God in our thinking and in our actions. That's going to offset those two ways of living at the end time.
Now it's also interesting that many Bible students when they think about this mark of the beast will also associate it with keeping the seventh day Sabbath. Now you might say, well why would that be? Well, one of the characteristics of this governmental beast power is the fact it is affected by false religion. One of the great themes of Revelation is counterfeit religion—religion that opposes the true religion of God, God's true worship. And that connects all the way back to Exodus chapter 31 where God designated the Sabbath as a sign of His people. And so is it a possibility that the observance of the Sabbath is somehow connected with this mark? That if you observe anything but the Sabbath, you are under the mark of the beast—perhaps Sunday worship for that matter, many have speculated is connected with that sign of what is in opposition to God. This counterfeit religious system—no doubt, Revelation says it will play a major role in leading people away from the true God, right into the hands of this power of the beast and of course the ultimate power behind it is Satan the devil.
And so whatever this ends up to be—combinations of a literal mark, a figurative mark in hands and forehead, and the influence of false religion—there is no doubt all of those things tie into compromising the true God, compromising the truth faith. And in some way, those who can buy and sell at the end are associated with the power of the beast and at that time because that's going to be necessary for anyone to be able to buy or sell. So, stay on your toes. These things are coming down the line. We may even see some of these things beginning to come into play already. How do you buy and sell? What do you use to buy and sell? Are we already affected by some of these that may come to a greater level down the line? We hope you find that interesting. Stay tuned. We'll talk about this more in another BT Daily. Thanks for watching.