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The Mark of the Beast

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The Mark of the Beast - 666

Table of Contents

Where the Mark is mentioned in the Bible

These are the six passages that mention the Mark of the Beast in the Book of Revelation.

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. [...] And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 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: 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. 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. - Revelation 13:12, 15-18

***

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, 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: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever 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. - Revelation 14:9-11

***

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. - Revelation 15:2

***

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image. - Revelation 16:2

***

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
- Revelation 19:20

***

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 worshiped 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. - Revelation 20:4

Over the years, many have speculated on the nature of the Mark of the Beast. Looking at the above passages we can observe six features of the Mark.

  1. In every passage where the Mark of the Beast is mentioned it also mentions worshiping an image of the beast. To understand the mark, we must also try to understand its corresponding image.
  2. The Mark is placed in the right hand or in the forehead. While some do not believe it will be literally in the hand or head, the Book of Revelation says this three times.
  3. The Mark (or the number of the Beast) will be necessary for all sales or purchases.
  4. Revelation 13 says a second beast (king) will honor the first one. It appears that the second beast is a tributary or protectorate of the first beast (king). At least he serves the first king by causing all people to receive his Mark.
  5. The beast will impose a death penalty for those who refuse to take the Mark.
  6. To take the Mark will be the ultimate rebellion against God.

What the Mark of the Beast is not

Though every passage mentioning the Mark of the Beast associates it with worshiping an image, most people associate the Mark with the number of the Beast.

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 [666].
- Revelation 13:18

We will look at the number 666 as well as the above five points in a moment; however, before we try to understand what the mark of the beast is let us look at what the Mark of the Beast is not.

The Mark of the Beast is not a social security number

Many fundamental Christians abhor the social security number and the governmental control that comes with it. There is one positive note, my social security number separates me from all the other men with my name and at least one of them is a deadbeat dad. Social Security also promises to provide for our elderly and infirm; a responsibility God gave to the children and to the Church. It is because our country is backslidden that an argument can be made for needing a Social Security Number. In the same way, an argument may someday be made for the Mark of the Beast. Perhaps the Mark will be sold to us with the promise that it will end crimes like identity theft, and bring prosperity through government handouts.

He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strongholds, even for a time. - Daniel 11:24

Social Security Number

However, a Social Security number is not the Mark of the Beast because:

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 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: - Revelation 13:15-16

The Mark of the Beast is not the commercial barcodes

Today, most supermarkets in most countries use a Universal Barcode (UBC). This is because a UBC increases profit by automating inventory control. Stores can carry more product variety while at the same time keep smaller inventories.

It is true that two thin bars (and the big space after them) represent the number six. Barcode with 666It is also true that there are two similar looking bars at the beginning, middle and end of some barcodes.They may have done this on purpose, or it might just be a coincidence, either scenario should cause us to think.

While there is a direct connection between the UBC and commerce, the barcode is not the Mark of the Beast because:

The Mark of the Beast is not a miniature bio-circuit implant

There may be positive reasons for implanting a bio-circuit, like a pacemaker for instance. You may not agree with using bio-circuit implants; except for a pacemaker, I do not either. Even so, that does not make them the Mark of the Beast.

Bio-circuit implant

One argument for bio-circuit implants is that they enable us to identify our children and make it more difficult for kidnapers. If our country were to return to its Christian roots this argument would evaporate. Perhaps the Mark will be sold to us by promising to eliminate identity theft.

While a bio-circuit implant is not the Mark of the Beast, the Mark may use a chip implant as it would make buying and selling easier and identity theft more difficult. Yet the bio-circuit implant is not necessary to fulfill Bible prophecy anymore than a cigarette lighter was necessary to offer incense to Caesar. Bible prophecy will be perfectly fulfilled if the antichrist only makes it illegal to do a business transaction with a person who does not have the beast's tattoo on his hand or forehead.

A miniature bio-circuit implant meets one criteria, being able to be placed in the hand or forehead, yet it cannot be the Mark of the Beast until:

At the end of this age, there will be a universal monetary system. In fact, there is one today, it is controlled by the International Monetary Fund and backed by the US dollar. In late March of 2009 several countries including Russia, China and The United Nations Commission of Experts on International Finance Reform called for a one world currency that will not be backed by the dollar.

Note that the one-world currency could come about without a one-world government. Just as the international currency today is the dollar, though we do not have a one world government. This would allow a king or world leader to mandate the mark of the beast in honor of another kingdom.

666 in the world today
666 advertised product

While the mark of the beast is related to the number 666, this does not mean that every 666 is the mark of the beast. Social Security numbers, barcodes and bio-implants are inoculating the world so that when the Mark does come we will not resist. Sort of like boiling a frog. Though I have never tried it, I hear that if you put a frog in hot water, he will jump out. However, if you raise the temperature slowly the frog will not notice that he is being cooked.

In the occult, six is a special number. Most of us have heard of a hex being placed on someone; a hex is the number six. With the exception of a hex, most examples of new age or the occult using the number 666 come from Christian writers and Christian websites.

Occasionally someone will place a 666 in their advertising. The 666 may not have been intentional by the artist and even if it was, we should not judge their motives; they may be ignorant, trying to be funny or perhaps they are just trying to excite the Christians, though they desensitize themselves by using it. While Christians should not condemn (just warn) those who advertise using the 666, we do not have to buy their products.

Mark of the beast?

Some see a 666 in this logo . Could not the number also be a 999, 777 or maybe a 000? Perhaps instead of looking for a secret number in every image or advertising logo, we should be looking for “the number of a man”. Do not look for a man with the letter six hidden in his name, this has led to countless mistaken results in the past; it is more likely the man of sin will flaunt the number 666.

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.
- Revelation 13:18

What is the Mark of the Beast?

As we have already recognized:

The Image of the Beast

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. - Exodus 20:4-6

When Christians talk about the Mark of the Beast they often speak of implants and barcodes. Yet, they often neglect to mention the Image of the Beast; though, every passage in Revelation that mentions the mark also mentions the image.

Before Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments, the children of Israel were worshiping a Golden Calf. In response,

And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. - Exodus 32:33-35

While Christians keep most of the Ten Commandments, like thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not bear false witness, we tend to ignore the second commandment. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. The Roman Catholic Church even removed it from their version of the Ten Commandments, most other denominations just ignore this statute.

Hindu Temple from http://www.7is7.com

Here are a few Bible passages on images and idol worship:

For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: [...] and upon all pleasant pictures. - Isaiah 2:12, 16b

***

[Their Idols,] They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. - Psalm 115:7-8

***

What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. - Habakkuk 2:18-20

If we look to the Scripture for understanding, we should see that God detests idols (images) and all those who partake in them. I am not trying to sound legalistic, however if you are using images of any kind in your spiritual life you are living in error. We should also pray about the time we spend watching the television and looking at images on the internet. Children watch television 28 hours every week, this number has come down in recent years as they now spend another twenty five hours on the internet and playing with other portable devices.

As already noted, the Mark of the Beast is connected with worship of the beast. According to Paul, at the end of the age:

[The son of perdition] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. - 2 Thessalonians 2:4

At this time, the antichrist may place the Image of the beast in the temple.

And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
- Daniel 11:31

***

And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
- Daniel 12:11

Daniel said he “shall place the abomination” and the abomination that makes desolate shall be “setup”. Since the daily sacrifice is removed at the same time, this implies that the son of perdition places something in the temple as well as demanding universal worship of himself. In about 167 BC Antiochus IV, after plundering Jerusalem and already desecrating the temple, placed the abomination of desolation upon the Altar. Though 1st Maccabees 1:53 calls it ''the abomination of desolation'' I think it was an altar on which they offered swine's flesh to an image of Zeus. If the behavior of Antiochus IV is a shadow of the end times, studying him will make it easier to recognize the image of the Beast when it comes.

A Mark in the Hand or in Forehead

The mark in the hand or forehead is mentioned three times in the Book of Revelations. There are other passages that seem to hint at a mark in the hand or forehead, here are my candidates.

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. - Matthew 5:29-30

Jesus said this while he was talking about adultery, yet he spoke similarly in other parts of the gospel. While most teachers play down the idea of cutting off extremities, cutting off an extremity with the mark would be far superior than to be ''cast into everlasting fire'' (Revelation 14:9-11).


Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
- Zechariah 11:17

Revelation 13:16 says the mark will be in the forehead. Since the eye is in the forehead, it is at least possible that the mark could be in the eye. If so perhaps God, as He so often does, will literally fulfill this verse.


And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: - Isaiah 9:20

Perhaps this verse will also be fulfilled literally. Revelation 16:2 says, ''there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast''. Perhaps, everyone is gnawing on their arm trying to remove the mark.

A Mark to Buy or Sell?

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: 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

The last part of the above verse literally reads, they that have the mark or the name of the beast or the number of the name of him'. Thus they need only one of these features to transact business. The simplest fulfillment of this verse might be a tattoo with the antichrist's name or with his number 666.

Long before the technology was available, some Christians have predicted that an implant containing credit card information would be implanted in the hand. Versions of these bio-implants are becoming common today.

Perhaps the supermarkets will soon scan a hand like a debit card. When I first wrote this study, it included the following paragraph.

''However, is the world really ready to give up its paper currency? How will bargain hunters purchase their trinkets at garage sales? Many remote villages in the third world are not yet wired for electronic currency and in such cases, paper currency may still be available.''

Since then I have found out that two individuals can make a cashless purchase using Pay Pal and an iPhone application. Add this to the fact that most remote villages in the third world have cell phone towers. They may have a subsistence living, but they are texting each other. In some places, when you get on a bus, you do not have to remove your card from your wallet, all you have to do is place your wallet or purse close to the card reader to pay the fare.

These things make a cashless society possible today, even so cash may still exist, and in that case, whose image and superscription would be on currency? Perhaps in some cases it will only be necessary to pledge allegiance to the beast in order to make a transaction. This may be possible, at least before everyone has received his mark. (Sort of like a ‘hail Hitler’ was a mandatory greeting for Germans in the early 1940s)

The Second Beast Honors the First

There are two beasts mentioned in Revelation 13. The first has seven heads and ten horns (vs 13:1). The second has two horns like a lamb (vs 13:11), and he speaks like a dragon. These are the same beasts mentioned in Daniel chapters 7 and 8. Lets compare the first beast in Revelation 13 to those in Daniel 7.

Now let us compare the second beast in Revelation 13 to Daniel 8 and 11.

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
- Daniel 8:24

***

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
- Revelation 13:14

Looking at world events today, I would suggest that these two beasts, working miracles together, will unite the Muslims with the other nations in the New World Order.

Death penalty for not taking the Mark of the Beast

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. - Matthew 24:21

There are two great evils mentioned at the end of the age. The Abomination of Desolation and the Mark (always associated with the Image) of the Beast. Perhaps these two abominations are the same. If the antichrist places the Image of the Beast in the temple it will be easy to recognize it as the Abomination of Desolation.

There were two times in history when Daniel's predictions of the Abomination of Desolation were thought to be fulfilled.The first time was during Antiochus IV about 150 BC and the second time was when Titus took the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD. These events , as allegories, could shed light on the end of the age.

150 B.C. Antiochus IV

We can read about Antiochus IV in Flavius Josephus' The Wars Of The Jews,

2. Now Antiochus was not satisfied either with his unexpected taking the city, or with its pillage, or with the great slaughter he had made there; but being overcome with his violent passions, and remembering what he had suffered during the siege, he compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar; against which they all opposed themselves, and the most approved among them were put to death. Bacchides also, who was sent to keep the fortresses, having these wicked commands, joined to his own natural barbarity, indulged all sorts of the extremest wickedness, and tormented the worthiest of the inhabitants, man by man, and threatened their city every day with open destruction, till at length he provoked the poor sufferers by the extremity of his wicked doings to avenge themselves. (The Wars Of The Jews, bk1 ch1)

Reading the bold font, we can see today that the world is becoming equally offended with Judeo-Christian values. The account in chapter 1 of 1st Maccabees is similar.

It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. 'Come,' they said, 'let us ally ourselves with the gentiles surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.' This proposal proved acceptable, and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorized them to practice the gentiles' observances. So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the gentiles have, disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to gentile rule as willing slaves of impiety. - 1 Maccabees 1:11-15

...

Her sanctuary became as forsaken as a desert, her feasts were turned into mourning, her Sabbaths into a mockery, her hon our into reproach. Her dishonor now fully matched her former glory, her greatness was turned into grief. The king then issued a proclamation to his whole kingdom that all were to become a single people, each nation renouncing its particular customs. All the gentiles conformed to the king's decree, and many Israelites chose to accept his religion, sacrificing to idols and profaning the Sabbath. The king also sent edicts by messenger to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, directing them to adopt customs foreign to the country, banning burnt offerings, sacrifices and libations from the sanctuary, profaning Sabbaths and feasts, defiling the sanctuary and everything holy, building altars, shrines and temples for idols, sacrificing pigs and unclean beasts, leaving their sons uncircumcised, and prostituting themselves to all kinds of impurity and abomination, so that they should forget the Law and revoke all observance of it. Anyone not obeying the king's command was to be put to death. Writing in such terms to every part of his kingdom, the king appointed inspectors for the whole people and directed all the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice city by city. Many of the people -- that is, every apostate from the Law -- rallied to them and so committed evil in the country, forcing Israel into hiding in any possible place of refuge. On the fifteenth day of Chislev in the year 145 the king built the appalling abomination on top of the altar of burnt offering; and altars were built in the surrounding towns of Judah and incense offered at the doors of houses and in the streets. Any books of the Law that came to light were torn up and burned. Whenever anyone was discovered possessing a copy of the covenant or practicing the Law, the king's decree sentenced him to death. Month after month they took harsh action against any offenders they discovered in the towns of Israel. On the twenty-fifth day of each month, sacrifice was offered on the altar erected on top of the altar of burnt offering. Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death according to the edict with their babies hung round their necks, and the members of their household and those who had performed the circumcision were executed with them. - 1 Maccabees 1:39-61

As we enter into the 21 century, we see this chapter happening all over again. It starts with many Christians compromising with the world. It continues with the world becoming offended with the Christian world view. It will end with the world pillaging our Christian churches and desecrating of our Christian traditions.

At the same time, there is a push to make the earth one religion. If Antiocus IV is an allegory of the end of the age. I expect the image of the beast to be the same as the abomination of Antiocus IV. The penalty for not worshiping the image will be death.

70 A.D. General Titus

In the first century A.D. Rome also demanded universal worship of caesar. While Christians faced the death penalty for not worshiping the emperor, the Jews were exempted from caesar worship by paying a tax. Though the Jews exempted for a while, yet yet in 70 AD the nation came to untimely end. Using the following two passages, some Christians believe that the Abomination of Desolation happened in 70 AD when Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: - Matthew 24:15-16

AND

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
- Luke 21:20-21

Thus they believe that the abomination of desolation (Matt 24:15) and when Jerusalem was compassed about with Titus' army (Luke 21:20) are the same thing. However, our study On the Wings of an Eagle gives five proofs that these are different events, in fact these were two different sermons. Even so, these events, the persecution of Christians and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, give us another allegory to help us understand the end days.

Conclusion, during the time of both Antiocus IV and General Titus life went on pretty much normal for the pagans. Yet Jews and Christians suffered horrifically for their beliefs. If these are allegories of the end of the age, we can expect the world to persecute anybody who does not renounce the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A world ruler will proclaim that all should be one people and the Mark of the Beast will help him accomplish just that. You will need to worship the Image of the Beast to receive his Mark. Those who will not take his Mark will be easy to identify and then killed.

The Number 666 in the Bible

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 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.

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. [666]
- Revelation 13:16-18

The number six hundred, sixty and six is mentioned in association with three different people in the Bible. First King Solomon, next a fellow named Adonikam and finally with the son of perdition or 'beast' at the end of the age.

King Solomon

The “Here is wisdom.” mentioned in the above verse may make one ask, who was the wisest man in the Bible?

Behold, I [the Lord] have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee [king Solomon] a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. - 1 Kings 3:12

Not only was King Solomon given wisdom, he was given great riches.

Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and threescore and six [666] talents of gold; - 2 Chronicles 9:13

Solomon means peaceful, it comes from the Hebrew word shaòloòm. Though God gave King Solomon great wisdom, later in his life he built the High Places in Israel.

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father.

Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. - 1 Kings 11:4-10

If I am correct in my interpretation of this allegory, the Antichrist will control much wealth and he will give the impression that he is wise as well as a man of peace. He will also turn away from the God of his fathers. The following three verses of scripture help confirm he has these attributes:

By peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. - Daniel 8:25b

***

Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. - Daniel 11:28

***

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. - Daniel 11:37-38

Adonikam

The children of Adonikam, six hundred sixty and six. - Ezra 2:13

Adonikam is another man in scripture associated with the number 666. We do not know much more about Adonikam other than his name and number of offspring. Yet, his name may give us another piece to the puzzle. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the definition of Adonikam:

From H113 and H6965; lord of rising (that is, high); Adonikam, the name of one or two Israelites.

This is an interesting coincidence as one of the antichrists in the last days will have a deadly wound that will be healed.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. - Revelation 13:3

***

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
- Revelation 13:14

The antichrist will have the illusion of receiving a deadly wound and then being healed. This will inspire the world to worship him and finally receive the Mark of the Beast.

The Beast

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. - Revelation 13:18

In the Strong’s Concordance, the number 666 in Revelation 13:18 has a definition that reads like this:

Strong’s number G5516
chi xi stigma:
The 22nd, 14th and an obsolete letter (G4742 as a cross) of the
Greek alphabet (intermediate between the 5th and 6th), used as
numbers; denoting respectively 600, 60 and 6; 666 as a numeral.

Paul used the obsolete letter stigma (the bold font) in chapter six of his letter to the Galatians.

From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
- Galatians 6:17

According to the Strong’s Concordance the definition of stigma is as follows:

Strong’s number G4742
Stigma: From a primary word stizō (to “stick”, that is, prick);
a mark incised or punched (for recognition of ownership),
that is, (figuratively) scar of service: - mark.

From this definition, come three ideas.

First, receiving the mark of the beast is a decision of service. This begs the question, whom will you serve?

Second, the Mark of the Beast is a mark of ownership. Jesus said, No man can serve two masters. In that day, you will have to decide to whom you will belong.

Third, if the mark is “incised or punched” it could mean he receives a tattoo; it also could be possible to insert a bio-chip “for recognition of ownership”. This definition from James Strong was before bio-chips, so it is not biased by contemporary thought.

The real purpose for the Mark

and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. - Daniel 8:25b

When the antichrist uses peace to destroy many, it is very likely that many of his followers will still think that they are doing good by taking the mark. Jesus said:

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. - John 16:2

Since the disciples of Jesus Christ will not follow the antichrist, the world will look at us as being against world peace and unity.

Perhaps the world may think that reducing the world’s overpopulation is also a good thing. Everybody who takes the mark will be able to justify what they are doing, they will also justify their persecution of those who refuse to take it. One of the ten guidelines on the Georgia Guidestones (a guide for new-agers) is to "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature." To do this they will need to exterminate over 90% of the world's population.

The Georgia Guide Stones

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
- Jeremiah 17:9

Persecution of Christians

The antichrist will use the Mark of the Beast in order to separate the population on earth into two groups, the people who will serve him and those people who will not. This will make his final solution much easier to implement.

Many Christian leaders teach that according to 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8, the Christians will be raptured before the man of sin can be revealed. Actually, the passage does not say anything like that, in fact reading the second chapter of 2nd Thessalonians in context, Paul clearly and with a warning against this teaching said:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Our gathering unto Jesus clearly comes after the antichrist is revealed. In Matthew 24 Jesus taught what would happen to His disciples at the end of the age, rather than mentioning a rapture, He said,

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. - Matthew 24:9

At the end of the age, the Christians will be hated by all nations. Those who hate the Gospel of Jesus will affirm their position by taking the mark. Anything with the Bible, the church, or God will no longer be tolerated. I am afraid that America is like the frog that is being slowly boiled in water, since we cannot see how far down this path we have already come. The prophet Amos confirms this when he says there will come a famine for the Word of God.

And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD. - Amos 6:10

***

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. - Amos 8:11-12

Unfortunately, because of the teaching that there is a pretribulation rapture, when the antichrist makes his appearance many Christians will be taken by surprise and be completely unprepared. Some Christians will not believe he is the antichrist because the rapture hadn't happened yet. Both the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation describe this time in history.

And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
- Daniel 7:20-22

***

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. - Daniel 7:25

***

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. - Daniel 11:32-35

***

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. - Revelation 13:15

While the world hates us Christians, God will not abandon us. There are countless Scripture passages to incourage us, here is a small sample from the Psalms.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. - Psalm 57:5-6

***

Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. - Psalm 59:2-5

***

Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
- Psalm 76:10

Israel will not to take the mark

While many individual Jews will receive the mark of the beast, Israel, as a nation, will be exempted from this requirement. From the beginning, Israel was always separate from the nations.

And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. - Leviticus 20:26

***

For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
- Deuteronomy 14:2

How would Jesus come for Israel if they all had the mark?

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. - Zechariah 12:3

***

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. - Zechariah 14:1-2a

In the early 1990's, the United States rallied world support against Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait. Under the colors of the United Nations, in what President Bush called Desert Shield and later Desert Storm, every nation except one showed up for what Saddam Husain called the Mother of all Battles. The only nation not to show up was the only nation, other than Kuwait, that had a real grievance against Iraq. Even while Iraq fired about one hundred scud missiles into Tel Aviv, Israel remained out of the war and separated from the nations.

This is not the only time that Israel separated herself from the other nations. The Jews were the only people not required to burn incense to Caesar during the middle of the first century. While Israel was exempt, Christians received the death penalty for this abstinence.

Though Israel does not actually receive the Mark of the Beast, Israel will make a covenant with him. This will be for seven years and guarantee Israel peace and safety, even allowing her to rebuild her temple and worship their God.

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
- Isaiah 28:14-15

[...]

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. - Isaiah 28:18

[...]

Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. - Isaiah 28:22

The antichrists (there will be several) will require the whole world, except Israel, to receive the mark. This will cause a major migration of those who will not worship the antichrist into Israel. The antichrist’s plan is to gather all the opposition into one place where, with a great show of pomp, he can annihilate them.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. - Daniel 9:27

The abomination of desolation mentioned here might be the placing of His Image in the temple. Paul may be speaking of this event when he says:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. - 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

This falling away mentioned by Paul literally means a defection from truth. Paul could be referring to receiving the Mark of the Beast, and the world identifying itself as property of the antichrist.

After getting the rest of the world to rally around him, the antichrist goes up to Israel claiming to be God. I do not know what he planed to do next, probably kill all those, after being given one last chance, still refuse to serve him. However, his three and a half years are up,

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [3.5 years]. - Revelation 13:5

***

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time [3.5 years]. - Daniel 7:25

For the next three and a half years, God is pouring out His revenge on a world that has gone apostate.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth [...] These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. - Revelation 11:3, 6

The abomination of desolation does two things. First, like the Mark, it separates those in Israel who believe in Jesus from those who do not. Second, it brings the uncontested reign of the antichrist to an end. Like Antiocus IV after he desecrated the temple, the antichrist will see his kingdom destroyed by God at the hands of His Two Witnesses.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

[...]

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. - Matthew 24:15-16,21

The world is punished for taking the mark

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
- Matthew 5:30

While this verse, taken in context, was in a passage referring to fornication, is there any reason it could not stand on its own? God being merciful, we should preach repentance until he comes. Cutting off a right hand if it had the mark would be a small discomfort compared to the punishment that awaits those who keep it. The wrath of God will start at the time the antichrist defiles God’s temple.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. - Revelation 11:3

The punishment before the end of the age

After the antichrist’s abomination and defiling of the temple of God, comes a time of desolation on the earth such as was never known in its history. The Bible states in several places that God’s wrath is specifically poured out on those who have received the mark of the beast.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. [...] These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. - Revelation 11:2, 6

***

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. - Revelation 9:4-6

***

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
- Revelation 16:10-11

The prophet Isaiah mentions a time of desolation so severe, that if you believe him, it should remove any temptation to take the mark.

And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: - Isaiah 9:20

The prophet Zechariah also mentions a certain ill-behaved shepherd. Does this passage imply that the antichrist may take his own mark?

Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
- Zechariah 11:17

Punishment after judgment day

Not only will the Lord punish those who take the Mark of the Beast at the end of this age, their punishment will be everlasting.

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, 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: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever 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.
- Revelation 14:9b-11

The seriousness of taking the Mark of the Beast cannot be overstated. Read the punishment again. Since some denominations do not believe in a hell fire, therefore they teach that passage means something other than what it plainly says. Be careful, if a person changes the meaning of a scripture passage, they are bearing false witness! In light of the warning in Revelation 22:19, this is the wrong passage to wrestle with.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. - Revelation 22:19

Conclusion

Taking the Mark of the Beast is the ultimate rebellion against God. To take the Mark a person will have to choose Satan and the wickedness that he stands for while rejecting, even hating, God and his goodness. While we speculate on the Mark of the Beast today, once the antichrist, his image and his mark show up, there will be no doubt, even so, Jesus warned:

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. - Luke 21:34-36

Written by Jeff Barnes.


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