The question has been asked by many men and women who have read and studies the apocalyptic message of Revelation 13. “What is the mark of the beast?”
This is an important question, because the warning from heaven is “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.
The Bible and book of Revelation tells us that God has a mark or a seal. Revelation 7:3. “Saying, hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”.
“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples”. (Isaiah 8:16)
A seal is what makes a document official and it normally contains three characteristics. Name, Office and Territory. And example “George W Bush” name; “President” office: “United States of America” territory.
The fourth commandment is the only one that contains all three elements of a seal. 1) The “ Lord” – His name; 2) “Made” – His office as Creator; 3) “Heaven and the earth and all that in them is” – His Territory.
Exodus 20:11. ‘For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.’
Moreover also I gave them my sabbath to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. ( Ezekiel 20:12). And hallow my sabbath and they shall be a sign between me and you , that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. (Ezekiel 20:20). Verily my sabbath ye shall keep for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generation; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.
God clearly states that he gave the Sabbath as a sign of His power to create and sanctify. It is His seal or mark of authority. The word “Seal”, “Sign”, “Mark” and Token are used interchangeably throughout the Bible.
Revelation 7:3… saying, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”. Those that receive God’s seal on their foreheads will be protected during the seven last plagues.”
The Bible further states that the “Law” is that seal. Isaiah 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the “Law” among my disciples.”
Revelation 13:16 states that the second beast forces all to receive his mark. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bound, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads.”
What determines whose servants we are?
Romans 6:16… “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servant to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey.”
John 14:15 …”If ye love me keep my commandments.”
Is the mark of the beast or seal of God visible?
Hebrews 10:16.. “saith the Lord, I will put my law into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.”
Exodus 13:9… “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eye, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth.”
Neither the mark of the beast nor the seal of God is outwardly visible. The forehead represents the mind, and the hand is a symbol of work. “On the hand” and “ between the eyes” are consistent symbols in scripture for a person’s thoughts and actions (Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:11-18 )
What is the mark of the beast?
Acts 5:29….”Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
Choosing to obey the laws of the papacy (Sunday ) rather than the laws of God (Sabbath ) will leave you with the mark of the beast.
Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.”
1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law. For sin is the transgression of the law.”
Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism about the Sabbath
Q-Which is the Sabbath day?
A-Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q-Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A-We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Peter Geiermann, The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (St. Louis B: Herder Book Co. 1957 edition pg. 50).
Here is another statement from a Catechism.
Q-Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
A-Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religions agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the Seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.
Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism (New York P.J. Kennedy & Sons, Third American Edition revised p. 174)
So the papacy is saying that its mark of power and authority is making Sunday a holy day – a change that virtually the entire Christian World accepts.
Can any be identified with the mark of the Beast now?
Revelation 13:17.. ‘No man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.’
No person has the mark now. When it becomes a forced issue, only those who have received the mark of the beast will be able to buy or sell. At that time, people who keep God’s holy Sabbath will do so at the risk of their lives… (Revelation 13:15) and those who choose to profane His holy day and officially cast their votes by placing the Laws of Men above the Law of God will be marked as belonging to Antichrist. All who are loyal to Jesus and His holy day will receive Jesus’ glorious seal. Thus making them His forever. Those who try to remain neutral will be counted for Antichrist. Matt.12: 30.
The Antichrist power attempts to change two things;
Daniel 7: 25.. “He shall think to change times and laws.”
Daniel 7 reveals an Old Testament description of the Antichrist’s power. It clearly predicts that the beast would attempt to change both God’s Laws and times. This is no accusation against a person, but against a false religious system.
The papacy has tried to change God’s Laws by:
1) Omitting the second Commandment against veneration of image.
2) Shortening the fourth Commandment from 94 words to just eight in order to avoid mentioning which day is the Sabbath.
3) Dividing the tenth Commandment into two Commandments.
The papacy attempted to change God’s time by:
1) Teaching to recognize the first day of the week as the Sabbath instead of the Seventh day.
2) Adopting the pagan Roman practice of beginning each day at midnight instead of sundown, God’s timing for the Sabbath, which is from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, Leviticus 23:32. No mortal should ever dare to tamper with God’s sacred law or times (Matthew 5: 18)
What was God’s criticisms of His ancient priest or pastors?
Malachi 2:8,9 – “Ye have caused many to stumble at the law… but have been partial in the law.”
Hosea 4:6 -“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget your children.”
Can you think of one Commandment in God’s Law that He specifically commanded us not to forget? (See Exodus 20:8)
God is still hurt when His pastors are partial to eight or nine of His Commandments and make us to stumble over His commands to keep the Sabbath holy.
Hosea 8:12- “I have written to him the great things of my law but they were counted as a strange thing.”
Times have not changed. God has placed the Sabbath, His great sign in the middle of His Law and begins that Commandment with the word Remember. Yet many people today feel that keeping His seventh day Sabbath is a strange thing.
Ezekiel 22:8-“Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my Sabbath.”
Ezekiel 22:26- “Her priests have violated my law and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane and have hid their eyes from my Sabbath and I am profaned among them.”
It is quite clear God printed rebukes to religious leaders who say that the Sabbath doesn’t matter and who claim “Thus saith the Lord” when it is not true.
Isaiah 58:1,13,14- “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and shew my people their transgression… If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord.”
God charges spiritual leaders to call Sabbath breaking a sin and to insist that His people keep His Sabbath day holy. As with the disciples of old, our only safety is in obeying God rather than man (Acts 5: 29)
Matthew 11:29-“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Glorious peace and rest enter your heart at conversion. The Sabbath which means “rest” is a symbol of the rest and peace that comes from the new birth. (Hebrews 4:1-10) Those who are truly born again will keep the Sabbath as a blessed sign of that rest (Notice verses 4, 9, 10). There is no joy like the joy that comes to a converted person who keeps God’s Sabbath holy.
Open our eyes, dear God, and help us to truly and fully understand thy word, for thy word is truth…and truth shalt set us free…for when we are free in Christ we are truly free indeed. May the good God bless us as we make our decision for Him.
Article presented to End Time Ministry by Elder Anston Roberts, Point Fortin, Trinidad, W.I.