End Times: The Mark

Prophet Elisee Yao / 8 May 2020

A mark is a seal or a stamp, and Revelation 13:17 tells us that the mark of the beast will be the name or the number (representing the name) of the beast. In the Hebraic language system, each letter has a number. Therefore, each name consisting of letters bears certain numbers. This just means that whether you study the name or the number, it represents the same thing. The number six represents the strength and perfection of man, while seven represents the perfection of God. So a triple six (666) would symbolise the absolute best that man could be. When we refer to 666 as the number of the beast, we are talking about the beast being a superman (or superhuman). The antichrist will achieve things far beyond the normal abilities of man, because if every single man is designated a single number 6, the beast is assigned a triple six (666). 666 must be the supreme limit of the ability of man, while 777 represents the ultimate perfection of God.

People ‘Marked’ in the Bible

Remember that Satan does not create anything new, he simply mimics God and the patterns of the past. So the concept of the mark is not a new one. The word ‘mark’, appears in the Bible about 166 times, and it is not only related to the end times.

1) Cain

Genesis 4:15, New International Version
But the Lord said to him, “Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.

The first mark mentioned in the Bible is when God put a mark on Cain. Cain killing his brother, Abel, was the spirit of the antichrist at work. When God asked Cain where his brother was, Cain arrogantly replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?’ But the blood of Abel cried out to God and Cain realised that he had been caught. God sentenced Cain to being a ‘restless wonderer’ but it was too much for him to bear so God put a mark on him. Cain’s mark was not so much about protection, but rather a sign to warn other people that if they were to kill him their punishment would be seven times more severe than Cain’s.

2) Blood on the doorposts

Exodus 12:13;22-23, New International Version
13The blood will be a sign [mark] for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
22Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning.
23When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

The word ‘sign’ here can be replaced with the word ‘mark’. The Israelites placed a mark of blood on their door posts as a sign. The blood here is a mark of protection.

3) Marks on people’s foreheads

Ezekiel 9:4-6, New International Version
4…“Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
5As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.

In Ezekiel 9, God wanted to punish people because of sins they had committed so he asked an angel to go and put a mark on the forehead of the people who were ‘lamenting over all the detestable things’. The question is: was this a physical mark? Not this time. In this case, the people that were marked were not aware that they were marked; it was purely angelic activity. Compared to the physical mark of the blood on the doorposts mentioned in Exodus 12, this was a spiritual sign placed on those who feared God.

4) New testament marks

Ephesians 1:13-14, New International Version
13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Moving to the New Testament, the scriptures tell us that we are marked with a seal. Right now, if you are a believer, there is a mark on you and that mark is the Holy Spirit. Then in Galatians, Paul (an ordinary man), mentions that he bears the marks of Jesus.

Galatians 6:17, New International Version
From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Paul seems to refer to three categories of ‘marks’ that can only be perceived in the spirit:

  • Slave of Christ: The mark that was on Paul identified him as ‘a [slave] of Christ Jesus’ (Philemon 1:1). This mark identifies a person in the spirit a slave/prisoner of Christ. 
  • Shame and reproach: The second mark that Paul refers to is in 1 Corinthians 9 refers to the mark of shame and reproach for the gospel.
  • Death of Christ: Lastly, we bear on our bodies the marks of Christ: beaten, persecuted, and crushed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, New International Version
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

The mark of Christ is a characteristic that identifies a person to Christ. When Paul says that he bears on his body the marks of Christ, he is talking about the characteristics of his life that identify him with Christ. Paul was beaten, persecuted, and suffered like Christ. All this so “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil 3:10. NKJV). When you fellowship with the suffering of Christ – when you become Christ-like – that becomes the mark that you bear.

The Mark of the Beast

If the mark of Christ identifies a person to Christ, then the mark of the beast is the characteristic that identifies us with the beast. The Bible tells us that this mark will be on the right hand and forehead, a concept that Satan, once again, copied from God. 

Deuteronomy 6:8-9, New International Version
8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

God told the Israelites[1] to bind His word to ‘[their] hands and…[their] foreheads’. The forehead represents thought patterns and the right hand symbolises the hand of power and/or action. Therefore, God’s intention is that we allow His Word to regulate both our thoughts (mind) and our actions. In contrast, the beast wanting his mark in the same locations on our bodies shows us that he wants our minds and actions fully conformed and submitted to his wicked patterns.

Revelations 13:16-18, New International Version
16It [the false prophet/second beast] also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

The mark of the beast will have an economic purpose. The reference to selling and buying, is a code for economy and trade in/of the world. It does not necessarily imply individuals wanting to buy personal products and not being able to. It rather refers to the overall economic system. The market will bear this name or number and those with the mark will be able to trade within the world’s economic system.

The agenda of the antichrist will be established upon a system of control and manipulation, and highly advanced technology (present and future) will serve his purposes. The data captured by facial, voice and fingerprint recognition systems worldwide is progressively being stored in a database to someday be fully accessible to, and controlled, by a designated person or group. The entire world is currently under a system of control much of which is related to our cell phones[2], and it is the intention of the antichrist to develop and use a system of mind-control to turn people from God.

There is little chance that the physical mark will bear the literal numbers 666. It is more likely to be a code. There is a lot of speculation about whether the mark will be a chip, a barcode, or a similar hi-tech device. Nevertheless, it will involve a system of recognition with the purpose of trade. The mark is also not something automatic that you will be tricked into receiving. You will have to literally pledge that you believe in the beast, the same way people pledge that they believe in Christ when they get saved.

Moral Implants

2 Thessalonians 2:7, New International Version 
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 

Paul speaks about the mystery of wickedness. The antichrist will enter the scene riding on ‘the secret power of lawlessness’. Satan is deceptive; getting everybody so preoccupied with the physical mark of the beast when there are other more subtle ways of receiving the mark. The mystery of evil and iniquity is already at work. Those who take the physical mark of the beast will already have the moral implants of the beast.

2 Timothy 3:1-4, New International Version
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...

Count these characteristics: 6+6+6. Paul hid the mystery of the triple six in 2 Timothy 3. Anyone who walks in these sinful ways already bears the mark of the beast. Christians are so worried about the physical mark, but how many people have already taken the moral mark? We must know, as God’s people, that we can receive the mark of the beast without anyone forcing us simply by the choices that we make to walk in the characteristics of the beast. That is why the Bible says to “sanctify yourself as you see the day is approaching.” As the church we must be more concerned with, and discerning of, the moral implants of the beast because they are more subtle than the physical mark which can be denied.

Today, many people are living in rampant lust. Adults and youth alike are whole-heartedly pursuing the things of this world. We have forgotten that the system of this world is marked with a triple 6. This is why the Bible says that if you are a lover of the world, the love of God is not in you (1 John 2:15). The mark of corruption is also at work. There will come a time where if you are not corrupt and refuse bribes, you will not have any business. Sadly, in South Africa, many Christians are fully aware of corruption, yet, they will still pay to get that tender. This is what the mark of the beast is all about: corruption is a moral implant. People are also seeking self-promotion. Churches have become competitive, self-serving spaces, where Christian leaders and members are competing with one another for promotion and recognition. What they don’t understand is that this is not our kingdom; the world is not our kingdom. Our kingdom is the kingdom of God, and God commands us to love one another. It’s time to make quality choices.

Consequences of Bearing the Mark of Christ

In the end, those who do not pledge their allegiance to the beast, by worshiping him and taking his mark, will be sentenced to death. But don’t forget the friends of Daniel! Some (few) Christians will be martyred in the Great Tribulation, but not all will be killed. The martyrs will be Christians who compromised during their walk with God. The Bible tells us that some ‘will be saved, yet so as through fire’ (1 Cor 3:15, NKJV) and martyrdom is where this becomes applicable. If you as a Christian choose to walk in corruption, for example, your sanctification will be execution. Being beheaded then becomes a form of sanctification, you are saved but ‘only as [one who has barely escaped] through fire’ (AMP), and you get to heaven. Those walking in corruption will, unfortunately, not survive what is coming. But those who walk in righteousness, and walk with God, will be like the friends of Daniel. Even though they are sentenced to death, and thrown into the fire, they will survive.

If you are not born again then you have already received the mark of the beast. The wonderful news is that the mark can be removed by simply accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

Be encouraged brothers and sisters to seek out and walk in the will and ways of God Almighty. Love one another and walk in sanctification because the times are treacherous.

May God have mercy on us!

[1] The Orthodox Jews misunderstood this instruction and that is why you will see that some of them have the word of the Lord in a small scroll tied around their wrist on the right hand and bound to the foreheads.

[2] It is common knowledge that anyone with a cell phone can be tracked to their precise location.

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