The Mark of the Beast is not a Hollywood creation to generate ticket sales, it is a real Mark for real people that will tragically affect our world in the not-so-distant future. This being said, what is the Mark of the Beast and more importantly, who will take it and what will be their fate for taking it? It is definitely a very intriguing issue in all of Bible Prophecy, and as such, it has generated many books, conferences and YouTube videos. People go from making fun of it to being terrified that they might have taken it. I believe that like everything else, moderation is key and that we should seek solid ground rooted in Scripture to explain the Mark of the Beast.
The Bible speaks of that Mark with the most details in Revelation 13:16-18, 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a Mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the Mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
It is important to understand that the Beast is the Antichrist. It is critical to understanding his Mark and his destructive agenda (Revelation 13). He will be under the authority of the dragon (Satan, Rev. 13:2 4). He is also the “little horn” of Daniel 7:7-8, 20-25. So, If indeed the Beast is the Antichrist powered and directed by Satan, we understand that there is absolutely nothing good about this Mark; but it still doesn’t tell us who will get it, when, how and if they can escape from its grip after receiving it.
• The timing of the Mark of the Beast: Some believe that the Mark of the Beast occurred in the past (preterist). These are people who view the events of the book of Revelation as already having happened and they identify the Beast as Roman Emperor Nero. This would have occurred between AD 66-70 and culminated with the destruction of the Temple. Yet, the book of Revelation was written about 30 years after the reign of Nero, so that would force us to see the book of Revelation as non-prophetic, and Nero NEVER fulfilled all the events of Revelation 13 required to identify him as the Beast. Additionally, Nero never forced a mark on anybody. The Mark of the Beast has yet to come!
• The reason for the Mark of the Beast: While the Bible tells us that without the Mark of the Beast, nobody can buy or sell during the Tribulation (Rev. 13:17), the ultimate purpose for the Mark is for someone to show unconditional allegiance and devotion to the Antichrist (Rev. 13:15). The Antichrist will not invite people or offer them options to follow him. He will demand it! People will either worship the Antichrist or they will worship Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). The consequences will be drastically different. Those who worship the Beast will temporarily be taken care of during the second half of the Tribulation, but their eternal destiny will be the Lake of Fire without exception (Rev. 20:11-15).
• The number of the Mark of the Beast: 666 is probably one of the most-known numbers in history by believers and unbelievers alike. Revelation 13:18 advises those with wisdom to calculate the number of the Beast. The process of assigning a numerical value to letters exists in Hebrew, Greek and English and other languages. It is known as Gematria, and while people can get out of control with the use of Gematria, Revelation 13:16-18 can be granted some clarity from its proper use. Many reputable scholars see the number 6 as the number of man, one short of the number 7, representing the number of perfection or the number of God. As powerful as the Antichrist will be at his peak of power, he will always remain just a man, still under the control of the perfect God of the universe. His name will have a numerical value of 666, but until his name is revealed, many names can have that numerical value. So, first people will have to hear his name and then they will be able to calculate the value of the letters as Revelation 13:18 tells us, Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast.
• The location of the Mark of the Beast: A tremendous number of books have been written on what the Mark of the Beast will be and where it will be located on or in the human body. People continue to speculate on this topic. For decades, people have conjectured on the possibility for the Mark of the Beast to be an under-the-skin microchip implant, an ID card or recently even a vaccine. While the exact nature of this Mark cannot be determined with certainty with what the Bible reveals to us, we know a few details about it. Revelation 13:16 says that the Mark will appear on their right hand or on their forehead. It never mentions “under” the skin or “within” the body of a person. Incidentally the Hebrew Scriptures also use the word “mark” similarly to the way it is used in Revelation 13. “The Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a Mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” (Ezekiel 9:4.) The Greek word used in Revelation 13:16 is epi, meaning “upon” or “on” and never “inside” or “under”. The Mark will be on the right hand or on the forehead.
• The Recipients of the Mark of the Beast: Now, considering that a variety of people have worried about receiving the Mark of the Beast in some way or another for a very long time, it would be helpful to narrow down who will actually receive that Mark. Since the Mark of the Beast is a future event taking place during the Tribulation, nobody will be at risk of receiving it prior to that seven-year period of time on earth, and it really doesn’t come into effect until the Antichrist demands to be worshipped as god at the mid-point of the Tribulation. The identity of the Antichrist will be revealed after the Rapture of the church (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3), when he signs a peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:26-27). People will choose to take the Mark of the Beast so that they can survive in a world where the entire economy is based on acceptance or refusal of that Mark. Part of taking the Mark of the Beast will be a total allegiance to and worship of the Antichrist. Those who refuse the Mark by trusting Yeshua will most likely die as Tribulation martyrs.
• The Finality of the Mark of the Beast: While no one can receive the Mark of the Beast until the middle of the seven-year Tribulation, receiving it has dire consequences. It marks the point of no return for that individual who will willingly reject Yeshua and worship the Beast. His identity and the exact way that the Mark will be displayed are still unknown, but the result of taking the Mark is very clear, Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a Mark on his forehead or on his hand,10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the Mark of his name.”
The Mark of the Beast is to be feared if you are not part of the family of God and will find yourself left behind and suffer through the seven-year Tribulation. Even then, not taking it is the best outcome because your death as a result of rejecting the Antichrist and trusting Yeshua will result in eternity in God’s presence. Taking the Mark of the Beast will bring social and economic benefits in days of global havoc, but they will be short-lived, and the end result will be eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. For those of us on God’s side, the Mark of the Beast isn’t to be feared, even if much of the technology to accompany and facilitate it is already in place, it will simply not affect believers.
Let’s not worry about the meaning of 666, the method by which the Mark will be inaugurated or who will choose it. Let us make it clear to those who don’t yet know Yeshua that they either come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah today and avoid the Tribulation altogether or procrastinate and trust Him on the other end of the Rapture and suffer greatly and unnecessarily.