The final battle between God and Satan is just ahead, and it is described in the book of Revelation. In Revelation we will see that God has an emblem, a seal or mark, which will identify His people, those who worship Him, and likewise Satan also has an emblem, a seal or mark, that will identify those who follow and worship him, even though they may do so ignorantly.
As is always the case, Satan will work through earthly powers, symbolized in Revelation by a beast, to impose his mark. This study will reveal who the Beast is and what its mark is, which every eternally lost person at the end time will receive. So unless you know what this mark is, how will you know if you have it, and how will you be able to avoid receiving it?
Many years ago when social security numbers first came out, people said "Don't take them, if you take the social security number you are going to get the Mark of the Beast". During the Second World War when rationing stamps came out, people said "Don't take those things, if you take those rationing stamps you're going to get the Mark of the Beast".
But when looking to understand Bible prophecy we must not speculate. 2 Peter tells us...
2 Peter 1:20 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."
So although there is a lot of speculation regarding this mark and how a person receives it, we need to listen to what the Bible says, because the Bible contains some very severe words concerning those who receive the mark. It tells us in Revelation...
Revelation 14:9-11 "9 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, 10 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: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever 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."
These verses are referring to those who have received the mark. However, the Bible speaks clearly of two classes of people, it speaks of those who receive the Mark of the Beast and those who receive the Seal of God. There is no in-between, no middle-ground, no sitting on the fence, no abstaining – every person is going to receive either the Mark of the Beast or the Seal of God. Either you will be lost or you will be saved.
It's interesting to note where those who receive the Mark of the Beast will receive it.
Revelation 13:16-17 "16 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: 17 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."
So the Mark of the Beast can be received either in the forehead or on the right hand, but you will note that when it comes to the Seal of God, this is not the case; it says that the Seal of God can be received only in the forehead, not on the hand.
Revelation 7:1-3 "1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."
Revelation 15:2 "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 20:4 "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 worshipped 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."
It says those people who receive the Seal of God in their foreheads are going to have the privilege of standing on the sea of glass, they are going to worship the Lord, they are going to be with Him in His everlasting kingdom, so it is absolutely vital that we understand who the Beast is, we need to establish this clearly because we do not want to be among those who receive the Mark of the Beast and suffer the full wrath of God.
Revelation 16:2 "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 worshipped his image."
This is one of the seven last plagues; it says it falls on those people that receive the Mark of the Beast. It also continues on and says...
Revelation 16:10 "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"
The pain comes from the sores. And it says the seat of the beast was full of darkness, therefore, we don't want to be among those.
Revelation 16:11 "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."
These are the people that will suffer the wrath of God. Therefore we need to find out from God's word exactly what it has to say about the Mark of the Beast - what it is and where it comes from.