“If anyone worships the beast...and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God…” (Rev. 14:9-10). What is the mark of the beast? Learn the Bible’s answer.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
The Mark of the Beast is a subject that fascinates people and generates many speculations—most of them totally wrong.
Yet, this special mark will, one way or another, affect your life and that of your loved ones. In fact, unbeknowst to you, you may have already accepted it.
I’ll show you what that Mark is on today’s Tomorrow’s World program. Today’s program is for the courageous, but it carries with it great reward.
A warm welcome to all of you from those of us here at Tomorrow’s World. On today’s program, I’ll be discussing the famous Mark of the Beast. Exactly what is that misunderstood Mark?
Erroneous ideas abound. Some think the number 666 will be tattooed on the forehead or the back of the hand. Others once thought the U.S. Social Security Number was that mark, but that speculation has faded with time. Could it be Canada’s Social Insurance Number, the acronym of which is S I N (or SIN)? What about bar and quick response codes?
Most of these have fallen out of favor and been replaced by a more up-to-date computer chip, the size of a grain of rice, that can be inserted in the hand between the thumb and forefinger. Such computer chips are indeed being used to track lost animals and also for worker identification. Is it possible that everyone will be forced to accept an implanted chip as a mark of identification?
Could this, or any of the other discarded ideas, be the mark?
The answer is, no—none of them! And here’s why.
Let’s read about this Mark from the biblical book of Revelation 13:16:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666 (Revelation 13:16–18).
Above all else, the mark of the Beast is, “the mark of… the Beast!” And that brings us to a more fundamental question: Who or what is the Beast?
The Beast spoken of in these verses has a long history with several revivals. The final revival will be in Europe, as with previous revivals. It will be made up of ten nations or groups of nations that do not naturally cling to one another, but they will be allied for a short time, and become a great military and economic power. Furthermore, we learn that the Beast is ridden by a great false church. Notice briefly, Revelation 17:12:
The ten horns [on the Beast] which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast (Revelation 17:12–13).
I won’t take time to cover more about that on this program, as we’ve covered this many times here on Tomorrow’s World telecasts and also in our literature. If you would like to learn more, just go to our website (TomorrowsWorld.org) and in the search bar, type in “Beast” or “Mark of the Beast.”
Whatever the mark of the beast is, it must be his mark, not that which arises from some other source. Now notice once again the importance of his mark:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16–17).
The Mark of the Beast is first and foremost a biblical doctrine. That source tells us that you will not be able to buy or sell without this mark. So why would you not take that mark if it means carrying on business, and maybe even feeding your family?
What is different about this form of identification from a driver’s license, a passport, a national insurance number, a fingerprint, or an eye scan? Why should you not receive it?
The Bible, which predicts this mark, gives a very good reason NOT to receive it. Revelation 14:9–10:
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
The “wrath of God”—why? Why is God so angry? Revelation 16:1 and 2 describe how God will pour out His wrath in seven last plagues at the time of Christ’s return. Notice the first of these seven plagues.
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. (Revelation 16:1–2)
That shows God’s attitude toward those who receive the mark, but it doesn’t explain WHY. What’s the problem? Why is God so angry with those who receive this mark?
Other scriptures explain to whom God’s wrath is directed—the disobedient. Notice it in Romans 2:5:
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
This is clearly a reference to a time in the future.
Colossians 3:5–6 also indicate God’s coming wrath in the future. Notice the words, “is coming”:
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.
But there is a flip side to this. Those true Christians who reject the mark are rewarded. They are seen standing before the throne of God;
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God (Revelation 15:2).
After Christ returns, He is going to give out rewards to His servants who put it all on the line. These are willing to obey God no matter the consequences, but the reward is rulership with Christ to bring peace on this troubled planet. We read of that in Revelation 20:4:
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Whatever this mark is, it is nothing to take lightly. Everyone is forced to take a stand one way or the other. Without it, one will be prohibited from buying and selling. Yet, taking it brings upon you the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it is a mark of disobedience to God, and it is associated with the Beast and a religious system that “rides” the Beast.
The book of Daniel pictures four great Gentile empires that rise up. The story of these empires begins in Babylon and ends with the return of Christ to set up His Kingdom on earth. The book of Daniel describes a dream King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had, where he saw a giant image of a man. It’s described in Daniel 2:32–33:
This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
But what does this mean? Speculations abound, but most biblical scholars agree with what the Bible clearly says, and history confirms. The answer is found beginning in verse 37:
You, O king [that is, Nebuchadnezzar], are a king of kings…. you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others (Daniel 2:37–40).
The Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar was the first. The Medo-Persian Empire was next, followed by the Greco-Macedonian Empire—and the Roman Empire being the fourth. Daniel 7 and 8 give amazingly accurate details regarding these empires. And then, Revelation 13, which was written during the time of Rome, gives details for the future of the Roman Empire. Revelation 17 sees the Empire during the time it is ruled by a great religious system—hence the term, the Holy Roman Empire.
Revelation 17 also shows this Roman system will have seven revivals while ridden by an immoral woman. And prophetically a woman refers to a church. This union between church and state will continue all the way to the Second Coming—even fighting against Christ at His return. We read about the seventh and final revival of this Beast in Revelation 17:12–14:
[The] ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
The reference to “the Beast” applies to both a man and a kingdom. When one reads from Daniel 2, 7, and 8, along with Revelation 13 and 17, can there be any doubt as to its identity?
It’s none other than the Roman Empire.
Some become confused, however, because in Revelation 13, there is a reference to another Beast. Notice it in verses 11–12:
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
This Beast looks like the Lamb of God, but speaks like a dragon, or Satan the Devil. It is a counterfeit Christian religious system.
The next few verses corroborate this as a Beast that performs miracles, it is also this image of (or a beast patterned after) the Roman system, and it commands people to worship itself or be killed. Speaking of this second Beast, we read in verses 13–15,
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down on the earth in the sight of men. And he decieves those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
It’s this image of the Beast, this false religious system, that causes people to receive this famous mark, as shown in verse 16:
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads (Revelation 13:16).
Now that we have identified the Beast as the Roman Empire with a great false church riding, or directing it, it is now time to identify its Mark. This Mark is not just any sign of identity.
It is not the Social Security System. It is not a barcode, quick response code, or a computer chip. It is above all, #1:
This last point is the key. Those who accept the Mark violate the commandments of God in some way. To understand the Beast’s Mark, we must understand that God also has a sign that identifies His people, just as the Beast’s mark identifies those who are his. Don’t believe me just because I say it, but because you read it in your own Bible.
If you have your Bible, turn to Exodus 31, or write this down and read it for yourself. I’ll begin in Exodus 31:13:
Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you [or “sets you apart”]…. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:13, 16–17).
Yes, the seventh day Sabbath is a sign between God and His people. Some would argue that this only applies to the Jews, failing to remember some key New Testament verses, such as the statement that Jesus made to the Gentile woman at the well, found in John 4:22:
You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
Or Paul’s statement to the Romans, as found in [Romans] 2:28–29:
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Does God have one standard, one day of worship for the Jews and another for Gentiles? Think about that! Is Christ divided? So why do most Christians meet on Sunday instead of the only day the Bible sanctifies?
Some say it’s because Sunday is the “Lord’s day” taken totally out of context in Revelation 1:10. There, it is referring to the Day of the Lord, the time of God’s wrath upon rebellious mankind, as seen from the context of the entire book of Revelation.
But if someone wants to argue that the expression “the Lord’s day” refers to a day of the week, let’s see which day Jesus tells us is His day. Mark 2:27–28:
And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Could anything be clearer than that? This is repeated in Matthew 12:8 and Luke 6:5. Three times we are told that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. How many times do we read that He is Lord of the first day of the week?
Zero, nada, never! It just isn’t there.
Now what about the fact that it is to be placed on the forehead or on the hand? Let’s not speculate, but let’s let the Bible answer that question. Regarding God’s commandments, including the Sabbath command, we read in Deuteronomy 6:8,
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
And referring to one of God’s annual Sabbaths, we read in Exodus 13,
It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt (v. 9).
Yes, God’s law, and specifically His Sabbaths are to be written on our foreheads—symbolic of thought and decision making—and on our hands—symbolic of our actions).
The same is true of the Beast’s Mark.
So who changed the day? The answer is found in history.
Many sources record that it was Emperor Constantine who enforced Sunday as a day of rest and worship, and Rome commanded punishment for any who observed the biblical seventh day Sabbath. That mark has continued down to our time, but not always so strongly enforced. Constantine was Emperor of Rome and the religious system that patterned itself after Rome followed suit. The Mark of the secular Beast, and the spiritual image of the Beast, that substitutes their day over God’s day, is none other than a counterfeit of God’s sign identifying His people.
Millions of professing Christians are taking that mark, without realizing it, even as I speak. But when the final restoration of the Beast soon rises, in cooperation with that same religious system, it will no longer be voluntary. It may be enforced by a passport, chip or other means, but this would only be the means of enforcement, not the Mark itself.
Even now there is a push to bring into being Central Bank Digital Currencies (or CBDCs). These government controlled digital currencies would give power to governments around the world to control the behavior of their citizens. Will this be the means of enforcement? Time will tell, but the means of enforcement are not as important for us as what the actual mark is.
Thank you for watching. If you found this video helpful and want to learn more, be sure to get your free copy of our study guide Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? All you need to do is click the link in the description to order. It’s that easy. And remember to like and subscribe to our channel so you can watch more videos on different Bible topics.
We here at Tomorrow’s World want to help you understand this world, through the pages of the Bible. Thank you for watching! See you next time.
Here is an absolutely vital subject that is far more important than most people even begin to realize!
It has everything to do with whether or not you really know the true God—the Creator. In fact, it directly affects your inheriting everlasting life in His soon-coming Kingdom.