Stewarton Bible School

The Mark of the Beast

Towards the end of the Bible in the book of the Revelation (chapters 13 & 14) there is prophecy concerning an end-time dictator who is scheduled to rule the whole world. In symbolic language he is called The Beast! Elsewhere in Scripture he is known as: When he appears he will order every soul on earth to receive his mark, his identifying sign or signature in their foreheads or right hands. No one will be able to buy and sell without first accepting the mark! This will be economic sanctions on a scale the world has never known. Regardless of nationality, colour or creed, it will apply to everyone who refuses to receive the Mark of the Beast. You may be sure it will be a testing time for all mankind and comparatively few people will pass the test.

In the same prophecy Yahweh, the Almighty God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob warns mankind that all who accept the Mark of the Beast will experience the full measure of His wrath, which is to be poured out undiluted, 'without mixture, into the cup of His indignation.'

It is a terrifying prophecy to say the least and one you must understand if you want to escape the wrath of the Almighty God. Bible commentators have through the centuries endeavoured to interpret this prophecy; and there is no shortage of explanations available.

The Mark of the Beast some say is:

There are probably as many explanations of the Mark of the Beast as there are religious denominations; and you are free to make your choice and believe the one which suits you best. But to be honest, we have to admit that nowhere in the Bible does the Almighty categorically say what the Mark of the Beast is. To be sure, He has given us some very good clues, which point the believer to the truth: but of the Mark itself Scripture provides no clear cut definition. Nevertheless, in spite of this apparent lack, and we will soon discover that Yahweh is by no means at fault here, the prophecy concerning the Mark of the Beast deserves careful consideration; for it is a revelation of such awesome prospect that only fools will continue to ignore it. Here, indeed, are divine threatenings which every man and woman the world over should pay special heed to; because they deal with a degree of punishment more severe than we can imagine, let alone describe. Please understand that we have no wish to dramatise the issue; nor do we want to piously play it down as though it were of little account. The gravity and urgency of this prophecy demands that we fearlessly present the facts to all who seek to escape the wrath of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel.

In our efforts to identify the Mark of the Beast we will initially confine ourselves to a logical assessment of the Scriptures alone; and then adopt the only conclusion the facts allow. To venture beyond this into the arena of melodramatic fantasy and wild speculation, as seen in many films and books on the subject, is self-deluding and dangerous.

Let us begin by quoting three passages concerning the:

Bear in mind that here we are quoting Bible texts: which must not be confused with the weird teachings of some religious cult leaders.

Trade Sanctions

Rev.13:16: 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.

The Divine Punishment

Rev.14:9: 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.

Rev.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.

No one who holds the Bible to be the inspired Word of God will doubt, but that here before us is portrayed the most terrifying threat in all Scripture; a prophecy of unparalleled importance to every soul on earth. And yet, as previously pointed out, the Mark of the Beast is not defined in the Bible. In other words, we are not told in plain language what the Mark is. At this point one may be tempted to ask: These are fair questions; but you will soon realise that Yahweh has by no means left His people in hopeless ignorance concerning this matter. In the Bible He has given us several meaningful clues, which if followed through will guide the interested believer to the correct understanding of this puzzling prophecy. The Most High has, in fact, here set before mankind a spiritual riddle, the answer to which is so amazing that once you have learned it, you will never again wonder what the Mark of Beast is. Let us, therefore, without further delay examine just two scriptural clues and follow their lead.

Two Clues

  1. To begin with the Mark is described in Revelation 14:11 as The Mark of his name.
    What the Beast's name is we are not told; but it would appear from this clue that the Beast's mark is in some way related to his name.
  2. Secondly we are told in Revelation 13:16 that the mark is to be placed in the foreheads or right hands of those who accept it.
Let us now consider these two clues.

Understanding Bible Prophecy

There exists in Scripture a fundamental principle regarding the origin and understanding of Bible prophecy. The principle is mentioned in this passage:
2 Peter 1:20: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Bible prophecy is not the product of human intellect or will power. It is a gift from God. Holy men of old were inspired by the Holy Spirit: or, as the text says, "they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

In exactly the same way, the understanding of Bible prophecy is also not a matter of human intellect or will power. One must be given the understanding just as the prophets of old were given the prophecy. In other words, spiritual eyesight is also a gift from God. This means that without the Holy Spirit it is virtually impossible to correctly understand, appreciate or even believe a Bible prophecy. Understanding must come from above either through:

As far as this generation is concerned, we must look to the Bible to interpret itself: for none of us can compare with the prophets of old who had direct revelation.

Bearing these basic facts in mind, we will now seek to solve the mystery of the Mark of the Beast by comparing Scripture with Scripture. When we do this we see that Yahweh also places His Name (His seal) in the foreheads of those who follow Him.
Rev. 7:2: 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.
4: And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev.14:1: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

After examining these verses about Yahweh's name, one cannot fail to see a similarity with those verses containing those two clues about the Beast's Mark or name. For here in this prophecy we are given a preview of two groups of people.

  1. Those who accept the Father's Name or Seal in their foreheads. (Rev.7:2-4, Rev.14:1)
  2. And those who accept the Beast's Name or Mark in their foreheads. (Rev.13:16)
In other words, the Mark of the Beast and the Seal of God are both names and are both placed in the foreheads of the people who receive them. Here we can clearly see that the Beast is attempting to duplicate or counterfeit the Almighty's programme by similarly inscribing his mark, his name in people's foreheads. This passion to counterfeit the Almighty is a typical Satanic trait: for he never tires of counterfeiting the handiwork of God: not just to be like Him - which would be admirable - but to replace God. Beware of spiritual counterfeits which are substitutes of the genuine article.

These facts leads us to the conclusion that the Beast's Mark is simply a counterfeit or substitute of Yahweh's signature and seal. It follows that any information which we obtain concerning the Seal and Signature of Yahweh will obviously help us decipher the mystery of the Mark of the Beast.

Yahweh's Sign & Seal

According to the dictionary, the words 'sign,' 'seal,' 'signature,' 'mark,' 'inscription,' etc. are synonyms. That is, they are different words with shades of similar meaning. Yahweh's seal, in short, is linked with His sign, His signature and His Name. And so for that matter is your own sign or signature. It is simply an inscription of your own name.

Well may we now ask, "What then is the Almighty's Sign? Is it a visible signature, mark or name that He inscribes on the foreheads of His people?" Obviously not, for this is a symbolic prophecy and, besides, Yahweh's law expressly forbids us making or receiving any marks on our bodies. (Lev.19:28) The Most High would hardly, therefore, expect His servants to receive a literal mark or tattoo on their foreheads if His law expressly forbids receiving marks. Oh no, Yahweh's signature or sign is certainly not a literal inscription or mark on the forehead.

Well then, what is it, and what does it stand for? Yes, what is the special sign or seal which is to be placed in the foreheads of the servants of the LORD God of Israel? For a sign to be worthy of the name, must of necessity manifest itself in some way. Indeed if it does not exhibit its presence, even occasionally, it cannot justifiably be called a sign.

And so we ask, "Is Yahweh's sign love or generosity, speaking in tongues or wonder working power?" No, it is none of these, admirable though they may be. These signs and phenomena, in fact, are found in almost every society known to man - pagan and otherwise. They certainly are in no way peculiar to the servants of the God of Israel. Yahweh's signature or sign is very different from all these things, and because of its strangely unique nature we will allow the Scriptures to tell you what it is.
Exodus 31:13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a SIGN between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Ezekiel 20:12: Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a SIGN between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
Ezekiel 20:20: And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a SIGN between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.

And there you have it.

The Sabbath days in the Almightys law are His signature, the special identifying SIGN He places on His people to signal to the universe that they are His: and that He has set them apart to sanctify them.

What of the Almighty's Seal?

We are also told in Isaiah 8:16 that the God of Israel seals His people with His Law.
Bind up the testimony, SEAL THE LAW among my disciples.

In other words, the Almighty seals His people with obedience.
Obedience, incidentally, is doing what the Most High commands, following in His steps, endeavouring to behave like Him.   Click here for more about the Almighty's Seal.

Where does Yahweh place his Seal & Signature?

The Scriptures tell us that they are inscribed in the believer's 'forehead' meaning his/her 'mind.'
Hebrews 8:10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Deut. 6:8: And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Exodus 13:9: And it (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth.

According to these Scriptures, the Almighty's Seal is His law and His Signature is defined as being the Sabbath days in His law. These are inscribed in the believer's forehead, his mind. Yes, believe it or not, Yahweh's Sabbath days constitute His signature, His sign: and like Himself they cannot be changed or done away with.

The Almighty's Sabbaths

Do you know what the Almighty's Sabbaths are? Can you turn to the Scriptures and identify the Sabbath days of the Holy One of Israel?

The answer is: they are the seventh day of the week (Saturday) and the seven annual Sabbaths mentioned in Leviticus chapter 23. (The Feasts of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles) These Sabbath days are the sacred memorials of Yahweh's finest and greatest achievements in the Plan of Salvation. They are the divinely appointed anniversaries of His work of creation, redemption and sanctification. They represent the Almighty's signature and as part of His holy law are scheduled to be inscribed in the very minds of his true followers. This means that they will be understood, accepted, appreciated, remembered and observed for all time by the true children of the Most High.

In short, the Almighty is going to seal and sign His people with OBEDIENCE, with HOLINESS. When that event occurs, we will bear His Name in our minds and actions: which means we will perfectly reflect our heavenly Fatherís holy character.

Why are these Sabbath days so important? They are important because they are a declaration of faith in the Person, the character, the handiwork and the sanctifying power of Yahweh the Almighty God of the Hebrews, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. In modern terms the Sabbath days listed in Leviticus 23 are the Eternal's 'trade mark,' 'His signet,' 'His signature,' 'His company seal,' 'His badge,' the 'symbol of His presence,' 'His Name:' and when they are faithfully remembered, kept in mind, (in the forehead) by a believer, they signal to the universe that person is Yahwehís property and that He is even now impressing His Name upon that person's soul.
Isaiah 8:16: Bind up the testimony, seal the law among by disciples.
Hebrews 10:16: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

Now do you understand? Have you begun to grasp the awesome, spiritual significance of Yahweh's Law; and especially the Sabbath days in His law? In truth, in very truth, they alone constitute the Almighty's Signature which He inscribes upon the minds of believer's; which week by week and feast by feast strikingly sets them apart from all the peoples of this world.

Yes, the Eternal's unchanging signature is the seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) and the seven annual Sabbaths in the Sacred Calendar. Take these Sabbath days away, remove them from the environment of worship and you will lose the one and only identifying sign that distinguishes the servants of the God of Israel, from the rest of humanity.  That is a fact, a fact which will increasingly amaze you the more you consider it.

Now that you know what Yahweh's Sign is, it only remains for us to decipher the Mark of the Beast; bearing in mind that it must be some clever substitute or forgery of the Almighty's Sign. To do this we will again rely on the Scriptures to direct us to the answer.

Antichrist's Aim

Most students of Bible prophecy will allow that the Beast of Revelation 13 and the Little Horn of Daniel 7 are one and the same power. Compare these two characters and you will see that they both came to the fore in the last days. They both blaspheme God and persecute His people; both continue for a period of three and a half years and both are finally destroyed by the Saviour at His return to earth. In other words, they are the same power.

Paul's prophecy of the Lawless One, the Man of Sin is also another eye opening commentary on this same satanic power who will arise in the last days to oppose Yahweh and his law. (2 Thess. 2:1-2)

You will notice in this chapter how the Apostle Paul describes the activities of the Antichrist as "lawlessness." He calls him the "Man of Sin," (verse 3) the "mystery of iniquity" (verse 7).

What is sin? What is iniquity? According to the Scriptures, sin is Lawlessness. Sin is breaking one or more of God's commandments. Sin is an expression of Satan's character and in its advanced stages it always manifests itself in a self-deluding enmity and rejection of Yahwehs law. The Bible states plainly:
1 John 3:4: Sin is the transgression of the law.

The 'Man of Sin', as the term implies, is an antagonist of divine law. He absolutely detests the Almighty's law and every commandment in it. He not only breaks Yahweh's law, but his main objective is to lead others into breaking it, into disobedience, into sin. That's why he's called the 'Man of Sin.'

According to the prophet Daniel (chapter 7:25) the main thrust of the Beast's hatred is directed against the divine commandment dealing with sacred times. And this can only mean the Sabbath commandment, which alone deals with the element of time.
Daniel 7:25: And he(the little horn) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
The only laws in Scripture which deal with the element of 'time' are the Sabbath laws of the Most High. These laws are directy linked with the Feast days in the sacred calendar. The Little horn vainly imagines that he can change Jehovah's law.

The Mark of the Beast

From this it becomes evident that the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, the Little Horn power, the Beast will vainly imagine that he can somehow change the Sabbath days of the Almighty God and replace them with days of his choosing - counterfeit sabbaths! And that dear reader is exactly what the Antichrist has tried to do. He has tried to set aside the sacred Sabbaths of the Most High by popularising numerous festivals of his own choice. In other words, he has dared to think that he could change the commandment concerning time in Yahweh's law. delete the Signature of the Almighty, by somehow replacing it with his own sign, his Mark!

"But," you ask, "What is his Mark?" Yes, what is the signature or Mark of the Beast?

There is only one Bible-based answer to that question and it presents itself as the only conclusion that the foregoing facts allow; and that one inescapable conclusion is this:

That as the true weekly Sabbath of Saturday and the seven annual Feast Days in the sacred calendar constitute the Sign of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel, then the Mark of the Beast, the Lawless One, the one who vainly thinks that he can change the Sabbath days in God's law, must by process of simple deduction be the bogus sabbath of Sunday and all the other pagan festivals which are currently posing as Christian Holy Days:  (Sunday,   Ash Wednesday, Easter,   Whitsun, Hallowe'en, and Christmas)

These popular holidays are certainly not sanctified by the Almighty: and no where in the Scriptures are we commanded to keep them. They are pagan festivals in disguise. They originated with the heathen centuries before the Christian era and were incorporated into the Christian calendar long after the Saviourís resurrection. Certainly they now have a few praiseworthy principles veneered onto their make up, and this has deluded millions of genuine Christians into accepting them as the true holy days of God; but deep down in substance and effect they are the same old festivals of heathenism that Yahweh abhors: festivals of: fertility, sexual licence and demon worship.

In short, the popular holidays of Sunday, Easter and Christmas are forgeries of Yahweh's Signature. They represent the Antichrist's futile and presumptuous attempt to meddle with the calendar of the Almighty God!

The Bible says of the "Little Horn" power that he would "think to change the times of Sacred Feasts and holy days and the law;" that "calendar and ordinance he shall think to set aside."

Oh how true this has proved to be. The Antichrist has already attempted to do just that. But his attempted forgery has been exposed. Throughout the world people are becoming increasingly aware that the festivals of Christendom are nothing more than pagan festivals in disguise.

In the light of these facts, therefore, we cannot help but conclude: that the bogus religious festivals (Sunday, Christmas, Easter etc.) are in reality the Signature of Satan, the Mark of the Beast!

How they originated and came to be adopted by most of the churches is a study in itself, a study you may wish to pursue in the nearest reference library. Indeed, it is now common knowledge that these festivals are inherently pagan, that they existed long before the Christian era and were only introduced into the Christian worship several centuries after the resurrection of our Saviour. But what is not generally known is that they represent the Lawless One's efforts to change the Sabbath and Festival commandments in Yahweh's law and that they constitute the Mark of the Beast.

Comparatively few know this fact.

In view of this, it becomes obvious that there can be no room in the church for bunny rabbits, Easter eggs, hot-cross buns, ghost masks, mistletoe and Christmas trees. These heathen symbols and especially the observance of the festivals they adorn accompany, must be discontinued by all true believers who wish to please the LORD God of Israel. Why?

Because once they are recognised for what they are, then a person's continued use of them can only mean that he/she is unmoved by the severity of God's warning and has virtually begun to reject the Father's Name.

Your Choice

And now, dear reader you are obliged to choose:

Has Anyone got the Mark Now?

The answer is: No one has the Mark of the Beast at this moment in time (December 1999). All we are doing now is identifying what the mark is. But when the Antichrist again makes his appearance on the world scene, then every soul on earth will be compelled to choose between Yahweh's signature and the Beast's Mark. It is at that time, when those who refuse the mark are not allowed to buy and sell, then - and then only - will we be able to say who has the Mark of the Beast. But at the moment, no one has the Mark of the Beast. All we are doing in this article is identifying what the Mark is and what the punishment will be for those who knowingly accept it.

However, your present reaction to this message about the True Sabbath Day is a very powerful indication of what you will do when that testing time comes for you to choose between Yahweh's signature and the Beast's mark. Whose signature will you accept on the parchment of your soul at that time? That is a question only you can answer. In the past you may not have known anything about the Almighty's Sabbath days, I didn't, and God in His great mercy will no doubt allow for our ignorance. But now you know. Never again can you truthfully say, "I didn't know."

You now know what the Mark of the Beast is, and with that knowledge comes the added responsibility to obey God's commandments. In your own interests, therefore, you should carefully consider the conditions and consequences this article has brought to your attention, before making a choice. And do not needlessly delay; for time is short and the patience of the God of Israel has almost run out. The spirit of the Lawless One, the Antichrist, is already at work deceiving millions of Christians into thinking that Yahweh's law, the irrevocable constitution of the mighty universe, is obsolete. Beware of that subtle and dangerous deception: for it has already tricked millions of Christians into sin.

The Scriptures abound with examples of how the servants of the Most High were tested on the matter of obedience. The longest Psalm in the Bible (Psalm 119) extols obedience in virtually every verse. In the Sermon on the Mount the Saviour magnifies obedience to a degree few, if any, individuals had previously imagined. The Saviour's advice concerning the Commandments was as follows:
Matthew 19: 16: And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17: And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18: He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19: Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

So dear to His heart are His Sabbath commandments that this fearsome punishment will be meted out to those who knowingly and wilfully break them.
Rev.14:9: 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:

When the Antichrist arrives on the world scene, people will be compelled to receive his mark. If you refuse it, you will not be allowed to buy and sell; no matter where on earth you live. But if you accept it, you will drink of the wine of the wrath of God. And that is why it is so important that you really understand - in advance - what the Mark of the Beast is. If you study this paper over and over again, you will see how clearly it identifies the deadly Mark of the Beast.

Will Yahweh protect His people when they can no longer buy and sell?

The God of Israel is well able to miraculously nourish and protect His people when they are expelled from human society for seeking to obey Him. Indeed, He has a plan to care for them in the same way as He looked after ancient Israel for in the wilderness of Sinai. In that wild and barren desert Yahweh fed His people for 40 years, much to the astonishment of all the surrounding nations. In Ezekiel 20:35 and Revelations chapter 12 you will read about a similar plan of 3½ years: when He will miraculously feed and shelter His people in the 'wilderness of the people'. To be sure some believers will be martyred when the Antichrist arrives on the world scene. But the whole church will certainly not be wiped out. Many, many obedient souls will be divinely protected as that prophecy clearly indicates. See SBS articles entitled The Coming Exodus and The Time of trouble for information about this event.

The book of Revelation, awesome though it is, ends with a blissful picture of Yahweh's obedient people entering the New Jerusalem to live eternally with Him and His Son who sacrificed his life on Calvary to redeem us.
Rev. 22:14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Let no one keep you from reaching that eternal goal; because it is your legal right to be there. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) has already paid the price for you to enter. Put your faith in him; express that faith in obedience - and live for all time. That is the message of all Scripture.

After reading a lesson of this nature you may be interested in further study. The following articles may interest you.

SBS   Prophecy

Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
1994 ... Reformatted December 1999