Many Christians are justifiably concerned about the prophetic Mark of the Beast, and many speculations and theories have arisen regarding it. But, what exactly is the Mark of the Beast, and when will it come into existence?
Revelation 13:16-18 says, “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: 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
First, it is not the Antichrist which will require people to accept the mark of the beast. The beast, spoken of in Revelation 13:1-4, is the end-times global government, rather than the Antichrist. At that point, however, they will represent each other (Revelation 13:5-7). Yet, in Revelation 13:11-17, we see that it is the False Prophet, or the second beast, which will require people to receive the mark of the beast.
Many have suggested that the Mark of the Beast will be some sort of personal identification number, required by the government in order to buy or sell, or to even function in society. In recent years, many have suggested that it will be a RFID chip, implanted in the hand or forehead. Some have suggested that it will be a bar-code tattooed into the skin. In the consumer world, thumb-print identification is becoming popular as a required method of conducting business. Some even suggest that the mark could be our cellphones, which already track us, and have the ability to allow or forbid us to buy or sell.
An important point to remember, is that the Mark of the Beast will be enforced globally, by the last-days one-world government. Any national method of identification is simply a stepping stone in the future acceptance of the mark. The Mark of the Beast will not be enforced until the Antichrist has come to power, and has begun persecuting Christians (Revelation 13:5-7), which will apparently be during the Great Tribulation. It will be implemented by the False Prophet, which only has power under the global government (Revelation 13:11-17).
Revelation 13:17 says that the Mark of the Beast can be in one of three forms: as its symbol, as its name, or as the number of its name. Notice that the number is the beast’s number. It is not your number. The Mark of the Beast will symbolize allegiance to the beast, and show that the bearer worships the beast. A personal ID#, a RFID chip, a tattooed bar-code, your thumb-print identification, all identify who you are. The Mark of the Beast will identify who you serve and worship.
On the other hand, the Mark of the Beast could ALSO be some method of personal identification. But, again, the mark symbolizes allegiance to the Beast. You will not inadvertently accept the mark. Thumb-print identification could (symbolically) be the Mark of the Beast, only if its use was clearly a pledge of allegiance to the Beast. As we study the book of Revelation, we also see that not everyone will receive the mark. Only unbelievers will accept the mark (Revelation 13:8). The saints of God, as well as some unbelievers, will refuse. Those who refuse will be unable to buy or sell (Revelation 13:16-17), during the time of a global famine (Revelation 6:5-6). (See also- Deuteronomy 11:18; Revelation 14:11)
Remember that the mark is given on the right hand or the forehead. While a personal ID card, or cellphone, could be held in the right hand, it appears that the mark is permanent, and can’t just be thrown away. These could, however, be tools used to assist the agenda of the Antichrist.
Two of the three forms of the mark (the symbol, and the name of the Beast), will clearly identify who the bearer serves and worships. This will not be some secretive method of tricking Christians into serving Satan. Revelation 13:4 says, “And they worshipped the dragon (Satan) which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast…” Revelation 19:20 shows that the deceit comes after people have accepted the mark. You cannot be tricked into accepting an eternal destiny (Romans 1:18-32). You will not be deceived unless you reject the truth of God, and embrace unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).
Revelation 13:18 says that the number of the beast is 666. In the Bible, the number 6 symbolizes imperfection. It is literally man without God. So, the number 666 means imperfect, imperfect, imperfect (or man without God, man without God, man without God). Revelation 15:2 says that the Mark of the Beast will be conquered by Christian martyrdom. You will be able to reject Satan’s final plan for your eternal separation from God, by giving your life for God.
(See also- Why YOU WILL Accept The Mark Of The Beast)