What is the Mark of the Beast?
We’ve spent the last few posts examining the intriguing character known as the Antichrist. In this post, we’re going to wrap up our study by looking at the Antichrist’s most notorious endeavor – The Mark of the Beast.
The description of the Mark And its effects are some of the most well-known passages in eschatology. And as with most familiar scriptures, there is as much myth connected to the Mark as there is fact. Let’s look at the facts first, then we’ll delve into the mythology.
- EVERYONE, regardless of their station in life, will be required (under penalty of death) to take some type of physical “mark” on/in their right hand or forehead as a sign of allegiance to the Antichrist.
- The Mark is tied to the name of the Beast and the “number of his name” (which somehow calculates to 666).
- You will not be able to participate in the economy of the Antichrist’s global government unless you have the Mark
- Worshipping the Beast is required in order to take the Mark
- The Antichrist’s right-hand man, the False Prophet, will be an integral part of creating and enforcing the Mark
- If you take the Mark, you somehow become ineligible for Salvation (!!)
A lot of people have traditionally focused way too much on the economic aspects of the Mark. When ATM’s and ATM cards were introduced, many Christians felt that they would lead to the Mark of the Beast. Since money was becoming more electronic than physical, it was easy to see how the “Beast Economic System” could be enacted and enforced.
The rise of computers and Internet transactions also fed these fears. Now with RFID technology and injectable microchips designed to be placed under the skin, it looks like the mechanisms are in place to make the Mark of the Beast a reality. Some Christians have serious concerns that through the use of advancing technology, they may take the Mark by accident and reap the negative consequences!
Allow me to alleviate some of these concerns. While the electronic aspects of currency are highly likely to be a part of the Beast system, the economics are an EFFECT of the Mark, not the CAUSE. The Cause is worshipping the Beast as God and voluntarily becoming a part of his kingdom.
Before the Mark is a reality, the Antichrist has to appear on the scene, the False Apocalypse and everything involved has to occur, then the Antichrist has to come back from a mortal wound (more on that in a bit) and demand to be worshipped while sitting on a throne in a Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
As far as I can tell, none of that has happened. So I wouldn’t be too concerned about Paypal, Google Wallet, and ApplePay sending you to Hell just yet (but you should still change your password regularly).
As we discussed earlier, the number 666 is a HUGE part of the Mark’s mythology. The Bible clearly states that if you have enough wisdom, you can figure it out
Admittedly, I don’t yet possess the prerequisite wisdom because I’m still perplexed by it. But in my defense, no one else has figured it out either, so I’m not alone. Sure, there are TONS of theories about it, but that’s all they are.
Usually, the best way to interpret prophetic mysteries is to let the Bible interpret itself, by searching where the prophetic terms are used elsewhere in scripture. Unfortunately, the only other place in the Bible where 666 is mentioned is the wage paid to King Solomon in the Old Testament.
Solomon was Israel’s wisest and richest king, but he became too reliant on his human wisdom and fell into idolatry.
I honestly don’t know how this seamlessly connects to the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast. If I figure it out I’ll update this post. Until then, 666 remains an unsolved mystery.
Who is the False Prophet?
If we’re going to try to bring any significant resolution to the mysteries of the Mark, we should start with the guy at the center of it all. Who is the False Prophet?
He will essentially be the world’s co-ruler alongside the Antichrist. He will be the ULTIMATE Mystic and the religious enforcer of the Beast’s theocratic rule.
Like the Antichrist, he will be a “beast” or Therion. He is described as coming “out of the earth”, having horns like a lamb (denoting a facsimile of Christ and Christianity), but he will speak like a dragon (Satan). Some commentators use this description to conclude that he will be a Pope (these commentators are usually protestants obviously).
But like the Antichrist, WHO he is, is less important than WHAT he is. He will be supernatural, and he will perform miracles that will amaze and entrance the world. And his biggest miracle will be a doozy. The Bible says he will “give life to the image of the Beast”, and force people to worship it!
What does THAT mean?
For most of Church history, that passage has been interpreted as the False Prophet commissioning a statue of the Antichrist be built, and then he makes it speak words and act life-like.
And while something like that might have been impressive 50 years ago (and earlier), in today’s world of robotics, animatronics, CGI, and special effects, making a statue appear lifelike would seem more like a cheap parlor trick than a miracle.
No, I think the “image of Beast” is something much more sinister.
In the original language, the word “image” is more akin to our word “copy”. What would a copy of the Antichrist be? I would contend that it will be a clone! (I know that sounds crazy. But stay with me)
Think about it, what would be more impressive, a talking statue, or a true clone of a “human being” with full life and memories?
But why would the Antichrist want or need a clone? And why does the False Prophet compel people to worship the copy INSTEAD of the original?
Remember that at or near the halfway point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist receives a mortal wound and comes back to life. The problem is that Satan and his minions don’t have the power to give life. That power belongs to God and God alone.
So I believe that this mortal wound actually kills the Antichrist, BUT he gets cloned (or already has a clone waiting), and the clone gets inhabited by Nimrod and becomes “alive”! (See the last post for more details)
Now as far as I know, we do not currently have the capability to create a functioning human clone. But keep in mind that during the days of the Antichrist, humans will not be the most intelligent beings on earth.
Remember that at the end of the False Apocalypse, Satan and the fallen angels are booted down to earth (likely claiming to be “aliens”). I think it’s quite possible that they bring a lot of technical knowledge and upgrades with them as they did when they came down to earth during the antediluvian period (remember that Jesus said this time would be like the “days of Noah”). That technology might include cloning.
And if the False Prophet is one of them, or closely associated with them, then it provides the avenue for him to “give life” to the image.
This might also explain the refrain in Revelation 13 where people say of the “resurrected” Antichrist, “who is like him, and who is able to make war with him?”
If you have a clone ready to take your place every time you are killed, then you’d be pretty tough to make war against, wouldn’t you?
So what does all this have to do with the Mark of the Beast?
We know that the Antichrist is the False Messiah, and we see that he will fool people with a false “death and resurrection”. But I think he will complete his fake gospel by offering his worshippers a twisted version of Christ’s promise to Christians!
If you accept Christ, you are promised to become LIKE Him in His resurrection – you get a new immortal body and eternal life. But if you commit yourself to the Beast, he will let you become like HIM!
You get a facsimile of eternal life and a new body through cloning and genetic alteration to become a gibbowr like him! How? By taking his Mark!
Aaaaaand, how would that work?
Admittedly, this gets a little weird (and that’s saying a LOT considering what I’ve been posting over the last year or so). But one of the pervasive aspects of the whole “alien abduction” phenomenon that has been all the rage over the last 40+ years (reaching its crescendo with the X-Files TV show) has been the so-called “implants” that have been found under the skin of alleged abductees.
A researcher and author named LA Marzuli (who does a TON of work in this field) had a doctor examine an implant that had been removed from an abductee. He found that the implant was changing the victims DNA!! Could this be what the Mark of the Beast is really all about?
How might this all fit together?
Here is the possible scenario: at the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist is killed. He gets cloned and brought back to life as Nimrod 2.0 by the False Prophet. He demands to be worshiped as “The Christ”, and the secular world, clearly impressed by his comeback, readily does so.
He claims to be the true messiah and disparages God and Jesus as evil, false pretenders. He offers his followers “true” eternal life via cloning and tells them that they can be like him by taking an implant in their right hand or forehead that genetically alters them at the genetic level into …Nephalim!
Like Nimrod, they BECOME Gibborim!
The False Prophet ensures that no resistance is tolerated. If you refuse to worship this “god” and accept his “salvation”, you will be excommunicated from the world system where you will starve to death (if they don’t find you and execute you first.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? This is how man will definitively choose Satan over God. And now God can justly pour out his wrath upon the earth.
A philosophical problem I have with Gods wrath
As an aside, I have to mention here that I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with the way Gods wrath is presented in Revelation and the idea that once you take the Mark of the Beast, you are permanently barred from salvation.
God’s wrath will be the most unimaginably devastating set of events in history (we’ll begin examining it in the next post). And while I can’t and won’t argue that the world is overdue for some serious judgment, I have to wonder why that judgment is ALL poured out on That last generation?
If the Tribulation were to start, say, next week, then it’s likely that people we know are going to be taken behind the theological woodshed.
Why are they more deserving of Gods wrath than other generations? Terrible people have come and gone, Nazis, Inquisitors, Viking hordes, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Vlad the Impaler, Caligula, Genghis Kahn, Mengele, the guy who invented Black Licorice…why do these d-bags all escape wrath because they aren’t alive during the Tribulation?
AND why does the Mark make one ineligible for salvation? Why can’t someone who takes the Mark change his mind later and say “oops, I was wrong. This Antichrist guy is nuts! I want to choose God now”?
A generation deserving of wrath
It all comes down to understanding who the Wrath was intended for. Like the Great Flood and Hell (which we will talk about in a futures series), God’s Wrath is NOT intended for human beings! It is intended to punish the spiritual entities who have corrupted the earth – and they know it’s coming!
But like Hell, man can CHOOSE to participate in the Wrath by rejecting Gods provision. Not only does the Tribulation generation reject God, but by taking the Mark of the Beast, they intentionally alter themselves to become Nephalim! They give up their humanity and are justly punished like other supernatural entities.
AND since salvation is exclusively offered to human beings, those altered by the Mark CANNOT be saved!
So I think it’s pretty safe to say that taking the Mark of the Beast is probably the worst discussion you can possibly make (second only to marrying a Kardashian).
Let’s get back to the Good Guys
We’ve spent enough time on the dark side (maybe too much). Now it’s time to look at the REAL purpose f the events of Revelation – the ushering in of Christ’s Kingdom. And that process begins by judging and expelling the evil forces that have corrupted the world since Original Sin.
In the next post, we begin our look at God’s judgment and Wrath by exploring how He starts the process of evicting the bad guys from earth.