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The truth behind the Mark of the Beast.
Have you ever wondered what the Mark of the Beast represents? What does the mysterious number 666 really mean? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This topic is popular even with those who don’t believe in the Bible. It has been made popular by Hollywood and yet it is greatly misunderstood.The most shocking and fearful language is used to describe the Mark of the Beast in the book of Revelation. Revelation 14:9-11 says, “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. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’”God’s Word reveals two groups of people. Those who follow the God of Heaven and those who follow the beast. Tragically, until a person knows what the Mark of the Beast is, they are on track to receive it. For this reason, it is very important that we allow the Bible to identify the beast and his mark.
What does the Bible tell us about the Mark of the Beast?
1. This beast will receive his power and authority from a dragon. Revelation 13:2 says, “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”Who is this dragon? Revelation 12:9 says, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”2. The beast will become a worldwide power. Revelation 13:7 says that “authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”The Papacy, or the Roman Catholic Church, fits the identification. During the Papacy’s reign, it was a worldwide power. Pope Gregory VII declared the power to dethrone emperors and said that no sentence which he pronounced could be reversed by anyone. 3. This beast would rule for 1,260 years. Revelation 13:5 says, “he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.” In Bible prophecy, a day is equal to a literal year. Numbers 14:34 says, “According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years.” So, how long is this prophetic 42 months? The time of this world power’s rule is repeatedly referred to in prophecy as 1,260 days. This is the same as 42 months (42 X 30 = 1,260). And since a day in prophecy equals a literal year, the beast is said to rule for 1,260 years. Is there a religious and political power in world history that meets this criteria? The Papacy, or the Roman Catholic Church, fits the identification. It came into power in the year 538 A.D. when Justinian I, leader of the Roman Empire, placed himself as the head of all churches. Later, Pope Gregory VII declared the power to dethrone other world powers. Did this power come to an end 1,260 years later as the Bible describes? If we add 1,260 years to 538 A.D., we come to 1798. This is the year when French General Berthier took the Pope into captivity and the Papacy’s power crumbled. God is speaking about a false system of worship and NOT about any sincere individual or group of people. God is revealing His truth and exposing error so that we can be saved and spend eternity with Him!4. The beast would be guilty of blasphemy. “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.” Revelation 13:6. The Bible teaches that blasphemy is claiming to be God and having the power to forgive sins (see John 10:33 and Luke 5:21). Did this false prophet, the Papacy, claim to be God and have the ability to forgive sins? A common and central practice of Catholicism is to grant forgiveness through the priests, as noted in their Catechism.5. The beast would receive a deadly wound and that the entire world would follow him. Revelation 13:3 reads, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Many thought that the Papacy was over in 1798 when General Berthier took the Pope captive. However, just as God said, this deadly wound was to be healed. In recent years, Pope Francis has expressed intense desire for unity between Protestants and the Catholic Church. The Papacy’s power and influence continues to grow as the world looks to the Pope today as the only hope for worldwide unity, peace, and love. 6. The mystical number of the beast is 666. Revelation 13:18 says, “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.” Here’s a quote from “Our Sunday Visitor” that makes it clear: “The title of the Pope of Rome is Vicarius Filii Dei. This is inscribed on his mitre; and if you take the letters and add them together, they come to 666.” Today many Protestants apply this number, in error, to all of humanity. But, as we’ve read, the Pope is clearly given this number in Catholic publications. 7. The beast is a religious power and involved in worship. Quoting Revelation 13:8, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the Beast] . . .” This worldwide power is different from other governments. It is both a government AND a religious organization. 8. The beast will persecute the saints. The Bible says, “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” Revelation 13:7.History is flooded with dreadful crimes committed by this false system of worship. Throughout the ages, untold numbers of victims have suffered at the hands of the Roman Catholic church and its powers.
The unmistakable identity of the Beast and his mark
Now that we’ve identified the beast of Revelation 13 as the Roman Catholic Church, let’s see what the Papacy says about its mark. In the Catholic Record of London on September 1, 1923 it says, “Sunday is our mark of authority . . . the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.”Again, we see the issue is over worship. The Sabbath is God’s day. It is His seal. In Ezekiel 20:12 God says, “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 sanctifies them.” Could it be that Satan has a counterfeit day of worship to lead many in disobeying God?
When will the Mark of the Beast be enforced? Is it a literal mark?
Remember we are dealing with symbols in Bible prophecy. No one has the Mark of the Beast at this moment. However, there will come a time when things change. Notice what Revelation 13:16-17 has to say: “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 man might buy or sell except one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”The Bible reveals that the Mark of the Beast is the enforcement of worship on Sunday through limiting buying and selling. Soon there will be a time when all will be forced to choose whose side they are on. There will only be two groups of people. Those who remain faithful to God by keeping the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, holy and those who are worshiping the beast on Sunday. This matter is deeply personal. It isn’t enough to only say that we serve God. We must also obey Him and receive His seal which is the Sabbath day.
Is the United States mentioned in Bible prophecy?
Many have asked this important question. In Revelation 13:11, 12, the Apostle John sees a second beast that rises up out of the earth having two horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon. Is there a nation that fits these characteristics?Interestingly, the US Constitution came into effect in 1789 right around the time when the papacy received its deadly wound. With lofty principles of freedom and equality, one can say that the United States has lamb-like characteristics. However, Revelation 13:12 goes on to say that, “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.” Describing how the second, lamb-like beast will exercise the same authority as the first beast, Revelation 13:13-14 states, “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men . . . telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.” Could it be that America will one day enforce this mark and require all to worship on Sunday?An image is a copy of the original. The second beast will practice the same power to enforce religious worship just like Papal Rome did during its 1,260-year reign. Kind of scary, isn’t it?
How can we be safe and avoid the Mark of the Beast?
Revelation 22:14 states, “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life . . .”Again, this battle is over who you will choose to worship. Will you follow after the beast and receive His mark? Or will you be loyal to Jesus Christ and keep all of his commandments? The choice is yours. God does not force our worship or obedience. He has sent us these messages of warning out of love. He wants us to be prepared. Today we can accept the truth and stand for Jesus. Do you want to choose God and be faithful to all of His commandments? Do you wish to accept the Biblical Sabbath and avoid the Mark of the Beast? You can be among His faithful saints who will live in Heaven with Him for all of eternity!
Think of this as a master class in Bible study and Bible prophecy. Whether you’ve never before cracked open a Bible, or have been studying it all your life, you’ll gain new insights from this series!
By looking at Revelation and Daniel, as well as other books of the Bible, you’ll find that the Bible itself clearly unlocks the mysteries of Bible prophecies. This will transform what may feel like a confusing book into something clear and understandable. In fact, after this course, Revelation may become one of your favorite books of the Bible!
Above all, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ love for you, and emerge with an even closer relationship with Him.
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