What is the "Mark of the Beast"?
Tomes have been written on this subject, and the Internet literally teems with ideas about the identity of the Antichrist and exactly what the "Mark of the Beast" might be. The bottom line is: Only God knows.
We at The Refiner's Fire are of the opinion that the Antichrist will be a Muslim, the "beast" is Islam, and the "mark" will be acceptance of Islam by those who claim to be believers in Messiah Yeshua, simply because they fear death at the hands of Muslims.
1 John 2: 22 Who is a liar at all, if not the person who denies that Yeshua is the Messiah? Such a person is an anti-Messiah - he is denying the Father and the Son.
Daniel 7: 25 He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High. (The "holy ones" are those believers who obey His Torah!) He will attempt to alter the seasons and the law; and [the holy ones] will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.
A reader wrote the following:
I believe neither the Mark of God nor the Mark of the Beast are literal, visible seals. My forehead, for instance, represents my mind, where I make decisions. When I choose God and follow His commandments His Name and Law is symbolically written in my mind (Hebrews 10:15-16).
So, I think because Catholics bow down to a "father" - the Pope in all his glorious power - and they kiss his ring, and they bow down to statues and idols, and they changed YHWH's Seventh Day Sabbath and His holy feasts, and come up with their own "holy days" of Christmas and Easter...Well, all this can all be construed as, "the Mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority." Therefore, I believe Catholicism is "the beast" and bowing down to her authority is the Mark of the Beast....
Now this would mean that those who broke away - Protestants and all others who came out of the Catholic Church - they are 'the image of the beast'; an image being a replica of an original. They are not worshipping the beast but they do worship its image. They are an image of the Papal church. They have a different name but they are following the same false teachings, traditions and commandments of men. False teachings, baptism by sprinkling, Sunday worship, etc. - all from the beast.
Is this true? Perhaps. No one really knows. But, please read on....
Many people and organizations can be labeled "Antichrist"; however, the Book of Revelation contains prophecy concerning an end-time dictator who is to rule the world. Symbolically, he is called "the Beast", also known elsewhere in Scripture as: "the Man of Sin"; "the Man of Lawlessness"; "the Son of Perdition'; "the Little Horn"; and "the Antichrist". When this person appears on the scene he will order everyone on earth to receive his "mark" - an identifying sign in our right hands or foreheads:
Revelation 13: 15. And it was given him to put life into the image of the beast of prey; and to cause that all they who would not worship the image of the beast of prey, should be slain: 16. and to cause that all, great and small, rich and poor, bond and free, should receive a mark on their right hands, or upon their foreheads; 17. so that no one might be able to buy or to sell, except those who had the mark of the name of the beast of prey, or the number of his name. 18. Here is wisdom: let him that has intelligence compute the number of the beast of prey; for it is the number of a man: and its number is six hundred and sixty and six. (Aramaic English New Testament)
Footnote: In terms of the number of the Beast, the name "Nero Caesar" adds up to a Gematria of 666 in Hebrew and Aramaic. However, this never works in Greek or Latin, as Origen found out to his dismay in the late Second Century. While this book of Revelation is written outside of specific "time" as we know it, the examples and instances of the past and present, ultimately repeat themselves while racing towards their final fulfillment. Although 666 is haSatan's identifying number, the Anti-Mashiyach types also wear this number. Anti-Mashiyach can relate to humans under haSatan's control, those who use positions of power and authority to wreak havoc. Rav Shaul teaches he is the "man of lawlessness" but still a man; 1 Thess reveals that the man has false divine aspirations. Human manifestations of haSatan are men like Nero, who is a shadow of what is to come. Rome has long been the focal point of evil, so how much more would the Emperor reflect that, especially when he murdered both Rav Shaul and Keefa!
According to the Bible, no one will be able to buy and sell anything without first accepting this "mark". Not only will this apply to everyone and anyone who refuses to take the "mark", but it will also mean economic sanctions on a scale the world has never before known. It will be a time of testing that very few will be able to pass....
YHWH (Yahweh), our Creator - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - warns mankind that all who accept this Mark of the Beast will experience the full measure of His wrath. It would be an understatement to say that this is a terrifying prophecy, but Bible commentators have, through the centuries, attempted to interpret it; and there is no shortage of explanations contained in books and on the internet.
Before going any further, let's briefly discuss what a "mark" in our right hand or forehead might be. Some have suggested that this "mark" is a tattoo of some sort or perhaps some kind of a credit card, national health card or bar code. Others believe it could be the already-in-use microchip implant for insertion under the skin - a tiny chip that will contain personal information such as our medical and banking records, etc. While this might ultimately be a great control mechanism used by the Antichrist, we at The Refiner's Fire believe that the actual "mark" is our willingness to depart from God and His teachings in order to follow Satan. Please read on....
In order to understand the "Mark of the Beast" we must first understand that there is a "Mark of YHWH", as well. YHWH put "marks" on people throughout the Tanach (Old Covenant):
- Genesis 4: 15 ADONAI answered him, "Therefore, whoever kills Kayin will receive vengeance sevenfold," and ADONAI put a sign on Kayin, so that no one who found him would kill him. (All Tanach scriptures from Stern's Complete Jewish Bible)
- Ezekiel 9: 4 ADONAI said to him, "Go throughout the city, through all Yerushalayim, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and crying over all the disgusting practices that are being committed in it."
- Ezekiel 9: 6 Kill old men, young men, girls, little children, women - slaughter them all! But don't go near anyone with the mark. Begin at my sanctuary." They began with the leaders in front of the house.
The "New Testament" refers to "seals" instead of a "mark":
- John 6: 27. Do not labor for food that perishes, rather for food that endures to life that is everlasting, that which the Son of man will give to you, for this man Elohim the Father has sealed. (All NT scripture from Aramaic English New Testament)
- 2 Corinthians 1: 21. Now it is Elohim who establishes us, with you, in the Mashiyach, and has anointed us, 22. And has sealed us, and has given the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts. 23. Moreover, I call Elohim for a witness on my soul that it was in order to spare you that I did not come to Corinth.
- Ephesians 1: 13. In whom you also have heard the Word of Truth which is the Good News of your life, and have believed in him; and have been sealed with the Ruach haKodesh who was promised;
- Ephesians 4: 30. And do not grieve the Ruach haKodesh of Elohim, whereby you are sealed for the day of redemption.
- 2 Timothy 2: 19. But the firm foundation of Elohim stands and it has this seal; Master YHWH knows them who are His: and, Let everyone who invokes the name of our Master (Y'shua) stand aloof from iniquity.
From the above Scriptures we can see that God uses "marks" and "seals" to separate the Godly from the ungodly. If you've read the Bible in its entirety, you know that the "Godly" are not only those who believe in Yeshua HaMashiyach (who Christians call Jesus Christ), but also those who follow the teachings and instructions contained in Torah - without which man would not know how to behave towards God or each other! ("I give you good instruction: Do not forsake my Torah" - Proverbs 4:2). YHWH gave strict instructions to Moshe (Moses) who told the Israelites:
Numbers 15: 13 "'Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way when he brings an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 14 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to the LORD, he must do exactly as you do. 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"
Deuteronomy 6: 1 "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all Your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
In other words, the above orders the Israelites (all those who have chosen the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!) to keep His commandments in our hearts and minds - which ultimately translate into the deeds that we perform with our hands. Whoever belongs to God with all his/her heart, mind, and soul will do his/her best to keep their hands from sinning....
Disciples of YHWH are sealed with His Torah, indicating this is a symbolic seal, not a literal one.
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."
Exodus 31: 16 "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 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.'"
As we can see, the Sabbath is a sign of God, or His seal, representing His authority as Creator.
Many today insist that since we have God's Word "written on our hearts" (2 Cor. 3:3) they are exempt from being Torah-observant. They insist they are "are under grace and that the only commandments are to love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself". However, this is not true, as Yeshua Himself said that He came not to abolish, but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17-20) which has been mistakenly misinterpreted as meaning "ended" or "done away with". God gave us a New Covenant via Yeshua who was our final SIN Sacrifice - which did not automatically replace Torah, God's teachings. Even the final book of the Bible, Revelation, tells us that God's people are those who bear witness to Yeshua AND obey God's commands (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12). Those Scriptures don't say "or"; they both say "and".
In other words, those who have the "Mark of God" are the ones who not only have the testimony of our Messiah, but those who are also Torah-observant as was Yeshua who Himself kept kosher and observed the seventh-day Sabbath and the Biblical feasts. That, in itself, will be a very visible "mark" which will drive the YHWH-hating Antichrist insane enough to want to kill us!
Which brings us to the "Mark of the Beast":
- Revelation 13:16-18....so
that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which
is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
- Revelation 14:8-10..... A
third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If
anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his
mark on the forehead or on the hand,
- Revelation 14:10-12....
And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.
There is no rest day or night for those who worship the
beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of
- Revelation 15:2.... And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
- Revelation 16:1-3.....The
first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and
ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the
mark of the beast and worshiped his image.
- Revelation 19:20..... And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
What is the "Mark of the Beast"? No one knows for sure, but chances are excellent that it is Islam. Why? For one thing, because Islam is against everything the Bible, YHWH, and our Savior Yeshua HaMashiyach (whom Christians call "Jesus") represent.
The religion of Islam is completely "anti-Christ". The goal of radical Islam - as evidenced by a history of violence that includes "9/11" and other atrocities - is to force the world to convert or die. Their "mark" is visible because they worship an entity called Allah (which is a mere title for "God"). They pray five times a day while facing Mecca (not Jerusalem). They pray in mosques (not churches or synagogues), and they lead an antiquated way of life that includes keeping their women subdued and clothed from head to foot.
Although their "final prophet" Mohammed "borrowed" Scriptures from the Torah (first five books of Moses), nothing they do or believe in any way resembles YHWH's teaching and instruction. They have twisted Scriptures to insist, for instance, that God made His covenant with Ishmael instead of Isaac (Genesis 16). When confronted about this lie, Muslims insist that man has misinterpreted that particular Scripture from the "Old Testament", and Mohammed corrected it (never mind the fact that Mohammed was, unlike Yeshua, just a mere man who murdered, raped, plundered, and pillaged in the name of his God....)
And think about this: the Book of Revelation tells us that many believers in Messiah will be beheaded (not shot or stabbed or hanged, but beheaded):
Revelation 20:4. And I saw thrones, and (persons) sat on them, and judgment was given to them, and to the souls that were beheaded for the testimony of Y'shua and for the Word of Elohim: and these are they who had not worshipped the beast of prey nor its image; neither had they received the mark upon their forehead or on their hand; and they lived and reigned with their Mashiyach those thousand years. (AENT)
As we've seen in the headlines over the past few years, the Muslims have already started beheading "infidels" - anyone who doesn't adhere to the Koran. Furthermore, the Bank of Islam (which recently changed its name to the more "Western" sounding Arcapita (they used to have a website that proclaimed this, but it has apparently been removed) has started buying up U.S. enterprises such as Church's Chicken, Loehmann's Department Store, and the Caribou Coffee chain.
They have also also made it VERY clear that they will NOT be doing business with anyone who doesn't adhere to Sha'ria Law (Koran). Over the course of time, when the Bank of Islam has merged with other world banks and owns the business of most of the world, what will happen to us believers who refuse to bow down to Allah? It is unfathomable that they would allow us to keep our jobs! Without a job, there's no money coming in. Without money coming in, we won't be able to "buy or sell"....The Koran orders Muslims to kill anyone who doesn't conform to Islam. And they have already begun....
What we can also conclude from the above is this:
YHWH said "Moreover, it will serve you as a sign on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, so that YHWH's Torah may be on your lips; because with a strong hand YHWH brought you out of Egypt. " (Exodus 13:9)
Compare it with this:
Revelation 13: 15. And it was given him to put life into the image of the beast of prey; and to cause that all they who would not worship the image of the beast of prey, should be slain: 16. and to cause that all, great and small, rich and poor, bond and free, should receive a mark on their right hands, or upon their foreheads; 17. so that no one might be able to buy or to sell, except those who had the mark of the name of the beast of prey, or the number of his name. (Aramaic English New Testament)
The "mark of YHWH" is our Torah obedience to Him. In Revelation we find that the beast is going to take that same concept (hand and forehead) and put his own "mark" there!
The Bible-prophesied end times are inevitable. Yeshua Himself gave us the warning:
Matthew 24: 4. Y'shua answered and said to them, Beware, let no man deceive you. 5. For many will come in my name and will say that "I am the Mashiyach." And many they will deceive. 6. For you are bound to hear of revolutions and rumor of wars. Watch out and do not be disturbed, for it is necessary that all these things happen, but it is not yet the end. 7. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and plagues and earthquakes in different places. 8. But all these things are only the beginning of sorrows. 9. Then they will deliver to afflictions and they will kill you and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10. Then many will stumble and will hate one another and will betray one another. 11. And many false prophets will arise and deceive many. 12. And because of the growth of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold. 13. But whoever has patience until the end, he will have life. 14. And this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.... (AENT)