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.

But, in all honesty, does YHWH (Yahweh, God the Father/Creator) need a "mark" made by humans? Scripture doesn't mention any "chip" in the hand or forehead. It mentions a "mark." Yes, it's possible the computer microchip (that some are suggesting is the "mark") may be used to play an important part in the end times because there will come a time when, if we don't have it, we can't be scanned to draw money out of our savings account or pay for coffee at Starbucks. However, according to Scripture there is a lot more to it than just a "chip" implant! Let's start with some basics:

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. 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.

Who are "the holy ones"? They are those who obey His Torah - because Torah and only Torah is the blueprint for holiness (1 John 3:4)! Please view the following comment through the lens of the Holy Spirit:

[1] Islam "borrowed" Torah scriptures and promptly twisted them because of "visions" the illiterate Mohammed had during epileptic visions, and it denies Yeshua as Messiah. Judaism denies Yeshua as their long-awaited Messiah. And Christanity ignores God's commanded Seventh Day Sabbath which is a SIGN between YHWH and His people and they refuse to bother with His seasons/Appointed Feast times. As a matter of fact, Christianity insists Torah is a CURSE! Please see our articles about the Law/Torah....

[2] Add to that the fact that we have total chaos when it comes to God and the Bible. We have Christians and Jews fighting each other AND Messianic/Torah observant believers; we have Messianics/Hebrew Roots types fighting Christians over their "New Testament only" beliefs, and Jews over their denial of Yeshua; we see Muslims fighting everybody who isn't Muslim (including the various factions of Muslims within Islam!); and we generally see much in-fighting in all circles!

Myriads are fighting and arguing concerning their respective religions - and because of this, they are causing others to completely "fall away" from God (2 Thessalonians 2:3). So "the mark" isn't necessarily a "chip" or some other man-made "thing"; it consists of those who are "anti-Messiah" or anti-Torah, and basically those who refuse to live a set apart/holy life for YHWH!

In view of the above, we at The Refiner's Fire propose the following: According to our interpretation of the Book of Daniel, the "Antichrist" will be someone from Europe (or has a European heritage, with possible links to the Middle East)***; the "beast" is the deadly religion Islam; and the "mark" will be acceptance of Islam (or any other "religion" that denies Messiah Y'shua or His Torah)! Remember, Y'shua said that He will deny before His Father anyone who denies Him before men (Matthew 10:33). He also said He would vomit from His Mouth anyone who is "lukewarm" toward Him (Revelation 3:15-16). YHWH commanded His people to be "wholehearted" towards Him at all times (Deuteronomy 18:13; 1 Kings 8:61).

FOOTNOTE Daniel 9:26 tells us that "a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple." The city and the Temple referenced were destroyed in AD 70 by Titus and the Roman legions. Daniel 9:27 goes on to describe the ruler as one who will make a seven-year treaty with Israel, put an end to the sacrifices and offerings, and set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration - all of which are events that will be fulfilled in the life of the "Antichrist." According to Daniel, the Antichrist will come from among the people who destroyed the Temple - the Roman Empire.

This does not automatically mean that the Antichrist will be of Italian heritage or even Roman ethnicity. It simply means he must come from among the people who were part of the Roman Empire at that time. The Roman Empire covered most of the known world, and Roman citizenship was extended to many non-Italian people.

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....

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):

The "New Testament" refers to "seals" instead of a "mark":

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 "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":

What is the "Mark of the Beast"? No one knows for sure, but chances are excellent that it is converting to, and FOLLOWING the laws of 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 Islam - as evidenced by a history of violence that includes the attack in New York on 9/11/2001; and more recently, the horrific terror attack in Paris on in November 2015...not to mention, the almost DAILY attacks by Muslims on Jews in Israel! - 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 Scripture 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 with Epilepsy, 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, Muslims have been busy 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 businesses 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.

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)