Throughout my life, I have heard people warn about the “mark of the beast.” We were warned that the day would come when a world leader backed by a world system would bring everyone under their control. This mark would be required on the forehead and/or the hand in order to buy or sell. Ultimately, the “beast system” would exercise control through denying people the resources necessary to live.
“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 one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17
I believe we need to re-examine these scriptures with the interpretation of the Word itself so we can truly be prepared for the time in which we are now living. The Bible tells us we should never have a private interpretation of scripture. If we want to understand scripture, we must look in the Word itself for the interpretation. The principle of God is: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall ever word be established.” This means we should find out other mentions of the scriptural truth to understand the meaning of what is being said. This scripture in Revelation 13 certainly refers to a scripture given to the children of Israel in the exhortation of how they should live in the Promised Land.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9
We Need to be Reminded of Who We Are!
When the Children of Israel went into the Promised Land, they would need to see their place as God’s “Special People.” They were chosen out of all the nations of the earth to reveal the glory of God. The sign to the world would be the principles they lived by and the accompanying blessing that would follow. To keep themselves in the covenant, they needed necessary reminders to keep them focused on the life God was calling them to live. When John has His revelation, he is alluding to this concept when he talks about the mark on the forehead and the hands.
When describing the “mark” John says, “it is the number of a man.” Chapter 13 of the Book of the Revelation talks about a system directly authorized by the dragon. He is also said to be the serpent of old. This is a reference to the devil in the Garden of Eden. Man’s adversary from the beginning is now personified in a system. This system seeks to persecute the church. Just as the beast (and systems) are allegories of something deeper; we should assume the same is true of the number.
The Battle is Real!
Let’s be clear, the devil has used deception from the beginning. As God’s instruction was to have a mind and a hand to serve God, the beast would want our mind and also our hands to do his bidding. The real battle is not in the economic realm, but in the realm of the heart and mind. As Christians today, we must be very careful of our minds as well as our thoughts. We could easily be swayed with human philosophy, propagated by the devil, without realizing we have the mark of the beast put upon us.
The battle in the Garden was in the mind. If the serpent could gain access to Eve’s thinking, he could take control of her actions without her realizing it. The promise was self-control, but it was actually a trap for the serpent’s control. This is why, before we become Christians, the Word tells us we are under the influence of the god of this world “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”