One of the most mysterious parts of the book of Revelation is the idea that people will be forced to receive “the mark of the beast” or be ostracized from society. Let’s explore the wide range of speculation about this “mark.”
“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
One of the most mysterious and frightening parts of the book of Revelation speaks of a future time when only those who receive “the mark of the beast” on their right hand or forehead will be able to buy. At the same time, the Bible essentially says all those who accept this mark will be sent to Hell for eternity.
The word for “mark” as it was written in the Greek text of the New Testament is charagma. In Greek, according to Strong’s Greek, this word means “Sculpture; engraving, a stamp, sign. From the same as charax; a scratch or etching, i.e. Stamp, or scupltured figure
The book of Revelation uses a lot of symbolic language. Because of this, people make all kinds of speculations even jumping to some pretty wild conclusions about what the mark of the beast actually is.
People used to believe that your Social Security number was the mark of the beast. In the age of technology, people believe it will be some type of implanted computer chip under the skin that can be read by scanners. Others believe it will be delivered via an injection, such as through a vaccine. For whatever reason, God has chosen to allow this to be somewhat of a mystery, at least for now until the time comes.
However, the Bible itself gives definition to what some of the symbolism represents, and with careful study of earlier books in both the old and New Testament, the symbolism can be deciphered. The symbols are explained in great detail in the video “From Babylon to America: The Prophecy Movie” that can be viewed on Amazon Prime.
Pastor Alejandro Rivas, also considers the Hebrew in defining what the mark means. There is an interesting passage in Exodus of the dedication of the firstborn that parallels the mark of the beast in Revelation.
We get a better impression if we look at the God’s Word translation…
“This [festival] will be [like] a mark on your hand or a reminder on your forehead that the teachings of the LORD are [always] to be a part of your conversation. Because the LORD used his mighty hand to bring you out of Egypt,”
– Exodus 13:9 (GWT)
Pastor Rivas says that the literal translation of the Hebrew Bible sees the mark of the beast defined as: “prick, sting, arrow (arrow with poison) or wound piercer.” In other words, Rivas says in our modern language we would see this as some type of injection. He says it also could go as far as modified DNA.
Faithful Christians believe that God will not allow the church to be deceived when the time comes to make a choice between receiving and not receiving the mark of the beast. At that time, many believe that what constitutes the mark of the beast will be apparent to those living at that time. It is the belief of many that discernment will be given to Christians in order for them to avoid accepting and taking the mark. Some believe that the Bible indicates that God will send an angel to warn mankind.
“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 also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur 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.'”
– Revelation 14:9-11