The Mark of the Beast



Dr. John Hoole – December 30, 2012




Today we are going to study one of the best-known prophecies in all of Scripture.  Even most people who have never opened a Bible have some familiarity with the phrase, “The "Mark Of The Beast.”  The Mark of the Beast has been the focal point of more rhetoric, ridicule, and speculation than possibly any other single item in the Bible.  All kinds of questions swirl around the meaning and application of this mark.  Ever since the apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation in about A.D. 95, there has been a sort of eeriness that accompanies the number 666.


I have not seen films like The Omen or The Exorcist, but I have been told they use antichrist imagery, demonic activities, and 666 typology.  What is missing in so much of the secular discussion of the mark of the beast is the proper context in which this prophecy is presented to us in the Scriptures.


In 1997, a California judge ordered the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to accommodate the concerns of five men who want to apply for driver’s licenses without providing their Social Security number as required.  The men objected to Social Security numbers on religious grounds, saying that they may be the Mark of the Beast” mentioned in the Revelation of John.  In her decision, issued in October, 1997, California Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne said the state DMV can find another method for identification that accommodates the men’s “sincerely held religious convictions.”


Let me say at the very beginning of this class: The Social Security Number has NO relationship to the coming mark of the beast.


I also want to say that during this lesson, I hope you will realize, that taking the mark of the beast will not be some inadvertent or accidental act that will cost you your very soul.  Those taking the mark of the beast will know exactly what it means when they choose to accept it.  No believer will be blind-sided into accepting a mark they do not understand.  We will say more about that later in this lesson.


Current Events


September 2, 2003 - Nearly a decade ago a tiny new chip was developed by Hitachi of Canada that contains ROM (read-only memory) and a RFID (Radio frequency Identification) transponder.  It is only 0.4 millimeters (about .01”) on a side.  The chip is called Mu, after the Greek letter m, and can transmit information over a distance of about 30 cm (About 12 inches).  It can be imbedded in a paper product to insure its authenticity, and as in the case of money, to track its location and history.


On February 13, 2007, Hitachi announced its improved RFID chip making it eight times smaller – about .003 inches on each side.  It is often referred to as “dust” because it is about the size of a particle of dust.


July 2001 - A 90-day test was conducted on plans to create an under-the-skin (sub-dermal) monitoring chip. In size it is a little larger than a grain of rice, and in October 2004, it was approved by the FDA for use.  The device is called Digital Angel, and is the first biosensor and wireless telecommunications device that will be linked to GPS (Global Positioning Systems).  Its developer, Applied Digital Solutions, is a Florida-based firm, who say the “digital angel” could be used in a wide range of potential applications, including:


         1.      Monitoring the location and medical condition of at-risk patients,

         2.      Locating lost or missing individuals,

         3.      Locating missing or stolen household pets,

         4.      Managing livestock and other farm animals,

         5.      Pinpointing the location of valuable stolen property,

         6.      Preventing the unauthorized use of firearms,

         7.      Providing a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-commerce security.

In England, according to the London Times, sub-skin implants have been underway for years.  They wrote: “Film stars and the children of millionaires are among people who have been fitted with implant chips.”


August 2011 -        Engineers at the University of Illinois have developed a flexible and very thin device that easily attaches to a person’s skin.  It has electronic components for sensing, medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfaces.  It looks very much like a temporary tattoo.  The circuitry is devised to be able to stretch or wrinkle with the skin.  Its primary use will be in the medical field, and could wirelessly interface with an EKG, EEG, EMG devices.


Kuala Lumpur airport


When passengers arrive for a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport, facial images are recorded on camera at the check-in counter, and that data is encoded on both boarding passes and baggage tags.  When you finally board the plane, the system scans your facial image again to ensure that the person with the boarding pass is actually the one getting on board.  Also, it is used to ensure the luggage being taken from the baggage carousel belongs to the person leaving with it.


For this to really work, the imaging must be in 3D.  That is because we are not always looking straight at the device taking our image.  We are already seeing this image technology in other devices.  For instance, I have a camera that has facial recognition focusing.  It can identify up to 9 faces and focus individually on each of them.  And they do not have to be looking at the camera to make this happen.


ATMs in England


Have you ever pulled up to an ATM machine and forget your PIN?  ATMs in the Nationwide Building Society in England doesn’t require it.  They have piloted an iris recognition system, where an image of the person’s retina is recorded in the system.  Iris recognition is an automated method of biometric identification.  This technology, in the last 7 or 8 years, has become a viable identity means.


Filling the tank of your car


There are a number of variations already being tested for what is called “smart cards/devices.”  Smart Cards are replacing Credit and Debit Cards.  The difference is that the Smart Cards have a computer chip imbedded in them.  This chip can either stores information or transact data.  This technology was first issued in Europe almost three decades ago.


Another form of this technology can be seen in the Mobil Speed Pass I have in my hand.  You drive up to the gas pump, and when you come within 5 feet, it gets ready to service you.  It knows who you are and how to charge your purchase.  However, you still have to get out and pump the gas.  You don’t ever take out your wallet.  And you don’t punch in a PIN number.


Toll Booths


I can remember several decades ago, when the 520 floating bridge was a toll road.  To cross, one had to stop and pay the correct amount at the toll booth.  Then it became a non-tolled bridge for a couple of decades.  Today, it is once again a toll bridge, but has no toll booths.  Many toll roads and bridges around the country collect tolls from cars passing at full speed.  The same system is also used in France and Italy and a number of other countries.


Universal ID


There has been much talk and many studies done towards the possibility of a Universal ID mechanism.  Some of the devices mentioned above lend themselves toward this end.


India – In 2010, India began the process of a universal or national ID Card for its 1.2 billion people.  Today the finished card, called “National Identity Card,” and contains 16 pieces of personal data, some readable only electronically.  Biometric data such as fingerprints and a digital signature are contained in a microchip embedded in the card.


Russia – In 2011, Russia began the process of instituting a Universal Electronic Card.”  It is to preplace all local, regional and national forms of identification.  While the data resident on the card itself is limited, a national data base has a full dossier on each person.


These kinds of technology are already being used in a number of places with animals.


•        Canada has approved a chip implant for all cattle.  The implant is smaller than a grain of rice, and can contain hundreds of pages of info.


•        All livestock in the entire European Community are required to be implanted with a chip.


•        In Colorado Springs, Colorado, along with other places in America,… they are replacing dog and cat tags with implants.


•        Many places are now implanting chips in pets when they come into animal shelters.  It will allow for lost pets and their owners to be match up again.

•        All pets brought to the Washington Humane Society are given chip implants.


These implants don’t need batteries.  They have a little coil, and a pre-programmed set of numbers, all encapsulated in glass.  It is inserted under the skin with a special hypodermic needle.  It won’t get infected, and you would hardly know it is there.  But scanning devices know it is there.  It could be tied to your bank account, or a number of other systems.  If used on humans, it could include hundreds of pages of information about each individual.  Or it could be linked to systems or databases that have a whole lot of information about you.


This kind of technology is already here.  The companies that manufacture these devices tell all the good benefits they offer.  Various local agencies, like hospitals, animal shelters, airports, government and military agencies, banks, prisons, security personnel, etc. also tout their benefits.


And, in America, fear of terrorism since 9/11, has placed Americans in danger of trading some of their freedom, for some sense of security that a national identification card might give.


What has all this to do with the subject of the Mark of the Beast.  For one thing, it shows that the technology needed to implement the Mark is in place today.  Technology-wise, the Mark could be put into effect quite rapidly.  Whether or not any of these technologies will actually be used is unknown.


As intriguing as a discussion of the mark of the beast technology may be, it does not attain its true significance until we put that piece of the puzzle with other pieces of the prophetic scenario as found in God’s Word.  So, let’s dive into what the Bible has to says about the Mark of the Beast.  We will look at what it IS and what it IS NOT.  However, we won’t address the significance of the number 666 until our next lesson.


Revelation 13:16-18 NIV


16     He [The False Prophet] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,

17     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.

18     This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.


As I stated earlier, this verse, or at least the concept of the mark of the beast, has been often quoted or described by those who have no idea what it means.  It has become the stuff of legend and science fiction.


What this verse basically says is that at some point in time, someone will put into effect a system of personal identification, without which a person will be cut off from any and all commercial transactions.


Those without the mark of the beast will not be able to buy food or services, or any other item.  Neither will they be able to sell their products and services, whatever they may be.


In several earlier lessons, we have learned that the Bible has a great deal to say about the programs of the Antichrist and his 1st lieutenant, the False Prophet.  We saw, in Revelation 13, the Antichrist’s rise onto the world scene in some detail.


Specifically, we saw that when this beast rises onto the world scene, he will be seen as one coming in peace, and seeming to have the answers to great questions.  But we also saw that early in his career, he will blaspheme the God of heaven.  That won’t bother those on earth much, since immediately after the Rapture of the Church, none on earth will have the mind of Christ that Christians do today.


Revelation 13:5-6 NIV


5       The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.

6       He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.


When the Antichrist speaks to the world community among his words, he will stress his hatred of God and all those who believe on Him.


You cannot accidentally take the Mark of the Beast


Those who know about the Mark of the Beast – even those who are not a Christian, know there are dire consequences associated with taking the Mark.


A couple of years ago, an Air Force captain, stationed in Hawaii, refused to accept a government-mandated identification tag, for fear he would be taking the “Mark of the Beast.”


We can give the good captain an A+ for dedication to his Lord and his desire to serve Him, even if it meant the loss of his military career.  But we must give him a D- on a proper understanding of the prophetic Scriptures.


I believe the Bible is quite clear that a person cannot take the mark of the beast accidentally.  Every person who does allow themselves to accept the Mark will know exactly what they are deciding to do.


What frightens believers who are fearful of accidentally taking the Mark of the Beast, is not what is found in this Passage in Revelation 13, but what is said about it in the next chapter.


Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV


9       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,

10     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.

11     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."




These verses teach us that taking the Mark of the Beast is irreversible.  Anyone who takes the mark will incur the wrath of God in the lake of fire.  In other words, those who accept the mark of the beast will be eternally damned.  This is what is so frightening to people.


I want to state here, that since the Mark of the Beast will be implemented beginning at the mid-point of the 7-year Tribulation, and since all Christians will be raptured prior to the beginning of that 7-year period, none of you Christians need fear of ever taking such a mark during your lifetime on earth.  The only people who should be concerned are those who miss the Rapture and are left behind to go through the Tribulation.




The words we just read, should tell us that acceptance of the Mark is more than just an economic issue.  The spiritual consequence of acceptance of the Mark (being eternally lost) tells me the most important aspect is also spiritual and that spiritual principal is twice referred to in the verses we just read.  Let’s look at them again.


In both verses 9 and 11, taking the Mark of the Beast is linked to worshiping the beast or his image.  Let’s see what it says in verse 9If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand….  Note carefully that worship of the beast precedes the acceptance of the Mark.  It is stated the same way in verse 11.  The mark of the beast is a sign, on the forehead or the right hand, indicating that the followers of the Antichrist agree with his opinion about the God of Heaven.


As the antichrist speaks blasphemies against the one true God, his supporters will join in the chorus of railings and profanities toward their Creator.  It is this action – combined with their attempts to create the “kingdom of man,” in which God has no part, – that constitutes an eternal, spiritual decision.


It is crucial to understand that the decision to accept the mark of the beast requires some form of a pledge of allegiance to the antichrist.  It is not just so a person can or cannot buy or sell.  It is a spiritual decision that has only secondary economic benefits.  The Mark of the Beast is obtained only by those who sell their soul to the beast and the devil who gives him power.


The mark of the beast will be a “symbol” of allegiance and worship of the Antichrist.  And it is a willful and total rejection of a holy God.  To receive the Mark of the Beast, you must first worship the beast.


Look at the following verses.


Rev. 14:9


         “if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark….”


Rev. 14:11


         “….who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark…..”


Rev. 16:2


         “….which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”


Rev. 19:20


         “…them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image…..”


Rev. 20:4


         “…which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark……”


Only ONE verse – Rev. 13:17 – connects “buying and selling” with the mark.  But there are many verses that connect the mark to worship.  While it is true that no one will be able to buy or sell without the Mark, that is not the primary reason for receiving the mark.  That “no man might buy or sell” is the  consequence of NOT receiving the mark, not the reason for receiving it.


One thing is clear from the Word of God:  Whosoever will accept the mark, will consciously and totally reject the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept the Antichrist as their God.  Possession of the mark will indicate that you willingly worship the “beast,”  that Satanic prince of darkness.


Satan still, as he always has, desires what belongs only to God – WORSHIP.  Satan want to be God.  He will even sit up his man, the Antichrist, to receive worship.


2 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV


4       He [the Antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.


If we focus on just technology – the biochip, bar code, tattoo, etc., we are focusing only on the economic part of this issue – the buying and selling.  And when we do, we set ourselves up for not fully understanding the issue of the Mark.


Some sort of technology – biochip, tattoo, implant, etc. – will most likely be used to implement the issuance of the Mark of the Beast.  I don’t think there is any doubt about that.  But the technology used is not, in and of itself, the mark of the beast.