The Big Mark
The Bible tells us about an interesting creature, a beast, that puts a mark on people, either in their hand or forehead.
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” -Revelation 13:16-17
Did you know that many animals mark their territory. They spray urine, leave droppings, or rub their scent glands to “stake a claim” to a particular space, area, or object. Approaching animals will be warned to stay away. Dog’s often mark their territories as if to say, “this belongs to me.” They might even mark the wall or your socks!
Satan, through his partner the earth beast, would like to mark you as his possession. He wants to say, “He is mine! See, she has my mark on her.”
Everyone will be marked at the end of time. A mark is an identification of who you belong to. Either you belong to God or to the beast. It is a sign of who has authority in your life. Who do you worship? The mark will tell you who it is. The Bible also says the righteous will be marked.
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.” Psalm 37:37-40
That’s a beautiful promise. I know the Lord will help us with this difficult topic because we trust in Him!
There are several things to explore in order to understand the mark of the beast. Here in part 1 we will look at the big picture. In part 2 we will look at some details and see what it means for you and me today.
The Hand and the Forehead
We already determined a mark is somethings that identifies who you belong to. It is a sign of who you worship. Why is it in the hand or in the forehead?
- The hand symbolizes action. You “do” things with your hands. Satan wants you to do things that dishonor God, whether you know what you’re doing or not.
- Do you know what is in your forehead? It is a very special thing. Yes, it’s your brain! And even more than that, it’s a very special part of your brain! It’s called the frontal lobe and it’s where you make decisions about what’s right and wrong. Satan wants you to believe his lies. He doesn’t even care if you’re “doing” the right thing, as long as you don’t believe it fully. He also wants you to do things that cause your frontal lobe to get sluggish. Basically he doesn’t want you to think clearly.
God on the other hand, wants us to believe and do his will. He wants all of you, your thoughts, your mind and your actions. And He wants your brain to work at it’s best.
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Rev. 14:12
(Enter you email here for some free printables, “Ten Commandment Picture Prompts” – memorize the ten commandments in a flash)
So the mark of the beast is the opposite of the seal or mark of God. The seal of God is the Holy Spirit working in our lives, leading us into truth (John 16:13). Thus the mark of the beast must be the deceiving spirits of devils working in our hearts (Rev. 16:13-14) causing us to do things that God does not approve of. How can we know the difference? How can we know what God wants us to do? Those are important questions. Luckily the Bible has a lot to say about this topic.
A Story About a Mark
To understand either the mark of the beast or the mark of God we must go to a story found in Ezekiel that talks about a mark in the forehead. God gives Ezekiel the Prophet a vision. He is taken to the temple in Jerusalem and shown the wicked things God’s supposed people are doing right in his sanctuary. Then God sends a messenger to mark people in their foreheads, but it’s not the mark of the beast. It’s God’s mark and they are saved. Let’s see what we can learn from this unusual story.
“And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity…. but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezekiel 9:4-7
The people that were sad about the bad things happening in God’s house were marked and saved. Do you want to know what bad things were happening? I want to know. I don’t want to do those same things. Isn’t it sad that these things were being done right in God’s temple! Is it possible that things are being done right in the church that God is not pleased with?
We can be doing things that God is not pleased with and not even know it. God overlooks some sins when we don’t know any better. But when we study the Bible and God shows us how he wants us to live, then we must make a choice (Acts 17:30). Will we repent and follow Him wherever He leads, or go our own way?
What were the people doing in the temple that were the greatest abominations? (abominations means something shameful or detestable or really bad) You can read about them in Ezek. 8:14-17.
This is what they were doing.
- Women were weeping for Tammuz (Ezek. 8:14)
- Men were standing at the door of temple with their backs towards the temple and they worshiped the sun. (Ezek. 6:16)
Okay, they wept for Tammuz and worshipped the sun. “I don’t do that!” you might say “I don’t even know who Tammuz is!”
I used to say that too. But before we ignore this, maybe we should find out what it really means. Remember that sneaky beast. He likes to trick people. We’ll continue this quest for truth in The Big Mark – Part 2.
Pray for Jesus to lead you into all truth. That is a prayer He loves to answer!
Ask Jesus to show you what things make your brain healthy as well. Did you know fresh air, sunshine, healthy food, exercise and peaceful music all help your brain to function better? There’s a good reason God wants us to take care of our bodies. It helps us think more clearly so we can understand his Word.