[This essay first appeared as a much smaller article in 2017, but has been expanded to twice its original size, and is now almost 10,000 words. It is extracted from my book on the Book of Revelation — a work in progress which will hopefully be completed by March 2022. It currently stands at 370 pages containing 120,000 words and is around 75% complete. This extract follows on from two related essays (also extracts from my book) which cover the earlier verses of Chapter 13, for which you can click on these links “The Beast Rising Out of the Sea” and “The Beast Rising Out of the Earth”]
An Exposition of the Book of Revelation,
chapter 13, verses 16-18
Introduction: ‘Beastness’ Throughout the Age
As we have seen earlier in this vast chapter, the beast rising out of the sea and the beast rising out of the earth in the 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation are not really two completely different beasts but they are being used as a symbolic literary-prophetic device to describe the principal characteristics in the building of the satanic empire on this earth throughout this age, from the ascension of Christ to the revealing of the Antichrist and beyond. Thus, the first beast out of the sea involves the realm of politics, government, and empire; and the second beast out of the earth involves the world of religion and false spirituality with godless philosophy, science, and technology insofar as they are used to project the image of the beast to the world and to promote the ‘spirit of the antichrist’ — all of which will accrue in evil throughout the age and will culminate in the revealing of the Antichrist at the end of this aeon. In other words, what we can call ‘beastness’ operates throughout the whole age to a greater or lesser degree, until the climactic revealing of the Antichrist as the pinnacle of ‘beastness’ and a subsequent holocaust acted out by the satanic forces of darkness against the disciples of Christ.
As I said in the previous section, the reason that we know it is really just one beast — two-in-one, so to speak — is because at the summary end of chapter 13, John says, “Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast”. “THE” beast. There is just one beast whose number needs calculating. Thus, the use of two beasts earlier in the chapter is simply a way of characterizing the nature of the beast — the monstrous empire-building of Satan through earthly forces — and revealing its full panoply of deception and tyranny. For, as I have already shown in many writings, the Antichrist who will head-up the one-world government towards which this world is moving will not merely be a political figure but a quasi-religious one too, thus amalgamating the two beast aspects in one. Together, one-world government and supportive one-world religion, along with godless philosophy and science (which we looked at in detail in the previous major section concerning the nature of the second beast), are forging the satanic empire stage by stage throughout this age. So, the text on which I am elaborating in this section is this:
“And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark— the name of the beast or the number of its name. Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, and that number is 666”.Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 16-18
Before we begin to open up the meaning of what is popularly known as the ‘mark of the beast’, let’s first deal with the meaning of the number 666, because that will shed some light on the identity of the mark.
The Meaning of the number 666
If you want a symbol of the failed achievements of humanity, it is certainly summed up in the number 666, as we will see. It is well worth going into this in some depth, because even many who are totally unfamiliar with the Book of Revelation have heard about this number as having something to do with darkness, evil, the Antichrist, or Satan, through having seen a number of horror movies in which this symbol is liberally used. Recently, I have even seen it bizarrely suggested that the numerology of the Covid-19 virus adds up to 666! So, in view of the topicality of this number, the question I am seeking to answer here is this: What is the most likely root meaning of this number 666? After that, I will do my best to identify ‘the mark of the beast’ intimately associated with it.
The Difference Between 6 and 7 in the Bible
In the Bible, the number seven is often used as a symbol of completion or of Divine perfection. This is first and foremost because, in the Genesis narrative, God is said to have rested on the seventh day, thus denoting the completion of His creation. Correspondingly, the seventh day was set apart for Israel by God as a “sabbath” of rest. In the Book of Revelation, in which our text about the number 666 and ‘the mark of the beast’ occur, there are seven letters to seven churches in Asia and seven spirits before the throne of God (chapter 1, verse 4), seven golden lampstands (chapter 1, verse 12), seven stars in Christ’s right hand (chapter 1, verse 16), seven seals of God’s management of the cosmos throughout this age (chapter 5, verse 1), and seven angels appointed by God to sound seven trumpets (chapter 8, verse 2), all echoing this interpretation.
We have already identified the various meanings of all those symbols earlier in the book. These are all symbols of Divine workings which He uses to achieve the completion of His plan of the ages to oust Satan from his usurped kingdom and bring it back under the Kingship of the Christ. Thus, it is clear that the number seven symbolises the idea of Divine completion and the perfection of the Divine plan. Then also here in our text, we are told that 666 is “man’s number” — the number corresponding to humanity. Exactly so. I am in no doubt, along with a great many others, that the correct translation here is “the number of man” (in the sense of the entirety of mankind) rather than “the number of a man”, which thus gives rise to endless and hopeless attempts to identify the one particular man to which 666 and the person of the Antichrist could apply. I have heard many wacky claims about that, from the Duke of Edinburgh to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Pope and Barak Obama! But they are merely servants of the beast, some of the many ‘mini-antichrists’ throughout history, and not the actual Antichrist. The same Koine Greek word is used in the same way to refer to the whole of humanity in chapter 16, verse 18, when he says, “there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since man was upon the earth”. Thus, I think there can be no doubt that 666 is “man’s number” as a whole, rather than a number pertaining to just one man. This is spelled out in the original Greek text in the three Greek symbols for 600, 60 and 6, equal to 666 (see the image above). “This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, and that number is six hundred, sixty and six”. It is also said in the same context to be “the mark of the beast, that is, his name or the number of his name”. To what does that refer? And what could all this 666 business be about?
At the end of the chapter about the two beasts (chapter 13, verse 18), John himself simply refers to them both as one unified beast when he speaks about calculating “the beast’s number”, which he then reveals to be identical to “man’s number”: 666. Small wonder, for both the beast and humanity can never reach 777, which is the sole province of God. The fact is that all government which is not dedicated to the Christ is ‘beast-government’, empowered by Satan, and it has been through all empires and governing bodies down the ages. It will culminate in the final one-world government under the Antichrist, which will be the crowning point of ‘beastness’ in history. The beast in all its guises represents both the attempted satanic kingdom through the age and, ultimately, the Antichrist who will head it up as Satan’s man on earth.
6 = Imperfect Creaturehood. 7 = the Perfect Creator
Thus, in his book concerning “The Revelation (or Apocalypse) of Jesus Christ” (which, you will remember, is the full title of the Book of Revelation and constitute its very first words), the apostle John identifies fallen humanity as being under the power of the fallen archangel, Satan — as he also did in his first letter when he explicitly wrote, “the whole world is under the power of the evil one” (First Letter of John, chapter 5, verse 19)— through the twin-pincer movement of corrupt, anti-theistic politics and its supportive global false religion and godless philosophy/science, which will find its climax in the worldwide acceptance of the satanically-inspired Antichrist, the apex of ‘beastness’ and, indeed, the pinnacle of human achievement. However, ultimately it is all a useless display of dark pseudo-power, as history will one day prove. This is why the number of the beast (whether in its guises as government, religion, or the Antichrist) has to be 666.
In spite of all the pretended divinity — the foolish playing at being God — of both Satan and hubristic godless humanity, this number 666 is a classic symbol of imperfection as demonstrated in comparison to God, who is contextually and perpetually 777. As written earlier, seven is considered to be the symbolic number of completeness and perfection in the Bible, as God is said to have rested on the seventh day denoting the completion of His creation. Six is considered symbolically to be “man’s number”, as humans are notably said in the Genesis narrative to have been created “on the sixth day”. Thus, in biblical symbology, the creature is destined to be six and the Creator is inevitably seven. In a nutshell, six will logically always fall short of seven. All the satanic or humanistic force in the world can never change that. All those eastern mystical, New Age, neo-gnostic people trying to become God, imagining their “personal divinity”, attempting “God-Realization” of themselves through religious practices (while scoffing at the prophecies of the Bible and dismissing the historical Christ as a mythological or symbolic figure), are doomed to failure on their never-ending unachievable quest for an imagined ‘enlightenment’. For humans are six and God is seven. That is the way it will always be. 666 is, as the text says, “man’s number” as opposed to God’s number, which is 777.
The Satanic Triumvirate
There is also a triple-6 and triple-7 aspect here — a vital parallel between the two. For just as the Father sent the Son to earth (see the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verse 30; chapter 12, verse 45; chapter 16, verse 5), so the symbolic dragon (identified as Satan) is said to empower the beast and set him up on earth as his representative (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 2 & 4). Coupled with that, the Holy Spirit has been sent to testify about Christ and glorify Him (Gospel of John, chapter 15, verse 26; chapter 16, verse 14), while the second beast (aka “the false prophet”) is said to testify about the first beast and glorify him to the world through deception and worship (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 12-14).So, on the one hand there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Correspondingly, there is the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (the second beast). The triune 666 (the number of man, the creature) is a counterfeit of the triune 777 (the number of God, the Creator). But we are only just beginning here: There is much more to say about all this. So let’s now dig into the ‘mark of the beast’, for 666 is the not only the number of man, it is also the number of the beast (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 18).
The Old Testament Spiritual Background to the Mark of the Beast
We are told that the beast
“required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name”.Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 16-17
This is where it is necessary to understand the tapestry of the Old Testament which forms the background to the Book of Revelation and without which much of the Book of Revelation cannot be properly understood. In other words, it is useless to try and interpret the Book of Revelation outside of the context of the Old Testament, as the former is absolutely full of the imagery deliberately used in the latter. Very many people have come up with their own wacky interpretations of the Book of Revelation because they have ignored the book’s Old Testament foundations. They interpreted it eisegetically (reading their own biases into it) rather than exegetically (interpreting it according to its original intentions and contexts). Really, one takes one’s life into one’s hands when interpreting the Book of Revelation, as it promises in its closing words,
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this book”.Book of Revelation, chapter 22, verses 18-19
Thus, I am aware that I am treading on hallowed ground which could turn into a quicksand quagmire if I take a wrong step. All those people who run around ascribing this idea and that to the identities of the number 666 or the ‘mark of the beast’, or identifying specific people as the Antichrist, need to be solemnly aware of the caveat which the book gives to anyone who adds to or takes away from what is intended in its words. It says that “God will add to him the plagues described in this book”, and “will take away his share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this book”. These dreadful promises are constantly in the back of my mind as I write. May God judge me if I transgress.
It first must be noted that any interpretation of this book, or of any part of it, which does not place the Christ at its centre will be false and will mislead. For it is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. Thus, any interpretation of the ‘mark of the beast’ must have the consideration of the Christ at its heart. Without that, it will simply be one’s own fanciful imaginings — and there are very many of those today concerning this mark. Thus, I will show that the ‘mark of the beast’ is not only symbolic but is also deliberately parallel to the symbolic seal which is set in all Christ’s disciples and is the key to the correct understanding of its meaning. If you have your doubts, please just stick with me as I do this.
As I have hopefully shown in earlier chapters, the whole book is a series of seven vast vignettes — which run parallel, from different standpoints — about Christ’s work, primarily from the ascension to the final “trumpet” at the end of this age. In fact, the whole of the last two thousand years since Christ have simply been prophecy playing itself out as this civilisation is wound up as it comes to its inevitable hubristic conclusion. It should also be said that any interpretation of this book which does not place the relevant parts in the context of Old Testament imagery will also be false.
Thus, when our text in the Book of Revelation speaks of everyone being mysteriously required to take “a mark on their right hand or on their forehead”, one has to ask the all-important question, “Is there a place in the Old Testament in which a similar image occurs and in what context is it put?” When we look there, we discover a highly relevant passage in which Israel is told by God to take all His words to heart in this manner: “Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads” (Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 11, verse 18). This same idea is repeated four times in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. In other words, the image of a token or mark being put on your hand and forehead symbolises something which is passionately believed by a person in their heart and down into their very soul. It is primarily symbolic rather than literal — inward rather than outward. Maybe it was taken at the time as something which could be done literally as a kind of rite to bring home the idea behind it. But if the meaning was not grasped by the heart and mind, as the text emphasises, and acted out in daily life, then it would merely be a dead ritual.
Now the Jews eventually came to take that Old Testament command purely literally, as a form of superstition. So they wore, and still do so even today, little black boxes containing physical scrolls of words from God in the Bible, known as phylacteries or tephillin, on their arm and forehead, imagining that to be spiritual (see diagrams, left, for detailed religious instructions). Jesus actually ridiculed the Scribes and Pharisees for parading themselves around in these boxes as a form of religious ostentation: “All their deeds are done for people to see. They broaden their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 23, verse 5).They were obviously by then using big fat boxes, imagining that the bigger the box the more religious kudos they would get and the more they would be favoured by God. That is a classic religious trap.
The word translated as “phylacteries” is an anglicisation of the Greek word, φυλακτήριον, phulacterion. These were by then even being used by the Jews as amulets to ward off evil spirits — a sure sign of the way that hypocrisy, religion, and a lack of spirituality will always degenerate into empty actions. What had morphed into a literalistic religious ritual (instead of having God’s words in their minds and hearts) eventually became just a mere superstition. No wonder Christ put them in their place in front of everyone! Hypocrisy should always be exposed, preferably and primarily by self-examination; for if we do not root out the hypocrisy in ourselves, God will do it for us — which is a far more painful solution.
So, instead of having God’s words embedded in their hearts and minds, thereby becoming more godly and spiritual, that inner practice morphed into an outward ritual which became a mere show of religion. Talk about missing the point completely! For this turns spirituality of the heart into a dead religious exercise. The instructions on how to wear the tephillin are so detailed in precision that it must be very difficult to know if you’ve got it right! The one on the arm is supposed to correspond physically to the heart if the arm is placed by one’s side. But if you don’t have God’s words in your heart from a spiritual standpoint, then no amount of positioning of those little boxes is going to make a blind bit of difference whatsoever. Jewish rabbinical teaching states:
“So great is the mitzvah of tefillin that whoever wears them will live a long life… and Raba said that all who wear tefillin and wrap themselves with a tallis, and say the Shema and pray are promised a place in Olam Haba [the world to come]… Abaye said that the fires of Gehinom [hell] will not affect him… Rav Papa said that all of his sins are forgiven” (Arba’ah Turim, OH37).
This complete misunderstanding of ‘fixing God’s words in one’s heart and mind’ and ‘tying them as reminders on one’s hands and binding them in one’s forehead’ demonstrates the importance of comprehending the difference between dumb literalism and the judicious understanding of symbolism. In this case, such comprehension makes all the difference between a) having God’s words in your heart and mind and whole being and living them for real or b) merely plonking a couple of scroll-filled boxes on your body, to no effect except to serve rank superstition and religious pride. The difference between life and death, spiritually speaking. This shows the satanic nature of religion as opposed to true spirituality. This is why the archons/demons love it when we merely engage outwardly in religious rituals. They go nowhere but into the darkness with a blindfold on one’s eyes.
Thus, there is an Old Testament context and precedent for having something on one’s forehead or hand. It indicates where one’s heart truly is. Whoever one is ‘marked’ by will be the one to whom one pays homage. Hold this thought as we go even more deeply into marks and seals on foreheads.
Another Example of ‘Marking’ from the Book of Ezekiel
There is another revealing example of having something written on one’s forehead in the Old Testament in chapter 9 of the Book of Ezekiel. There we read of an angel with a writing kit who was told by God to “put a mark on the foreheads of the men sighing and groaning over all the abominations committed there” (Book of Ezekiel, chapter 9, verse 4. Please read both chapters 8 and 9 to understand the context). Jerusalem had fallen into a seething mass of idolatry and worship of the Sumerian god, Tammuz, and even of the Sun. Much of it was going on in secret. But God was going to deal with that in the most terrible manner. However, there were still some left in the city who were deeply upset about this apostasy (the ones spoken of as “sighing and groaning”). Those faithful ones were to be marked so that the judgement would not fall on them. The mark on them by God was a sign of their loyalty and allegiance to Him and thus they would escape His judgement. Similarly and conversely, the ‘mark of the beast’ on people in the Book of Revelation refers to those ‘marked’ by Satan as his and who are thus ripe for judgement by God, as we see devastatingly later in the Book of Revelation (Book of Revelation, chapter 14, verse 9-11; chapter 16, verse 2).
So, there is another Old Testament context and precedent for having something on one’s forehead or hand. It indicates where one’s heart truly is and to whom it belongs.
The Mark of the Beast is Not a Microchip but a Sign of
Compliance with the Evil Beast-System of Satan
Rather like Jewish people with the tephillin, there are those today who tell us that the ‘mark of the beast’ spoken of as being on people’s right hand and forehead is a literal mark of some kind in the Endtimes. A common idea these days is to say that the ‘mark of the beast’ will be a microchip inserted in the arm, or hand, and/or forehead. Not long ago, it was suggested that the markings of a barcode would be used because barcodes have three sixes in them — one at the left and the right and one in the middle. Now, apparently, it’s a microchip. I have even seen claims that the mark of the beast is a vaccine passport or the Covid vaccine itself! How deluded can one get? So many are continually looking for literal marks and thus missing the point entirely. What on earth would John think about this circus of silliness, or Jesus Himself?
Popular culture is now dictating the identity of the mark of the beast (a cue they get from all the wacky interpretations from so many churches!). But popular culture ignores the fact that the Book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ rather than whatever anyone happens to think seems right. Popular culture makes memes about a “satanic agenda” (when they don’t even know who Satan really is); then it claims that the mark of the beast is a barcode, a microchip or even a vaccine passport or the vaccine itself. What a travesty! Why are they allowed to steal the agenda? Since when has the ekklesia let the world-culture dictate the meaning of Scripture? The answer is: Since churches started twisting it too! The number of pastors and their puppets that I’ve seen online claiming that the mark of the beast is this or that (usually a barcode, QR code, or microchip) beggars belief.
So, if you want to be counterculture (as the ekklesia should be), then what IS the mark of the beast? As far as I can see (and in the spirit of the Old Testament precedent about having a sign and mark on your hand and forehead), people who have ‘the mark of the beast’ are those who align themselves with and take onboard the false narrative and evil actions of the beast, and thereby also those of the fallen archangel, Satan, and who refuse to believe that the Christ has come in the flesh. They are those who live in spiritual darkness and give their heart and soul to the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ throughout this age and, in the Endtimes, they will give that heart and soul to the person and philosophy of the Antichrist himself, including adulation, for that is what will be required of them by him. They corrupt themselves with ‘the mark of the beast’ by giving their minds and hearts to the beast. This is what it means to receive ‘the mark of the beast’. So, when it says that the beast out of the earth “required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead” (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 16), it is not a physical mark like a barcode, tattoo or chip placed in people’s hands or foreheads by the state, but Satan himself will have marked them symbolically like a dog marks a tree or a post with its foul-smelling urine as its territory. It is a spiritual state of mind, heart, and soul — just as it was said in that Exodus quote above — rather than any physical attribute in the body.
Once this has been grasped, it is like a blindfold falling from one’s eyes. Suddenly, one will be able to see how spiritual authority operates. Whoever or whatever it is that one loves with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength will be that which empowers one’s life. If God’s mark is on you, He will be your engine. If the beast’s or Satan’s mark is on you, then that is the spirit which will energize you. This has nothing whatsoever to do with anything so utterly superficial as a microchip planted in the skin. We are talking here about the very ownership of the soul!
That this is so can also be seen in the fact that the mark itself is “the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 17). Incidentally, this also shows that the mark of the beast cannot be a microchip. For the mark is the number of the beast, which is 666. What has 666 got to do with a microchip? The meaning of the ‘mark of the beast’ is that when you have that mark, the beast’s authority over you is stamped in you, and your compliance to that authority is written on your heart. To give oneself to someone’s name signifies loyalty to that person and the authority that person has over them. That is why disciples of Christ pray “in Jesus’ name”. It means by His power and authority. So to be marked with the beast’s name or number is symbolic of being under the beast’s authority and of giving it your complete loyalty.
Interpreting Scripture in the Context of Other Scripture
It is mightily important to be able to free yourself from the cultish notion that the ‘mark of the beast’ is a physical thing placed on or in a person’s body. Just look at the context! It is all symbolic — the beast, the sea, the dragon, the ten horns, the seven heads, two horns like a lamb, etc. Suddenly, in the midst of all that symbolism, people want to claim that the mark of the beast is a literal physical thing. That is just playing fast and loose with the scripture!
When interpreting a text of scripture, one first has to see if there are other texts in the Bible which shed light on it. We have already done that with the text in Exodus about having God’s words in your mind and heart and that in Ezekiel about the angel marking God’s faithful ones. Another vital aspect of interpretation is to see if anything in the immediate context sheds light on the text one is looking at. Let’s therefore look more deeply at the context. Just three verses after the mark of the beast is introduced, we are given another mark on the forehead — this time it is Christ’s and the Father’s names written on foreheads: “Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Book of Revelation, chapter 14, verse 1). The 144,000, as I showed in chapter 4, §6, refers to the people of God from both Old and New Testaments — symbolised by the twelve tribes with the twelve apostles and the symbolic cubic dimensional principle of the New Jerusalem as shown in the last chapter of The Book (Book of Revelation, chapter 21, verses 10-17). We showed how that works earlier, in this equation:
(12 x 12) x (10 x 10 x 10)
= 144 x 1000
The 144,000 is a symbolic figure denoting all the people of God, His children, His saints of all time. So within these four verses in our text, we are given a deliberate contrast between those who have the ‘mark of the beast’ on their forehead or hand and those who have Christ’s and the Father’s name on their foreheads. They obviously stand together and are plainly deliberately paired. This is another of those places where we have to remember that the chapter divisions were not in the original manuscripts. So try reading through from chapter 13, verse 18 into chapter 14, verse 1 without a break, just as it was in the original. It shows the clarity of the deliberate contrast:
“And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name. Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is 666. Then I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads”.
We can see very clearly here that John is providing contrasting ‘marks’ which are not literal but they are all about loyalty and authority. The names of Christ and the Father on the foreheads of the saints cannot be literal. No one would dispute that. It is a very obvious fact. If that is being contrasted with the ‘mark of the beast’, then surely the ‘mark of the beast’ cannot be literal either. They are both symbols which are really saying this:
“Either you give your loyalty to Satan’s beast-government (and therefore to Satan too) and thus have the beast’s ‘mark’ in you, as it were, or you give it to “the Lamb” who is Christ (and therefore to the Father too), and thus have Christ’s mark in you”.
Everyone is marked by either one or the other. One either belongs to the beast (and thereby to Satan who empowers the beast) or you belong to Christ. Therefore, this has nothing whatsoever to do with microchips but with spiritual authority, that is, who rules in your heart and to whom you give your allegiance, wittingly or unwittingly. Whoever it is, you will have the mark of that in you, either the beast or the Christ. No one would suggest that God’s name was literally written on the foreheads of the disciples. So why on earth do they insist that the mark of the beast is literally put on people’s hands or foreheads? You cannot have one symbolic and the other literal. What sense would that make? Plainly, they are both symbols, referring to whoever it is to whom we give our loyalty in our lives. The beast which is the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ (ultimately, the Antichrist himself) or the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, the Christ. Satan marks you as his if you do not give your loyalty to Christ.
The mention of the 144,000 with Christ’s and the Father’s name on their foreheads here in our text is a reference back to that same number in chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation, where they were described as having their foreheads sealed “with the seal of the living God” (Book of Revelation, chapter 7, verses 2‑3). That is the choice in this life. The “mark of the beast” or “the seal of the living God”, which means to be “sealed with the [Holy] Spirit” (Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 1, verse 14; chapter 4, verse 30), which is what happens when we become Christ’s disciples. This is the big choice in this life: Either we continue with the ‘mark of the beast’ or we ask God to seal us with His Spirit, and thus be protected from the beast (Satan’s kingdom-building in this world) and the dragon (Satan who empowers that kingdom-building through his key people on earth, which constitute the beast, the power-elite who build beast-government and Satan’s kingdom on earth). If you haven’t already asked for that symbolic ‘sealing’, I would encourage you to do so now. It means unlearning everything which you think you know spiritually, being truly sorry for living life so blindly, and then asking for new eyes and a new heart. The answer will be swift and astonishing.
Social Exclusion of those Without the Mark of the Beast
As I wrote in the previous major section on the beasts from the sea and the earth, these beasts and all that they do, as shown in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation, are provided as an extension and exposition of verses in the previous chapter which state that
“the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verse 17
Chapter 13, in fact, demonstrates how that enragement and warfare of Satan against God’s people actually work out in history. The monstrous beasts represent the godless world-system used by Satan to achieve his one-world kingdom through political, governmental channels and the attendant supportive use of religion, false spirituality, along with godless philosophy, science, and technology. That enragement of Satan was directly caused by Christ’s ascension to heaven and the subsequent complete casting out from heaven of the fallen archangel (Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verses 5b, 7-9). So all this ‘beastness’ has been going on since then and it will do right through this age to the end, when the Antichrist takes centre-stage. However, that ‘beastness’ comes in waves throughout the age and climaxes as the end draws near and with the revealing of the Antichrist.
In John’s own day, towards the end of the first century AD, that ‘beastness’ was rampant, and the disciples of Christ were persecuted and executed by the Roman state. Such excesses against true disciples have taken place throughout the age to a greater or lesser degree, including being persecuted and executed by religious “Christian” zealots (e.g. the Vatican-sponsored Inquisitions and also during the Reformation period on both sides). But as this has been the Gospel Age, there have been long periods when states were not as hostile towards the disciples of Christ. This has providentially enabled the Gospel about Christ to reach across the world (and it is also part of the real meaning of the one thousand year restraint of Satan in chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation, as I will show when we reach it). But the time will come, and is already doing so now, when the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ will take a major hold globally and prepare the way for that ‘man of lawlessness’ to be revealed. This will turn out to be a particularly horrific time for Christ’s disciples, who will be increasingly persecuted, culminating in the holocaust against them by the forces of the Antichrist.
It will no doubt be the case that those disciples of Christ who refuse to believe the propaganda of the Antichrist and would never take on board the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ (and thus do not have the symbolic, spiritual mark of the beast in them) will be excluded from normal society and find themselves ostracised to the extent that they cannot even engage in financial transactions or trading. That is certainly the implication of this verse: “Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast — that is, his name or his number”. Nevertheless, having the mark of the beast on one’s right hand or forehead involves serving the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ and wallowing in the ‘666ness’ of fallen man rather than anything literal planted in the body by the state.
Those who want to make it a literal mark, like a microchip, rather than a symbolic one, are dwelling in the same territory as those who advocate the wearing of tephillin rather than living-for-real God’s words of love and truth in one’s mind and heart and in one’s life. The genuine disciple of Christ and follower of His Light will never involve himself or herself in either of those actions, for s/he longs to be united with 777. Those who do not have the mark of the beast can only mean the disciples of the Christ. For everyone else will be so marked, spiritually speaking.
It may well be that those who follow the beast and the Antichrist will be ‘chipped’ in some way as a measure of ‘ownership’ by the beast-state. That seems to be the way in which technology is heading, especially in relation to transhumanism. But that will not be ‘the mark of the beast’, for that mark is a uniquely spiritual phenomenon. However, it will not be because there is the lack of a physical mark, or lack of a digital chip implant or QR code that people cannot buy or sell or lead a restriction-free life. The reason that they will be prevented by the authorities from going about their normal business is not because of a physical mark but because of their refusal to go along with beast-government, an evil World-system and, above all, because they refuse to worship an impostor and because of their testimony about the Christ. That is what “refusing the mark of the beast” is all about. To have the mark of the beast means that one has sold one’s soul to the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ and, ultimately, to the Antichrist Himself.
John states in another chapter that he saw the souls of those who had been executed “because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. These had not worshiped the beast or his image and had refused to receive his mark on their forehead or hand” (Book of Revelation, chapter 20, verse 4). So those who refuse to have the mark of the beast will not be those who have refused to get a chip implant but they will plainly be those who are martyrs for the Light of Christ, killed by the Antichrist’s “beast” one-world government because they love Christ rather than the Antichrist and want to be in Christ’s kingdom rather than the false empire of Satan. The ones who had been martyred “because of the testimony about Jesus” are the same ones who had “not worshipped the beast” and had “refused to receive the mark of the beast on their forehead or hand”. Similarly, anyone who receives the mark of the beast
“will drink the wine of God’s anger, poured undiluted into the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented in fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever. Day and night there is no rest for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name”.Book of Revelation, chapter 14, verses 9-11
Thus, the mark of the beast cannot possibly be anything like a mere physical microchip and is plainly a reference to a person’s spiritual condition. Let me further prove to you why that must be so.
One Can Refuse to Receive a Microchip & Yet Still Have the Mark of the Beast
What if a hardline, God-hating, Christ-denying atheist refuses to have the chip which is supposed to be the mark of the beast in his or her body on the grounds that it “infringes his or her freedom” or is a “violation of human rights”? Does that mean that they are now the same as a disciple of Christ and follower of His Light and will go into the “new heaven and new earth” simply because they refused a microchip? Of course not! It would be absurd to base people’s future state after death (as the text plainly states in relation to the mark) on whether or not they had a microchip implant! For, as we see in the text above, to not receive ‘the mark of the beast’ and to refuse to worship the image of the beast is the exclusive province of those who have “the testimony about Jesus” and “the word of God” in their hearts. This surely proves absolutely that ‘the mark of the beast’ cannot primarily be a physical mark but is instead a darkly spiritual one. To have the mark of the beast means to have the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ in one’s heart rather than taking a chip in one’s hand or forehead. Thus, one can refuse that microchip yet still have the mark of the beast if one isn’t dedicated to the Christ and His kingdom!
Are you understanding the logic here? It is most important that we grasp this. The idea that the mark of the beast refers primarily to a physical thing such as a chip implant could well be a satanic distraction from its real identity. For Satan would love you to think that all you have to do to be an “evolved” human being is to refuse to cooperate with corrupt government. Satan doesn’t want you to realise that one has to be Christ’s disciple in order to be impervious to ‘the mark of the beast’.
Would Being Forced to Have a Microchip Exclude One from the New Heaven and New Earth?
To prove this further, and to show the absurdity of a literal interpretation of the ‘mark of the beast’, let me ask this question: What if a faithful disciple of Christ is physically forced by men and women in white lab-coats to have a microchip inserted bodily against his or her will? Would that mean exclusion from the resurrection to life and from having any part in the reconstituted heavens and earth at the end of this age? Of course not! For it is what is spiritually in the heart which counts rather than physically in the hand or forehead. Receiving ‘the mark of the beast’ is clarified in another verse speaking of Divine judgement:
“So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth. Then ugly and painful sores appeared on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image”.Book of Revelation, chapter 16, verse 2
Firstly, take note that this “bowl of wrath” being poured out on the earth pertains to the very end of the age when God’s judgement is being rained down on the earth, after the resurrection of the saints has occurred. Thus, only those are left on earth who have ‘the mark of the beast’. Therefore, having the ‘mark of the beast’ is synonymous with not being a disciple of the Christ, which again proves that the mark is a spiritual phenomenon rather than a physical one. To have that ‘mark of the beast’ spiritually will leave one at the peril of the terrible judgements which will be poured out on the earth. Physical marks can have nothing whatsoever to do with that and will have no effect on the outcome of one’s spiritual life or death. Judgement only falls on those who have wallowed in spiritual darkness and remained there — in other words, those who have refused to be part of Christ’s kingdom. We can also see here that receiving the mark of the beast is synonymous with “worshipping” the image of the beast. To refuse to receive the mark of the beast is to refuse to take part in any aspect of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ or to adulate the satanically-inspired Antichrist himself (which, ultimately, only disciples of the Christ will refuse to do).
It has to be said here that one doesn’t need to wait for a certain point in history to do that. It is not by refusing a computer chip in our hand or forehead that we refuse to partake in the Antichrist system or “the spirit of the Antichrist”, because partaking in that system involves far more than a mere chip insertion. There are plenty of anti-government dissident people who would refuse to have a chip inserted in their right hand or forehead by the state who are not the servants of Christ but in many other aspects of their lives are slaves of Satan! They would just be refusing a chip because of their political beliefs or ideals, not because of any discipleship of, or love for, the Light of Christ (unless their experience of beast-government and the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ encourages them to become Christs disciples, which I firmly believe will start to happen to many as they begin to see all these prophecies coming to pass).
Only Disciples of Christ can Refuse the Real Mark of the Beast
Therefore, refusing an electronic chip implant cannot possibly be the meaning of this Bible text about refusing the mark of the beast! The teaching about ‘the mark of the beast’ being a chip implant belongs in the same category of phony teaching as the so-called “pre-tribulation rapture” and an alleged “1000-year reign of Christ on earth”, as I will show in later chapters. They are all earthbound fantasies and garish sensationalism! This type of distortion has occurred because people take a verse or few completely out of context or they take them literally when they have a spiritual meaning and they do not consider the many other verses which show their true meaning. To refuse the mark of the beast is to place oneself outside Satan’s world-system through faithfulness to the Light of Christ. That is the only ‘antidote’ to the ‘mark of the beast’. It means becoming a complete counterculture pariah and outcast for the sake of that Light in a world ruled by a government which operates in the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ and in the power of darkness. It means being willing to lay down one’s life for the sake of faithfulness to the Christ. (In fact, most of those who refuse to adulate the Antichrist will anyway be executed or assassinated, as we see in the Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 7 & 15; and chapter 11, verses 7-10) Only disciples of Christ are genuinely able to do that or are even motivated to do so.
Let us also take note of the chilling fact that the mark of the beast is said to have been activated by the second beast, the false prophet, which symbolically is the religio-philosophical and scientific aspect of the beast and, ultimately of the Antichrist (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 16). This demonstrates the ‘spiritual’ nature of the ‘mark of the beast’. The seal of the Spirit in the disciples of Christ is a spiritual one, denoting the bonding of their souls to the Christ. In the same way, ‘the mark of the beast’ denotes that all those who kowtow to the beast and the Antichrist, and who revel in the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’, are bonded with Satan, the Antichrist’s puppeteer. The ‘mark of the beast’ is a betrayal of one’s Creator and it digs right down into the soul and marks out one’s eternal destiny. It is therefore infinitely preferable to be sealed with the Spirit, the seal of the living God.
So, to sum up, receiving the mark of the beast refers to the enabling of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ in one’s life, adulating ‘beast-government’ and ‘beast-religion’, and buying into the authority of the Antichrist himself — something which disciples of the Christ could never do. Here is the stark truth: Anyone who is not a disciple of Christ already has the mark of the beast, because the work of the beast — to a greater or lesser degree — is a phenomenon of the entire age and merely climaxes in the Endtimes with the Antichrist.
Refusing the Mark of the Beast Right Now!
Here is a fact: One does not need to wait for microchips to be inserted into one’s body in order to be able to refuse the mark of the beast. We can start doing that right now, by refusing to be part of anything which wields false authority (Christ-denying, self-glorifying ‘beast government’), or which propagates false religion (Christ-denying, syncretic ‘beast-religion’), and at the same time asking the Christ to make us His disciples. If you really do that from the bottom of your heart, He will answer that, and you will find that a deep transformation will have already begun to take place, known spiritually as metanoia, and which will deepen as time goes by. Metanoia is often translated from the Koine Greek as ‘repentance’, but really it goes way deeper than that. As the word implies, it involves a complete change of mind at the deepest level. You will find that you want to know more truth than ever before and epiphany after epiphany will burst into your mind and heart. This will provide the missing link in everything which has happened previously in your life.
So now is the time for this personal transformation, as this world descends into the revealing of its true nature and the disintegration of civilisation intensifies. One should not be thinking how to avoid taking a chip in one’s right hand or forehead to ensure one doesn’t have the mark of the beast. That would be futile in spiritual terms (though one should definitely refuse that chip anyway!). Instead, one should be thinking, “Have I been sealed by the Spirit of the Christ?” If you haven’t, then now is the time to ask Him to seal you and protect you. A whole new life will begin. I cannot guarantee it will be an easy ride. In fact, it won’t. Not at all. But no matter the ride, you’ll be on the right side.
As I have shown in another section above, the beast is already in existence now and has been at work throughout this age, to a greater or lesser degree, as both the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ and the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’, which both the apostles Paul and John said were then operational in their day (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 7; First Letter of John, chapter 4, verse 3). It is just that beast-government and beast-religion have not yet reached their climax through one-world government and one-world religion in the revealing of the Antichrist, which may not be as far away as you think. That must also mean that ‘the mark of the beast’ is in a way in existence now too, though not yet in all the fulness of its outworking. That fulness will mean that those with ‘the mark of the beast’ — which we have seen is a mark at the level of the soul — will enjoy privileges in society which those not so marked will not enjoy. Similarly, the sealing of the Spirit in disciples of Christ (which is the ekklesia’s equivalent of the mark of the beast) is not some Endtimes thing as all disciples of Christ are so sealed as soon as they are bonded with Him. The terrible truth is that before one is sealed in the Spirit and thereby bonded with Christ spiritually, one is already marked by Satan as his and thereby bonded with him, to a greater or lesser degree; although (and here is a shiver in the soul) in most people there is no conscious awareness of this. In other words, there is a sense in which those who are not bonded with the Christ already have ‘the mark of the beast’ without even realising it.
To have ‘the mark of the beast’ is to be a slave of Satan, marked by him, which includes every human born into this world. The only way to be unmarked by him is to be sealed with the Spirit of Christ. That is how one refuses ‘the mark of the beast’ — by becoming a disciple of the Christ and then sealed with His Spirit. That is still possible now. It is vital to note this. Now one can still be freed from being marked by Satan and the beast. For the time will come when that will no longer be possible. This will be after the revealing of the Antichrist. As the apostle Paul puts it:
“The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness”.Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verses 9-12
The deception of the Antichrist will be so strong that those who will continue to refuse the love of the truth that would have saved them will be, as it were, set in that mindframe by God, who will cement their delusional belief in the lie. “The lie” in the text is the same lie that has always been: It is the lie that the creature can achieve divinity — the same lie which Satan told our first parents (Book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse 5) — the same lie which will be proffered by the Antichrist when “he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 4). When one believes that lie which comes in its ultimate form when the Antichrist declares himself to be God and demands worship as God, then the time will have passed for the possibility to be sealed by the Spirit of God. For they will be left to their own devices. They made their choice. This is why it is so important to choose otherwise now, while it is still possible. And I implore you to do so. It really is a matter of life and death — the second death, being cut off from God forever.
When the beast is revealed in all its fulness at the end of this age through the satanically-energised Antichrist, people’s spiritual bonding will be publicly known, a conscious bonding there for all to see — which is why those who are not enslaved to Satan (i.e. those who are disciples of Christ and bonded with Him through being ‘sealed with the Spirit’) will also be publicly identified as such and restricted from many normal human activities (shopping, trading, etc.). Everyone’s true colours will be shown. Their refusal to adulate the Antichrist, his image, or Satan himself will reveal them publicly as having refused ‘the mark of the beast’. The reason for them not being able to engage in these activities is not because they do not have a chip implant in their hand or forehead but because their discipleship to Christ is their buttress against being marked by Satan. It is their faith against which the state of the Antichrist will be discriminating, not the lack of a microchip. Those who worship the Antichrist and Satan may well be issued with some kind of pass or other sign of their slavery to and subjugation by the state. But that in itself will not be ‘the mark of the beast’.
The Terrible Lesson to Come
In the times to come, we will see the stealthy establishment of a one-world government whose sole purpose is a demonstration of satanic human power and an opposition to Divine law. A great many will be fooled by this, naively imagining that it is being enacted for their peace and security and is therefore a good thing. Alongside of this, we will see the covert formation of a one-world religious enterprise which will welcome the Antichrist with open arms (as we opened up in the previous section 7). If one examines world developments perceptively, one will see that even now the way is being paved incrementally for that one-world ‘beast-government’ and one-world ‘beast-religion’. Then will be revealed the evil one who will head it up, the “man of lawlessness”,
“…whose coming is energetically worked by Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with every kind of evil deception towards those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the truth by which they might be saved. And for this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie”.Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verses 9-11
That is a terrible lesson right there. It shows how the more one hardens one’s heart to the fullness of truth and believes the lie of Satan and the beast operating throughout history, the more one will be alienated (and will alienate oneself) oneself from the Divine being. It works the other way too: The more one opens one’s heart to truth, the less one will be alienated from the Divine being.
Will You Still Cling to the Notion of a Physical Mark?
Any study of the Book of Revelation in relation to what will come to pass on this earth will be fruitless unless it takes into account that the sole purpose of the book is to reveal the nature and purpose of the Christ and His kingdom rather than to provide us with off-the-peg sensationalist notions about barcodes and microchips. To refuse to have a microchip inserted into your body by an evil governmental authority which is usurping Divine power may well be a laudable act of courage. But it is of no lasting spiritual significance unless one also refuses to take the real mark of the beast, which involves a rejection of satanic darkness and the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ and a firm belief that Christ came in the flesh, coupled with faithfulness to the Light of Christ in every way in the whole of one’s life. I fear that many who hold to a physical ‘mark of the beast’, even after reading the contents written here, will still cling to that notion of physicality. They are infatuated with the sensationalism of it and it also makes them feel in control because they can refuse a microchip, not to mention the fact that so many yield to peer pressure and do not want to go against what all their friends believe.
As for the number, 666, the Bible clearly states that it is “man’s number” — a symbol of the fact that human beings can never be God for they will always fall short of 777, the symbol for the triune Divine. In the spirit of usurpation, the Antichrist will set himself up and present himself to the gullible world as if he was 777, a counterfeit of the Divine Christ, but it will all be a chimera of his own making, a counterfeit, an illusion, believed only by those who have ‘the mark of the beast’ and who “believe the lie” — that is, those who revere the Antichrist and live according to his spirit of desolation. Surely, those who now and in the future oppose the very idea of an implantable microchip by a wicked despotic government should go even further in their perception to see that the basis of all this is part of the prophesied “spirit of the Antichrist” and then align themselves with the disciples of Christ, who Himself will return in a cosmic blaze of glory to bring darkness and evil to an end and usher in the new aeon through a completely renewed cosmos in another dimension altogether! Those who have ‘the mark of the beast’ and cling to it will never be able to be part of that new creation. They will have another destiny altogether which is too terrible to imagine, on which I have elaborated in chapter 1, §2 under “the second death”.
So, 666 is the number of humanity, from which no member can raise their status to 777, which is the number of God. 666 represents created beings. 777 represents the perfect Creator. A created being can never become the Creator. Understanding this and receiving the seal of God rather than the mark of the beast in one’s soul is of life-changing significance.
© 2022, Alan Morrison / The Diakrisis Project. All Rights Reserved. [The copyright on my works is merely to protect them from any wanton plagiarism which could result in undesirable changes (as has actually happened!). Readers are free to reproduce my work, so long as it is in the same format and with the exact same content and its origin is acknowledged]