Read Revelation 13 at Bible Gateway.
Previously: revelation 13, fire from heaven
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. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Rev 13:16-18
The beast from the sea, who looks like a lamb, like Jesus, but who speaks like the Devil, causes all to be marked on their hands and foreheads. The mark, verse 17 tells us, is the name of the beast (the “or” is not in the Greek) or the number of the name of the beast.
Before we see what the name and the number of the name is, let’s remember what it means in Scripture to be marked on the hand or forehead. Looking at the history of marks in Scripture (here and here), we learned that it is a sign, evidence, something that distinguishes us as belonging to a certain class or position. God uses different marks throughout Scripture as identifying signs that we are partakers in the covenants He has established with men, just as a wedding ring is a sign to others that we are partakers of a marriage covenant, that we belong to our spouse.
Then what we habitually do, we saw (here and here), how we act, marks us on the right hand, the agent of action; and what we habitually think about, what we talk about, marks us on the forehead, the agent of thought.
Every other place in Scripture that being marked on the right hand and forehead is spoken of, it is in reference to the evidence of actions and thoughts that distinguish us as belonging to the LORD. So I began to think that in this case, also, those who are being marked on the right hand and forehead, are being marked by the evidence of actions and thoughts that distinguish them as belonging to the antichrist. Their identifying mark on their right hand, the agent of action, and on their forehead, the agent of thought, is what they habitually do and what they habitually think about and say.
The mark is not a tattoo or a microchip at all! It is the evidence of our lives that signals to everyone around us to whom we belong. There are certain things that the LORD’s people are commanded to do and remember. Doing involves the action of the hand, and remembering involves the action of the mind or forehead. If we do what the LORD’s people are to do, then we are marked on our hand as the LORD’s. If we remember what the LORD’s people are to remember, then we are marked on our forehead as the LORD’s.
Now one of the Ten Commandments says not to profane the name of the LORD. Later in Scripture it is revealed that the LORD’s name became profaned among the unbelievers by the unrighteousness of His people. In other words, the LORD’s people are marked on the hand and forehead by His name. This is why walking in rebellion to His ways profanes His name. When we do (right hand) and remember (forehead) as He has instructed us, His name is honored among the unbelievers, because His people are marked with His name on their right hands and foreheads.
And so it is with the beast. His people are also marked on their right hands and foreheads with his name. I do not believe that there will be a forced round-up of people in the last days, and forced tattoos or implantations of microchips which will mark them against their will as belonging to the beast.
Everyone on this earth is today already bearing a mark on their right hand and forehead. They are either marked with the name of the LORD, or the name of the beast. We ourselves choose which mark we will bear, by the actions of our hands, that which we habitually do, how we live our lives; and by the thoughts of our minds, what we choose to remember, that which we habitually think about, and speak of in our daily lives.
Are we walking as if we were citizens of the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of Babylon, which is the kingdoms of this world? What are we filling our minds with, and what is coming out of our mouths? Is it the word of God, or man?
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Gal 6:7-8
For further reading:
coming out of babylon
Continued in revelation 13, the name of the beast, and his number