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Bible verses about Mark of the Beast
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Job 41:1-34   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Are we reading here of something that could come awfully close to a fire-breathing dragon? Could this be a description possibly of Tyrannosaurus Rex? Is God describing something that Job was familiar with? Yes, He was describing something that Job was familiar with—whatever it is. If Job was not familiar with it, it would have made absolutely no sense to him.

This beast—the real king of beasts—does not fear anybody. We are looking at a description, probably figurative, of Satan the Devil in the form of a dragon, a Tyrannosaurus Rex-like symbol of Satan. The dragon is the real source of power for the Beast—a king of pride, a powerful beast beyond human control, ferocious, dangerous, repulsive, unmitigated power—the quintessential carnivore, seeking to devour.

No wonder Revelation 13:4 says, "Who can make war against the beast?" It gives every appearance of invincibility. A nasty fellow, if ever one was described. It is this beast that places its mark upon human beings. What is "the mark of the beast" in a spiritual sense? What kind of spirit emanates from this wild, ferocious, voracious system being described?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Spiritual Mark of the Beast


 

Galatians 5:20   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Paul obviously saw anger and hostility as a basic element of human nature. Of all the negative attitudes that are part of the spiritual mark of the beast, hostility and anger are probably the most frequent expressions against God and others. But how often does the Bible show Jesus, our Model—the One we are to pattern our lives after—angry?

Consider this interesting observation that Solomon made: "Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry: for anger rests in the bosom of fools" (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Jesus was no fool. Thus, we do not see much in the Bible about Him being angry. The Proverbs say, "A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1). It is not very frequent that an angry, hostile person speaks softly.

"By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaks the bone" (Proverbs 25:15). "The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression" (Proverbs 19:11). Anger hardly ever helps a situation. It divides. It almost invariably makes things worse. It forces the other person to defend himself, and then a vicious cycle is generated.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Spiritual Mark of the Beast


 

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Every day information concerning politics, economics, social issues, psychology, religion, conspiracy theories, foreign affairs, entertainment and education issues inundates us. How much of it is actually true? How much do we truly need to pay attention to?

The man of sin opposes Christ. He will even claim to be God, and Satan will enable him to work miracles. Just before Christ's return, he will lead evil's greatest challenge ever against all that is good. The focus of the attack will be the destruction of truth. Only those who "receive the love of the truth" will be spared. If one does not have it, he will be deceived, believe the lie, and be condemned. In this context, the lie is probably that this man is God or His main representative on earth, and that they should worship the beast and receive his mark at his word (Revelation 13:11-18).

Before the man of sin appears, Satan must lay some groundwork to prepare for his acceptance. What better way than to throw the world into quarreling and divisive and wearying confusion? People then yearn for some strong and seemingly wise hands to set things straight, so the nations can "catch their breath" and have a span of peaceful calm. In its wake, confusion creates directionless people, with little desire to change the status quo, whose minds are turned in upon themselves in an attempt to keep what they have.

Right now, humanity is being bombarded by religious disinformation ranging from bizarre, do-gooding New Age cults to the militant homosexual, lesbian and feminist attacks aimed at changing old-line Protestant and Catholic groups. Mainly within Protestant circles, the New World Order and other conspiracy theories abound, sometimes tenuously mixed with true prophecies of the Bible. Everywhere there are cries for tolerance of beliefs of every stripe, and in some sectors there are attempts to merge all religions into one.

Within God's church, we have seen a multitude of doctrinal changes alter one large group to the point that it is barely recognizable except by name. Other, smaller groups are badgered by peripheral issues like the calendar, sacred names and conspiracy theories. What we are witnessing are people subtly persuaded into an excessive concern for themselves. This distracts them from the focus God clearly states in Jesus' end-time message: Get ready for the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Every message to every church group in Revelation 2 and 3 concludes with "To him who overcomes." Christ's intent is clear. Our judgment is based upon growth in overcoming flaws involving character defects, evil self-centered attitudes and relationship problems with fellow man.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Flood Is Upon Us!


 

Revelation 13:11-17   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In Revelation 13:11-17, John describes "another beast coming up out of the earth." This one has "two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon." He "exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence" (Revelation 13:12), indicating that his authority is the same as the first beast's. If the first beast's authority is global, so is the second beast's; if the first beast's authority is more localized to the environs of the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa, then the second beast's authority is the same.

In the same verse, the second beast "causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast." The Greek word translated "earth" is the same one used in verse 8. It could mean "the world," "the country," or "the land." So what is the scope of the second beast's authority?

When it comes to imposing the Mark of the Beast, Revelation 13:16 seems to ascribe universal authority to him: "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." These three pairs of opposing classifications of people seem to include every person on the planet. However, they have to be seen within the context of his authority, rather than as a definition of his authority. That is, he will impose the Mark across all social, economic, and political strata within the realm of the Beast—there will be no exceptions because someone is rich or has high rank in in the Beast's government. The Mark will be universal for those over whom the Beast rules.

Acts 26:22 contains another example of this phraseology. Paul says he is "witnessing both to small and great." This does not mean that he was witnessing to all people on earth but to the "small and great" who were in his audience. Revelation 19:17-18 uses the same rhetorical device to describe the aftermath of the war between the returning Messiah and the Beast:

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

Will the birds devour the flesh of every person on the planet? Again, these classifications of people (free and slave, small and great) describe universality within an already-defined grouping—in this case, the people who "gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army" (Revelation 19:19).

Will the Mark of the Beast be a truly global phenomenon, imposed on every man, woman, and child on earth? If so, the biblical math does not add up! Consider: The second beast "causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark" (Revelation 13:16). However, in Revelation 14:9-11, an angel proclaims that anyone receiving the mark

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. 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.

If every person (aside from the saints) receives the mark, then every person (aside from the saints) will die at Christ's return! Yet, numerous other prophecies show that not all nations will be destroyed at His coming; instead, all nations will be ruled by Him. Hence, a substantial number of people—enough to make up nations—will not "drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation" because they did receive the Mark of the Beast. Thus, the Mark is not imposed on every person because the second beast is not given the power to impose it on every person. Rather, he causes all within the rule of the Beast to receive it.

David C. Grabbe
The Whole Earth


 

Revelation 14:11-12   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The mark of the Beast identifies those who are devoted to the Beast. They have given their lives in worship and obedience to him, and have received his mark. The Beast will be the leader of the new world order now forming. And ironically—tragically—members of God's church are now being led back to that world and away from keeping His commandments.

Our responsibility remains clear, however. God's Word identifies the distinctive difference between those who worship Him and those who worship the Beast. Those who worship God keep His commandments. We must do everything in our power to keep from sinking into the same spiritual vortex that has already swallowed so many. Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good! Keep God's Ten Commandments—all of them!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Damnable Heresies


 

 




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