By: Gene Anderson
What is the 'The mark of the beast'? Can you be forced to take it? The Bible does not go into great detail about the mark. Most of what we know about it is found in Revelation 13.
While most focus on the mark, it is mentioned with two other things that may or may not be the same, though they are one in purpose ' to identify those who are eligible to participate in commerce: '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 13:17
Many claim that the mark is anything from the UPC code, to an implanted micro chip, to a tattoo, and anything in between. One minister went so far to refuse to file for non-profit status because of something to do with the code that's required for it. Is the mark any of these?
Though right now there may not be any clear answers as to what role, if any, these things will play in the end times, there are some things concerning the mark of which we can be certain.
Contrary to what many believe, you cannot be forced to take the mark. This may sound strange to a lot of people, but think about it. If you can be forced to take the mark, then it would not matter how strong your faith in Christ is. If putting the mark on someone against their will means they go to hell, then even a sincere belief in the Lord would be useless.
We know that if the government wanted to, they could force people to take the mark. Those refusing to willingly take it would be arrested, restrained, and given the mark, regardless of how much you didn't want it. Many Christians today are terrified by such a possibility. But I can confidently assure you that this is not how it's going to be. A reading of Revelation 13 is clear as to who gets the mark of the beast:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he excerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed ' and he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as would not worshp the image of the beast should be killed. 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 ' and the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand ' and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. ' (Rev. 13:11,12,15,17; 14:9 & 11 KJV)
Notice it doesn't say those who refuse to worship would be forced to, but that they should be killed. This will be similar to what happened to the three Hebrew children when give the ultimatum to bow before the statue Nebuchadnezzar had made (See: Dan 3). The option was bow or die. (Please read the story).
So the plan of the antichrist is not about forcing people to take the mark, but eliminating those who won't.
Just as the Lord offers us a choice to accept Him, so will the antichrist offer his deal to the world. It would seem that those who refuse are true Christians, the 'elect' that did not allow themselves to be deceived by Satan and his evil government (See: Matt.24:24).
We must realize that should such a thing happen (though I personally believe it won't) ' applying a physical mark to a true Christian say by being unconscious while it got applied cannot nullify what the Holy Spirit has accomplished inwardly. A physical mark put on a Christian in such a situation against their will, should God allow, cannot undo the redemption and regeneration wrought by faith in the blood of Christ.
In closing, don't let anyone terrify you into believing that you can be forced to take the mark. There will be only two choices: The beast or Jesus. A conscious decision to reject Christ will automatically equate to a conscious decision to worship the beast, and vice/versa. Those with Christ will not take the mark, and thus become 'marked' for death.
Even with this, let's remember the comforting and assuring words in the Bible about our security in Christ as long as we do not lose our faith:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my father's hand. I and my father are one. (Jn 10:27-30 KJV)
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35,38-39 KJV)
Staff Note: Here's a very insightful take regarding the Mark Of The Beast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy77SpFtzK4
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