The Mark of beast? Many have heard the term, but who truly understand it? There are many theories about the mark, and the image but, are they biblical? In this study we will get a biblical perspective on this issue.
The Mark of the beast is first mentioned in Revelation thirteen. The warning of receiving this mark, is given in the third angel’s message, in Revelation fourteen. Before we go any further, we need to unveil the identity of the beast, so we can better understand what his mark and image is.
One of the identifying characteristics, that defines the beast identity, is found in these words, “and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” revelation 13:2. The beast received his power and authority from the Dragon. The Dragon primarily represents Satan, revelation 12:9. The dragon also represents Pagan Rome, who Satan was working through, to kill Christ as soon as he was born, Revelation 12:4-5; Matthew 2:13-16. In history, the event that marked, the giving of the dragon seat and authority to the beast, is when emperor Justinian declared the pope to be head of the church, in 533 AD. This was the beginning of the establishment of the papacy. It wasn’t until 538 AD, that the papacy was fully established. As we go on to read verse three of the same chapter, it reads, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”- Revelation 13:3; He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. – Revelation 13:10. In the preceding text, (13:2) we have seen the rise and the establishment of the papacy. Now we shall see their fall. The papacy received their deadly wound in 1798, by the French army. When Napoleon General, took Pope Pius VI, captive in France, where he later died. This is the event that fulfilled the prophecy mentioned in revelation 13:10. The wound was to be healed, as prophecy foretold in revelation 13:3. The deadly wound which the papacy had received by the French army, began to heal in 1929; at the signing of the lattern treaty, February 11,1929. What that did for the papacy, was to give them back autonomy or the power to govern themselves. They had lost that power as a result of the deadly wound they received.
What is the image of the beast,and how is it to be formed? When I think of image, my mind goes back to Genesis, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:26 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27. Man was to bear God’s image, both in outward resemblance and in character. – PP 45.2
Christ alone is “the express image” (Hebrews 1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God. His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect obedience to His will. – PP 45.2
Here we have it, man was made in God’s image, being made in God’s image, man possess his attribute and characteristics. The same can be said of the image of the beast. It is the lamb like beast who shall make an image to the first beast, the papacy. But what nation is represented by the lamb like beast? We find our answer in revelation 13, and it reads, “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.” – Revelation 13:11. The rising of the this beast is different from the first beast or any other beast mentioned in the bible. The first beast rises out of the sea, the sea or body of water represents:nations, tongues, kindreds, and people-Revelation 17:15. This rising is the same exact rising mentioned, in Daniel chapter 7. When the great winds of strife strove on the sea, four great beast came out. This is the representation of conquest in which kingdoms are setup. To come out of the earth, is the opposite of rising out of the sea. The lamb like beast did not have to overthrow any kingdoms, but rose or grew peacefully, in an area unoccupied. Also this beast or kingdom is liken to a lamb, which is a representation of Christ, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John 1:29 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” – John 1:36
This kingdom or nation, is also liken to lamb or Christ, because this nation and kingdom, exercise some of his attributes. The attribute or characteristics that this kingdom assimilate, is the ability to make men free. The bible bares record to Jesus doing just that, John 8:32-36, Luke 4:18. So the kingdom or nation, represented by the lamb like beast, is the United states of America. This christian nation grew silently into power after 1798, securing the freedom of it’s citizens, freedom such as religious freedom. But of the lamb like beast it is said, “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”. – Revelation 13:11 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” – Revelation 13:12 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,” – Revelation 13:13 “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” – Revelation 13:14
Prophecy has shown, that the United states, will take a drastic change from its former policies. It will adopt the principles of the Papacy, even religious intolerance and persecution. This can only happen when, “the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” – GC 445.1
As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite “the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; … because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.”—Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, page 58. What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church—“the mark of the beast”? – GC 448.1
When Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome, and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshiping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome,—“the mark of the beast.” And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”—The Great Controversy, 449 (1888). – Ev 233.4
There is no time left to argue over this issue, for the time is at hand. Whether you believe this or not it will come. There will be a national Sunday law in honor to the Pope, for the holy scriptures teaches this. The real question is when the holy spirit convicts of this great truth, will you in defiance receive the mark of the beast?