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Back To The Future – Sermon #33
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
Intro: We have arrived at a passage of Scripture that has caused more speculation that possibly any other. For centuries people have been trying to decipher the Mark of the Beast. People actually fear the number 666.
I was in a store making a purchase, and the total of my purchases came to $6.66. This has happened on more than one occasion. Nearly every time, the clerk has tried to get me to buy something else so she won’t have to ring up $6.66. I always pay the $6.66 and use the opportunity to witness to the clerk and to give a brief explanation of the Mark of the Beast. It is a wonderful witnessing opportunity.
There is a lot of speculation concerning what the Mark of the Beast is all about. There is much misinformation concerning this subject as well. These verses give us some of the information we need to understand just what the Mark of the Beast is. We won’t learn everything we would like to know, but we will learn enough to know that no Christian in this room needs to be afraid of the Mark of the Beast.
So, let’s look at these three verses today. Let’s see if we can dispel some of the mystery surrounding the Mark of the Beast. There are some characteristics of the Mark of the Beast that I want to point out to you today as I preach about The Mark Of The Beast.
Scientists have developed tiny microchips the size of grains of rice. These chips can carry all of your medical and financial information and they can be read with a simple scanner. These chips are already being used in pets, and there is talk of placing these microchips in babies to prevent kidnappings and mistakes at the hospitals. It is possible that technology of this nature could be used to fulfill this passage. It is also possible to place GPS transmitters in chips the size of jelly beans. With these transmitters, people can be tracked regardless of where they are in the world.
course, technology has advanced to the place where people can be identified
instantly by scanning their fingerprints, (
As you know, the use of plastic currency is quickly replacing cash as the standard in business transactions. It has been suggested that the Mark of the Beast will actually be a credit card system of some sort. This is already being used in many cases for food stamps and other government services. Whether we like it no not, we are headed toward a cashless society. It makes sense! Without cash, crooks and drug dealers have a more difficult time. Without cash, there is less likelihood that people could hide their income from the IRS. We are moving in that direction.
whether we like it not, we have already been reduced to a number. Everywhere
you go you need your Social Security number and your driver’s license number. It’s
already this way in
We are on the verge of a seeing a national identification card for citizens of our country. Given all the problems we are having with illegal immigration, there is a rising cry for some sort of identification card or system that can identify who is and who isn’t an American citizen.
While we cannot know for sure what the Mark of the Beast is, we can learn something about how it will be utilized in that day.)
The Scope Of This Mark
The word causeth, means to force. We are told that all
people of all classes will be required to wear this mark in the bodies. Everyone,
from the most common of men to the most famous of celebrities, will bear this
mark in their bodies. It will be a universal mark. For once in this world there
will be no favoritism and no discrimination. Every person from the savage in
the darkest jungles of Africa to the executive living in the
B. The Situation Of This Mark in the right hands, or in their foreheads This mark will apparently be place either in the hand or in the forehead. The word mark comes from a word that means a stamp, an imprint, something carved. Whatever this mark is, it will reside in the flesh, and it will be permanent. People will not be able to alter it or counterfeit it. It will be placed where it can be easily seen.
C. The Source Of The Mark The he in verse 17 refers to the False Prophet. If you remember, he is the one who causes the world to worship the Antichrist. He is the one who causes the image of the Antichrist to move and speak. He is the leader of the one world religion that will dominate the world during the Tribulation. He will devise this marking system and he will see that it is carried out.
This is exactly what we see in this passage. The world will worship the Antichrist, Rev. 13:4, 15. When they do, they will receive his mark. It will be a statement if their allegiance to him and to his government. They will be identified as his servants.
I. A Mark Of Identification
II. v. 17 IT IS A MARK OF ISOLATION
A. The Power Of This Isolation The mark will be tied to the economy. People will be required to produce the Mark of the Beast in order to be able to buy or sell. This, in itself, will be a great enticement for people to receive the Mark of the Beast. In order to hold a job, to get credit, to access bank accounts, or to do something so mundane as buy a loaf of bread, will require a person to have the Mark of the Beast.
(Ill. Imagine what this might involve – A young mother goes to the store to buy formula for her baby. She lacks the Mark of the Beast and she is not allowed to purchase her products. A man stops for gas at the gas station. He does not have the mark and he is not allowed to buy. A family shivers in the dark and the cold because they cannot buy utilities without the Mark of the Beast.)
This mark will instantly divide the world into two camps. The Mark of the Beast will declare who worships the Antichrist and who does not. It will prove to be a mark of isolation.
B. The Purpose Of This Isolation The Antichrist will use the Mark of the Beast to control the world. Everything in the world during the Tribulation will be controlled. Food, housing, medicine and medical care will all be dispensed only to those who have the Mark of the Beast. This mark will give the Antichrist instant power over every person everywhere in the world.
C. The Persecution Of This Isolation There will be many who will refuse to accept the Mark of the Beast. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists will not take the mark. Their converts will refuse to take the mark. There will be literally millions of people around the world who will refuse to bow to the Beast or to his image. They will reject the ministry of the False Prophet. These people will suffer greatly for their decision.
They will not be able to buy food, clothing or medicine. They will be refused medical treatment. Many, no doubt, will starve to death in order that they might not dishonor the name of the Lord Jesus. These people will be hunted down and persecuted to the death because of their defiance, 13:15; 6:9. These people will pay a terrible price for their faith in Jesus, but they will be rewarded greatly when they leave this world, Rev. 7:9-17!
(Note: We are not being persecuted for our faith in Jesus today, but we are a marked people. The world is ramping up its hatred of the Lord Jesus and of those who follow Him. We can expect to see this kind of hatred intensify as we move closer to the end.
Believers in this day need to continue to take a stand for Jesus in spite of what they might face for doing so. We need to be faithful to Him, even unto death, if necessary.)
I. A Mark Of Identification
II. A Mark Of Isolation
III. v. 17-18 IT IS A MARK OF INFORMATION
A. It Reveals The Name Of The Beast We are told that the mark is tied to a number and that this number is tied to the name of the Beast. This has led to some wild speculation over the years. In ancient times, number values were attached to Greek and Hebrew letters. Using what is known as gematria, which is an ancient form of numerology, a number is assigned to each letter in the alphabet. These numbers are then used to seek hidden meaning in words. The people who believe in such things believe that numerical equivalents in names and words in not coincidental, but providential. The Beasts name, when it is known, will yield the number 666.
People have used this system to propose many different possibilities as to who might be the Antichrist. They have taken the letters in people’s name added up the numerical value and declared that this person or that person had to be the Antichrist. They have suggested Adolph Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Back in the 1980’s some people believed that Gorbachev was the Antichrist because that huge birthmark he had on his head.
The fact is. We do not know who the Antichrist is. We can do all sorts of numerical gymnastics, but we will still be in the dark concerning his identity. But, when he appears, the people living in that day will have all the information they will need to be able to identify the Antichrist.
B. It Reveals The Nature Of The Beast We are told that the Beasts number is the number of a man. His number is 666. Six in the Bible is the number of man. Man was created on the sixth day. This number is just short of the number of completion or perfection, the number 7. The number six is seen several times in the Bible. When it is in view, it always comes up short.
Nebuchadnezzar made his idol in
The Antichrist will be the pinnacle of human achievement. He will be the brightest, most powerful human the world has ever seen, outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be a remarkable man, but he will still fall short of completion and perfection. His number declares his deficiency.
Man is represented by the number six. God is represented by the number seven. Seven speaks of completion and perfection. God is perfect and complete, whether you are speaking of the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. He is a “777. Satan and his unholy trinity can never compete with God. They will give it their best, but they will still be just 666. They will never be complete and perfect because they lack God!
(Note: Why would anyone choose this number? We have to assume that if the Antichrist is the ruler of the world, he must me able to choose his own number. Why 666? He may do it to stand in defiance to God. After all, the Lord has declared that the devil’s superman will wear this number and be defeated. He may do it out of pure rebellion.
Of course, this number might just be for God’s people to be able to recognize him when he comes. Either way, this number will declare his name and his nature. When he comes, the people of God will be able to identify him and thus refuse his mark.)
Conc: One of the practical lessons we can take away from this passage is
this truth: Satan always marks his people. He marks their bodies, their souls
and their minds, (Ill. The truth of this). He marks his people. On the other
hand, God seals,
There are some terrible days coming on this earth! Satan is going to have free reign down here for several years and billions will be brought under his grip for time and eternity. Every one of these people who take the Mark of the Beast are destined for eternity, Rev. 14:9-12. They cannot take the Mark of the Beast, worship Satan and then be saved. If they bow to him, they are lost forever! That is a terrible truth! Do not let that happen to you! Come to Jesus while there is time to be saved. If you are left here after the Rapture and you survive the wars, the famines, the death and disease, you will take the Mark of he Beast and you will go to Hell. It does not have to be that way!
Satan, you are nothing but a number. If you will come to God, He will call you
by your name, Rev. 2:17; 3:5.
You can have a name or you can have a number. If you have a name you will have a place in Heaven when you leave this world. If you receive a number, you will go to Hell forever. Which do you want today?