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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Mark of the Beast (Rev 13)

Revelation 13 is probably the chapter of this book that most people are somewhat familiar with because of "the mark of the beast." Most people want to know if they will see the mark of the beast in their life time. Let's dig in and see if we can get the answer.

Revelation 13 starts out with a beast coming up out of the sea, having 10 horns and 7 heads, and on his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

Let's break down who this beast is:

  • The beast is the antichrist who will have a brutal beast-like nature.

  • "Coming up out of the sea" indicates he will be a Gentile, not a Jew.

  • The 7 heads represent 7 consecutive kingdoms which rule over Israel until Jesus returns (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, Divided Roman Empire). We know this from Daniel 2.

  • The 10 horns will be 10 kings who come to power with the Antichrist. But actually, from Daniel 7:24 we see these 10 kings will arise before the Antichrist.

  • The blasphemous names are lies about God, His kingdom, and His people.

Then in Revelation 13:2 we are told the characteristics of the antichrist (leopard, bear, and lion) with the power of the dragon (Satan). So think of the most evil ruler who has ever existed in all of time. This antichrist will be exponentially worse in every respect.

But the antichrist will perform great signs which will result in the whole earth being amazed and following after him, that is except those who have chosen to repent and believe in Jesus. They won't worship him.

The antichrist will start off being Mr. Nice Guy in the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation but then morph into Mr. Nasty during the second 3.5 years and make war with these new believers of Jesus.

Also at the middle of the Tribulation, Revelation 13:11 tells us another beast comes up out of the earth. This is the false prophet who will cause all to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. No one will be able to buy or sell except those who have the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name, 666. Note that no one will take this mark by accident. They will be worshiping the antichrist and take the mark as directed as a sign of their allegiance to him.

So here is the answer to the big WHEN question. The mark of the beast doesn't come until the middle of the 7-year Tribulation. Today we are in the church age, not the 7-year Tribulation. There is no antichrist on the scene yet and there can be no mark of the beast until the church age ends. The revealing of the antichrist will kick off the 7-year Tribulation. Then 3.5 years into the 7-year Tribulation, the mark of the beast will be mandated.

Are we seeing the framework being laid for the mark of the beast system? Most definitely! Does that mean the church age will end soon? No one knows when the church age will end. However, as quickly as the signs of the Tribulation seem to be casting a shadow over our current church age, it sure seems like we must be getting incredibly close to the end. This means we should be looking for our blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

In fact, Jesus said in Luke 21:28 "when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

When God decides it is time for the church age to end, Jesus will rapture those who have repented and believed in Him and then at some point after that, Jesus will kick off the 7-year Tribulation when He allows the antichrist to be revealed.

This means anyone who has repented and believed in Jesus today will not see the 7-year Tribulation, the antichrist, the false prophet, or the mark of the beast. We don't need to look for the antichrist. We just need to be seeking Jesus Christ.

For years I wondered how in the world everyone could be forced to take a mark to prevent them from buying and selling. But now with CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), digital IDs, and RFID microchips on the horizon, the technological framework needed to implement this mark-based buying and selling system is becoming possible.

Could we be 3.5 years away from its implementation? Probably not. But I would bet we are pretty close to 7 years away from the framework being ready to go. However, the timing is still up to God alone.

God has placed each of us in this place at this time for a purpose. Our purpose is to share the message of salvation in Jesus with a world who desperately needs to hear about His great love and His free gift of salvation for all who repent and believe in Him.

So who do you need to share Jesus with today, while there is still time and the freedom to share?

Dear Lord, Please stir our hearts and light a fire in us to be passionate about sharing your gospel message of salvation with every opportunity You put in front of us. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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