By Steve Wohlberg
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
—Mark Twain (1835-1910)
They called it the Black Death. It first struck Europe during the 1340s. Silent, invisible, yet deadly, the plague swept through country after country, leaving misery in its wake. Its victims were farmers and princes, peasants and kings, housewives and nobles, the weak and the strong. It seeped indiscriminately into small country dwellings and costly city palaces. No one was safe. When the awful scourge finally ceased, Europe’s population had been decimated by nearly 50 percent. It was one of the worst plagues in the history of the world.
Believe it or not, another hideous scourge is about to burst upon planet Earth much deadlier than what ravaged Europe during the 1300s. The book of Revelation calls this fearful event “the mark of the beast. (Revelation 19:20) Although it won’t be a virus, it will be quite real, and when it finally strikes, it will hit the Americas, Europe, Russia, China, India, Africa, and the islands of the sea.
Prophecy predicts that this mark will come upon “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave” (Revelation 13:16 NKJV). The Black Death affected only its victim’s physical body, causing a slow, horrible demise; but it didn’t affect the soul. But when “the mark of the beast” sweeps the globe during history’s darkest hour, its consequences will be far worse. The Bible urgently warns that whoever receives this fatal mark will be doomed forever. They will miss heaven entirely. Their destiny will be “fire,” “brimstone,” and “the wrath of God.”
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, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and 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 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. (Revelation 14:9-11)
If you search the entire Bible, you will never find a more solemn warning than what is written in these verses. There’s no doubt that God is very serious about this subject, and whether it is believed or not, the primary motive behind His passionate warning is His genuine concern for all of mankind. Jesus Christ tenderly declared, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16; emphasis supplied). Thus we know that we have a friend above who loves us deeply. He doesn’t want anyone to get that mark!
Essentially, this apocalyptic “mark” comes from the Devil, not the Lord. Hence, the Bible is really warning us about a final assault from an ancient foe against our souls. The mark is his greatest delusion, and it will strike just before Jesus Christ returns. God speaks so strongly because He’s like a parent concerned about his kids. We must never forget this.
The purpose of this document is to pinpoint exactly what “the mark of the beast” is and to help you avoid it. If we are alive on earth when “the mark” comes, we must resist it at all costs. It’s life or death. The destiny of our souls is at stake.
When many prophecy-minded Christians contemplate the mark, they often assume it will be some sort of hi-tech computerized microchip that will be surgically inserted into human skin by big government. Others are convinced the mark will take the form of a national ID card without which no one can buy or sell. Apocalyptic movies portray masses of people with the number 666 tattooed above their noses. Endless speculation exists, but many are merely guessing. They really don’t know for sure what the mark of the beast is.
In this document, we will avoid hazy speculation and stick with plain facts. The information contained here may be shocking to some. Nevertheless, the details come directly from the Bible and from history books. Since this topic is so important, does it make sense that God would hide its meaning in incomprehensible mystery so that we can’t understand it? No, it doesn’t. And He hasn’t. As we carefully examine His Word, we will discover that our Lord has made the matter amazingly clear.
A Subtle Deception
The Bible says, “He deceived them that had received the mark of the beast” (Revelation 19:20; emphasis supplied). Notice that those who get the mark are “deceived.” Therefore, this deadly “mark” —whatever it is— must involve some sort of tricky delusion. That is, it must not be so easily noticed. If it was blatant, how could almost the entire world be misled as Revelation clearly predicts?
Just think for a moment. How many people do you know who would allow big government to implant something inside their heads? Besides, how deceptive would that be anyway? Believe me, the Devil is no dummy, and the mark is his greatest end-time delusion. It dupes the world; consequently, it must be something masterfully subtle and not obvious.
Decoding Revelation’s “Forehead” Terminology
The Bible predicts “the mark of the beast” will be enforced “in the right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). Yet, when we examine the book of Revelation closely, we discover the highly significant detail that “the mark” isn’t the only thing to enter human heads. Three verses after the mark is first mentioned, John saw another group called the 144,000 having the “Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1; emphasis supplied).
This text flashes new light on this whole topic. Don’t miss it. One group gets the mark of the beast in their foreheads while the other group has the name of God written in their foreheads. Does Revelation mean to imply that the 144,000 will have visible words written on their skin above their noses? No, it doesn’t, and I’ll prove it.
The “forehead” is mentioned again when John saw an evil woman riding a scarlet-colored beast with seven heads. “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots” (Revelation 17:5; emphasis supplied). Obviously, this is a symbolic prophecy, for there will be no real prostitute riding a literal beast with “mother of harlots” inscribed on her face. Wouldn’t you agree? USA Today will never run this headline: “Hellish Whore Rides Seven-headed Beast through New York!” Hardly. So the writing of that mysterious name upon her forehead must be symbolic too. These issues are more than skin deep.
The very last chapter of Revelation mentions “the forehead” again, but this time the phrase applies neither to those who get “the mark,” nor to the harlot, nor to the 144,000 per se. Instead, it applies to every redeemed saint throughout eternity. Everyone who makes it to heaven will “see [God’s] face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4; emphasis supplied). Accordingly, if you are saved, you too will have something in your “forehead,” forever. Again we inquire, does this mean that visible words will appear above your eyebrows in heaven? Once again, the answer is no, and it’s time to prove it.
Revelation’s “forehead” and “hand” terminology is actually rooted in the Old Testament. Moses told the Israelites, “You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deuteronomy 11:18).
What did God mean by this? Did He expect the Israelites to take a ballpoint pen and write tiny paragraphs above their noses? Seriously, how could Israelite faces contain the entire book of Deuteronomy? It has thirty-four chapters!
A little bit of enlightened reflection should teach us what this “forehead” and “hand” language really means. Anciently, God wanted His holy words to be on the Israelite’s foreheads. This must mean He wanted them inside their minds. What about His words on their hands? This must apply to their actions. Thus, the forehead represents the mind, and the hand represents the actions. That’s simple enough.
Therefore, what the book of Revelation really means when it speaks of a mark in the forehead or in the hand is that someday the masses of humanity will fully yield their minds and their actions to some specific idea, tradition, or “mark” that comes from the beast. They will be marked in their minds. Yet, God’s true people will detect this deception because His name is written in their foreheads.
A Symbolic Beast
Let’s talk a bit more about sacred symbolism. The “beast” who has the “mark” is depicted as “having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 13:1). Surely no such literal monster actually exists anywhere on planet Earth. You’ll never find one in the San Diego Zoo. Obviously, this must be symbolism. Nearly everyone who studies prophecy agrees with this. Yet, the logical implications of this fact are all too often ignored. Think about it. If Revelation’s seven-headed beast is symbolic, then what about its mysterious mark?
Could it be symbolic too?
Let me clarify something. I’m not saying that the mark of the beast is imaginary. Definitely not! But what I am saying is that if the beast is symbolic—which it clearly is—then it’s logical to assume that its deadly “mark” must also be symbolic. In other words, just like the “forehead” represents the mind, and just like the “hand” represents the actions, even so must both the “beast” and his “mark” represent something too. So it is our challenge, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and based on solid biblical principles, to correctly interpret these sacred symbols so that we are not deceived in these last days.
Decoding Revelation’s “Beast” Terminology
A popular view today is that “the beast” represents one future, super-sinister human being that Lucifer himself will raise up, inspire, talk through, and personally inhabit at the end of time. The theory has been depicted in countless novels and apocalyptic movies; yet, is it really right? Let’s find out.
In order to unlock the mystery, it is imperative that we first correctly decipher what the Bible means by the five-letter word, “b-e-a-s-t.” What is a beast anyway? Thankfully, we need not wonder, worry, speculate, or guess. The answer is plainly given in the book of Daniel in a prophecy that perfectly parallels that of Revelation.
The golden key is located in Daniel 7. “I saw in my vision by night,” Daniel testified, “four great beasts [coming] up from the sea, each different from the other” (Daniel 7:2-3; NKJV, emphasis supplied). The first was “like a lion” with “eagles wings” (verse 4), the second was “like a bear” clutching three ribs in its mouth (verse 5), the third was “like a leopard” with four heads (verse 6), and then the fourth beast was a frightening animal with “huge iron teeth” and “ten horns” (verse 7).
What do these creatures represent? Again, we don’t need to guess, for in the same chapter an angelic interpreter decoded the symbolism by stating, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth” (Daniel 7:23; emphasis supplied).
Did you catch that? According to the angel, what is a beast in prophecy? Does it represent one man like many assume? Or how about a three-story supercomputer in Belgium as others speculate? No, definitely not. According to Daniel 7:23, a beast represents a kingdom. Don’t forget this. If we make a mistake here, we might end up thinking Osama bin Laden, Mikhail Gorbachev, or even Barack Obama is the beast. But this is an illusion. Such theories may titillate, but they lack biblical substance.
When we place Daniel 7 against the backdrop of real history, it becomes clear that the “lion,” “bear,” “leopard,” and dragon-like fourth beast represent the historical nations of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Again, Daniel beheld “four beasts,” which the angel said represented four kingdoms. Check the history books in any library. Daniel dwelt in Babylon when he had his dream, and the next world power was Medo-Persia, then came Greece, and then came Rome.
Who is the Beast that has the Mark?
Since a “beast” in prophecy represents a“kingdom” (Daniel 7:23), the next question is, “What kingdom is represented by the beast that has the mark?” In this case, we must be like the legendary Sherlock Holmes and practice good detective work. Before we can correctly decode what the mark of the beast is, we must first accurately identify the beast itself, which isn’t so difficult either. The first time “the beast” (that has the mark) is mentioned is in Revelation 13. John wrote:
And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns… Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority (Revelation 13:1, 2; NKJV).
Here we find a “beast” surfacing from “the sea” that looks like “a leopard,” “a bear,” and “a lion.” Then “the dragon” gives to this composite creature his power, throne, and great authority. With alert, detective eyes, we will recognize that these are the exact same animals Daniel saw in his dream. And when we survey Daniel 7 carefully, a sequence of key clues immerges to help us understand exactly who the beast is that has the mark.
“We’re on the right track, Watson,” I can imagine Sherlock Holmes saying to his associate. And we are.
Again, Daniel 7 reveals “four great beasts” that represent four mighty kingdoms. The “fourth beast” with “huge iron teeth” represents the Roman Empire, which was the strongest and most powerful of all. Until this point, 98 percent of all Bible scholars who study Daniel 7 agree with this interpretation. It’s simple history. Now look for the clues.
When the imperial Roman Empire collapsed in A.D. 476 (the classic date for the fall of Rome), it fell because ten smaller nations—represented by the “ten horns” immerging from the fourth beast’s head—swept into Europe from the north to parcel up the empire. These ten nations were the Vandals, the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Bergundians, the Suevi, the Lombards, the Anglo-Saxons, the Franks, and the Alamanni, which eventually became the modern nations of Europe.
In Focus: The “Little Horn”
In his dreamy state, after watching “ten horns” spring up upon the fourth beast’s head, Daniel then beheld “another horn, a little one” (verse 8), that intrigued him more than the first ten. As he kept watching, the heavenly revealer identified seven key characteristics (the clues) of this eleventh horn. Notice carefully the features of the “little” horn:
- Rose out of “the fourth beast” (verse 8)
- Rose up “among” the ten horns (verse 8)
- Uprooted “three” of the ten horns (verse 8)
- Has “eyes like the eyes of a man” (verse 8)
- Has “a mouth speaking pompous words” (verse 8)
- Made “war against the saints” (verse 21)
- Thinks “to change times and laws” (verse 25)
By meticulously comparing these characteristics with those of “the beast” (that has the mark) in Revelation 13:1-10, it is quite clear that the “little” horn in Daniel 7—whatever it is—represents the same thing as the beast. Both have “a mouth speaking pompous words,” and both make “war against the saints” (compare Daniel 7:8, 21 with Revelation 13:5, 7). If our detective efforts can uncover who that horn is, we shall determine the true identity of the beast.
Hold onto your seats. There is only one power that fits every specification of this prophecy. But before I tell you what it is, let me clarify that these highly symbolic terms—the “horn” and “the beast”—are not referring to individual people. And to clarify even further, most of its real-life members aren’t beastly in the least. Instead, these symbols refer to a mammoth system, or organization, that actually is a kingdom. Are you ready for this?
That organization is the Roman Catholic Church. If you do more detective work, you will realize that the Roman Church is a global kingdom with more than 100 embassies nestled on Vatican Hill.
When Prophecy Fits History
Let’s now compare the seven characteristics revealed in Daniel 7 about the little horn with actual historical events to see if they fit.
Characteristic 1: The Roman Church did indeed rise out of the Roman Empire (the fourth beast). Its headquarters remains to this day in the heart of Europe (in Rome, Italy).
Characteristic 2: The Roman Church did indeed rise up “among” the “ten horns” (smaller nations) that divided the Roman Empire in the fifth and sixth centuries. In A.D. 476, when the imperial Roman government ruled by the Caesars collapsed, the Roman Church ruled by the popes greatly increased in political power.
Characteristic 3: Shortly after A.D. 476, “three” of the “ten horns” resisted the growing political influence of the papacy, and one by one, they were systematically “plucked up by the roots” and destroyed. The Heruli were wiped out in A.D. 493, the Vandals in A.D. 534, and the Ostrogoths were eliminated in A.D. 538. No modern European nation can trace its roots back to these “three” powers. They’re gone. And so far, these historical clues (taken together) can apply to no other organization except the Roman Church.
Characteristic 4: The Roman Church does indeed have “eyes like the eyes of a man” because it is governed by one of the most powerful human leaders on earth: the pope.
Characteristic 5: The popes do indeed speak “pompous words,” not only by claiming doctrinal “infallibility” in their pronouncements but also by assuming titles that belong to God Almighty, such as, “Holy Father”—a phrase Jesus Christ applied to God alone and not to any mortal (see John 17:11). Pope Benedict XVI, the current pope, has also boldly proclaimed the Roman Catholic Church to be the only true church on earth.  To discerning observers, all such “pompous” words fit the prophecy exactly.
Characteristic 6: During the Dark Ages, the Roman Church also did indeed make “war against the saints.” Have you heard of The Holy Office of the Inquisition? Contrary to Rome’s current claims, credible historians blame this monstrous organization for the brutal murders of between 50-100 million persons—all done in the name of Jesus Christ!
Now think about it. Do you really think that Jesus himself—who so loved the entire world that He died for everyone’s sins—really inspired that bloody tribunal to torture its victims? If He didn’t, then who did?
Are you starting to understand why Revelation calls this mammoth organization “the beast” that receives its secret power from “the dragon”? Believe me, those who had their fingers, toes, and tongues ripped out beneath supposedly “sacred” monasteries realized this clearly. For them, the Holy Inquisition was terribly unholy, a nightmare far worse than the scariest Hollywood horror flick. Yet, it was real.
To summarize so far (we’ll examine Characteristic 7 shortly): Daniel’s dream (see Daniel 7:7, 8, 21, 24) revealed six clear biblical predictions: The eleventh horn grew from the fourth beast’s head, emerged “among” the ten horns that divided Rome in the fifth and sixth centuries, plucked “three of the first horns” by their roots, has “eyes like the eyes of a man,” a “mouth speaking pompous words,” and makes “war against the saints.” Study history for yourself. It’s a fact. No other institution that has ever existed matches every specification of this prophecy. These details can apply to none other than the Roman Catholic Church. For a very detailed exegesis, see who is the antichrist.
And as we have previously proven, the book of Revelation calls this same little horn by another name, “the beast” (compare with Revelation 13:1, 5, 7). And this is the beast that has the mark.
Ancient Protestants Speak Out
Before focusing on Characteristic 7 (and identifying the mark of the beast itself), we should be aware of additional testimonials about the papal power.
Although most 21st-century Christians are woefully ignorant of it, one of the mightiest movements in Christian history was the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s. Led by spiritual warriors comparable to David’s mighty men, the Reformation shook Europe and the world. Men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Phillip Melancthon, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin altered the course of history. These men were not clumsy novices, but biblical scholars. When they finally focused their attention on the identity of the little horn, the truth was inescapable.
Outside of Jesus Christ, more books have been written about Martin Luther (the 16th-century priest who launched the Protestant Reformation) than any other religious person in history. To what did Luther think the “little” horn of Daniel 7 applied? To avoid speculation, let’s allow Dr. Luther to speak for himself. In one of his many commentaries, Luther wrote:
[Daniel] saw the terrible wild beast which had ten horns, which by the consent of all is the Roman Empire, he also beheld another small horn come up in the middle of them. This is the papal power, which rose up in the middle of the Roman Empire. 
This is not an isolated statement. Similar quotes could easily be multiplied. Englishman John Fox (1517—1587), in his classic Fox’s Book of Martyrs (1.22 meg PDF), also reported:
Disregarding the maxims and the spirit of the gospel, the papal church, arming herself with the power of the sword, vexed the church of God and wasted it for centuries, a period most appropriately termed in history, the ‘dark ages.’ The kings of the earth gave their power to the beast. 
Here, John Fox called the Roman Church “the beast,” and again, he wasn’t alone. In his masterful work, All Roads Lead to Rome, author Michael de Semlyen succinctly summarized the Reformation position:
Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer; in the seventeenth century, Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of Faith; Sir Isaac Newton, Wesley, Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards; and more recently Spurgeon, Bishop J.C. Ryle and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones; these men among countless others, all saw the office of the papacy as the antichrist. 
It’s true, the original Protestant Reformers died long ago. It’s also true that times have changed, and we’re not in the Dark Ages anymore; we’re in the 21st century. However, we must consider the fact that the characteristics of the little horn are still in Daniel 7. Time hasn’t altered them, not even by a letter. If the Roman Church was the little horn and the beast in the 1500s, then it still must be the little horn and the beast today. God’s Word has not changed (see Malachi 3:6).
The Master Clue
Now that we’ve discovered the beast’s identity, what about its deadly mark? Surprisingly, the master clue to this life-or-death mystery can be discovered from one verse, Daniel 7:25, which is Characteristic 7. To realize its significance, notice again how Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 describe exactly the same things:
|Daniel 7||Revelation 13|
|The sea (verse 3)||The sea (verse 1)|
|A lion (verse 4)||A lion (verse 2)|
|A bear (verse 5)||A bear (verse 2)|
|A leopard (verse 6)||A leopard (verse 2)|
|A dragon-like beast (verse 7)||The dragon (verse 2)|
|Ten horns (verse 7)||Ten horns (verse 1)|
|A boasting mouth (verse 8)||A boasting mouth (verse 5)|
|War on the saints (verse 21)||War on the saints (verse 7)|
|Changes times and laws (verse 25)||Mark of the beast (verse 16)|
Even a child can see that these two chapters mesh perfectly. When Revelation 13 uses the words “sea,” “beast,” “lion,” “bear,” “leopard,” “dragon,” “ten horns,” “mouth,” and “war,” we find exact counterparts in Daniel 7. But wait! At the end of Revelation 13, we discover “the mark.” Sherlock Holmes, don’t miss it! If Revelation 13’s entire sequence is rooted in Daniel 7, then what about the mark of the beast? Shouldn’t it have a direct counterpart somewhere in Daniel 7 too? Logic indicates that it would, and it does.
Near the end of Daniel 7, the Scripture notes that the papal power shall “think to change times and laws” (verse 25). Then, near the end of Revelation 13, we discover that the beast has a deadly mark (verse 16). Might the “change” predicted in Daniel 7:25 parallel “the mark” in Revelation 13:16-17?
Consider this. If someone punched you in the nose, changing your face, wouldn’t that change be a mark? No doubt. If I took a hammer and whacked a table in your home, changing its surface, wouldn’t that change be my mark? For sure. My point is simple: a change leaves a mark.
Specifically, what does the eleventh horn “think” to “change”? The answer is: “times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). The Revised Standard Version of the Bible translates this as, “The times and the law” (emphasis added). Obviously, “the law” mentioned here cannot refer to Old Testament injunctions requiring animal sacrifices, for those old laws were nailed to the cross when Jesus died (see Ephesians 2:15). Whatever “law” the horn “thinks” to “change,” it must by its very nature be unchangeable. If it wasn’t, then how could the little horn “think” to “change” it?
Dear reader, the only law that meets the requirement of this prophecy is the Ten Commandment law, which on Mount Sinai was inscribed upon “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).
Mark of the Beast truth
The next discovery is absolutely shocking, yet irrefutably biblical. A list of the Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20, and repeated in Deuteronomy 5. In reading the Ten Commandments in either location, note that there is only one commandment that specifically mentions “times.” Further vigilant study of church history reveals that this commandment has been openly and directly “changed” by the Roman Catholic Church, which fulfills the prophecy exactly.
That solitary commandment is the fourth one: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy… the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:8, 10; emphasis added). When thorough detective work is done, one discovers that “the seventh day” Sabbath actually falls on Saturday, not Sunday, which is “the first day of the week” (Mark 16:9). Not only that, but the Sabbath commandment is the only one that begins with the direct command, “Remember.”
Where do you “remember” anyway? The solemn answer is: in your forehead.
Notice this key statement from an official catechism of the Roman Catholic Church:
Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. 
As the saying goes, “What prophecy predicts, Rome admits.” In official statements, the Catholic Church openly confesses that it changed the Bible Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. But what she doesn’t realize is that her act directly fulfills the prediction, “he shall think to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25). Not only that, when we put the pieces together, we discover that this “change” is destined to someday become “the mark of the beast.”
Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus Christ didn’t change the Sabbath into Sunday. In fact, in reading the New Testament carefully, biblical students will discover that Jesus never mentioned Sunday-keeping even one time. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus kept the Sabbath, not Sunday (see Luke 4:16). He even called Himself the “Lord even of the Sabbath day” (Matthew 12:8).
Historically, the “change” came from the Roman Church, and such a change now stands as a “mark” of how it has usurped the authority of God Almighty who wrote the Ten Commandments—including the fourth—not with any earthly writing instrument, but with His royal finger. And He wrote them on solid rock, which means they can’t be changed.
To clarify some things: no individual has the mark of the beast today (at least at the time of this writing), and there are true Christians who keep Sunday within many denominations. If you are a sincere Christian, or a sincere member of the Catholic Church, and you presently keep Sunday, please realize that the purpose of this booklet is not to condemn, but to enlighten. Think of this information as a blessing, not a curse. Through it, you are discovering the truth about the mark.
Sincere Christians throughout history have kept Sunday, and do so today. Yet, the same book of Daniel that predicts that the little horn will “think to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25), also predicts that in “the time of the end, … knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4; emphasis added). In other words, just before the mark is imposed, “knowledge shall be increased” and people will learn straight facts. This is happening now even as you read this book!
When you compare Revelation 13:16 with Revelation 14:9-12, prophecy also teaches that people will only actually receive the mark of the beast, and be condemned for it, after these two things happen: 1) the mark is universally enforced by law, and 2) people discover, understand, and reject the truth (see James 4:17). Then, and only then, will they receive the mark of the beast.
The Coming Crisis
“Are you saying that Sunday observance will someday be enforced by law? How could this happen?” you might ask. Let me explain.
Remember September 11, 2001, when New York’s World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorists? Of course you do. That horrible event occurred on a Tuesday morning. Five days later (and this was quite predictable), Sunday church attendance soared, not only in America, but also in other countries. Thus, one lesson from 9-11 is that severe crisis leads to a revival in Sunday-keeping. Furthermore, if the 9-11 crisis had escalated, church attendance would have increased even more. If the situation had become really desperate, such increased Sunday attendance would have eventually led to the enforcement of Sunday laws by civil governments.
“Impossible!” some might reply. No it isn’t. A thorough study of European and American histories proves that Sunday laws (also called “blue laws”) have already been enforced to various degrees for more than 1,500 years. Ask the Catholic Church. It not only changed the Sabbath, but it has often enforced Sunday observance. Ask the pope. Even John Paul II, the most popular pope in history, issued a letter in May 1998, entitled “The Lord’s Day,” in favor of Sunday laws.
Yes, Sunday laws have been, and they will strike again. The only thing holding them back today is a serious crisis. The same book of Daniel that predicts that the little horn will “think to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25), and that “knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4), also predicts that “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was” (Daniel 12:1).
What unforeseen event will ignite earth’s final crisis? Only God knows. It might be another terrorist attack, or some natural disaster, or an economic collapse, or a combination of events.
No one knows for sure; but when it hits, just like after 9-11, Sunday attendance will soar once again, and eventually this will lead to Sunday laws. As strange as it may sound, this is what prophecy predicts, so this is what will surely occur.
The Bottom Line is Loyalty to Jesus Christ
When “the mark” (Sunday observance) of “the beast” (the Roman Church) is fully enforced by law (see Revelation 13:16) during Earth’s last crisis, then the final hour of decision will have come. Those who believe in this deception (contrary to the Ten Commandments) will be marked “in their foreheads” (in their minds), while those who don’t, but who still obey the Sunday legislation, will be marked in their hands (in their actions). Contrary to current prophetic speculation, only God will see this mark, not humans.
Yet, prophecy predicts that many will refuse to take it. Instead, they “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Why do they do this? The reason is the heartbeat of this document.
God’s final people will reject Satan’s mark not simply to save their own skin, but out of loyalty to Jesus Christ. Through heavenly enlightenment, they realize that Jesus is not only our Savior, but also our Creator (see John 1:3, 10), and that the Sabbath day, which points to the Creator (see Exodus 20:11), actually reveals Jesus Himself as Lord of all.
Jesus formed us, loves us, and even sacrificed His life on a splintery cross for our sins. True rest of soul is found only in Him and the seventh-day Sabbath reveals that rest.
Such a message has penetrated their foreheads. Even more, it has captured their hearts. Now nothing can sway them away from Him. Not physical suffering. Not the Black Death. Not even the mark of the beast.
I’ll close with a little story. My wife and I have a four-year-old son named Seth, whom we love with all of our hearts. Recently, about 10:30 one evening, Seth awoke from his sleep crying dreadfully. Perhaps he had a nightmare, we’re not sure. Because a similar event had occurred a few days earlier, Seth slept in our bedroom that night.
He went to sleep again, but at 1:20 AM (I know, because I checked my watch), I was startled to hear Seth singing softly to himself even though he wasn’t even awake. “Praise Him, praise Him, all you little children, God is love, God is love!” How precious! I thought to myself. Although he was crying just a few hours ago, God’s love is still in our little boy’s heart, and it came out even in the middle of the night.
Dear friend, when earth’s darkest hour strikes, what will surface from your heart? Will it be God’s love, or a choice to follow the beast? Now you know the truth about the mark. Read mark of the beast for a very detailed document or what is the mark of the beast for a short version.
In the midst of global confusion, Jesus Christ now pleads with us: “Choose Me and My day!”
- MSNBC, “Pope: Other denominations not true churches,” July 10, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19692094.
- H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation: From the Standpoint of Prophecy (Rapidan, VA: reprinted by Hartland Publications, 1995), 127.
- John Fox, Fox’s Book of Martyrs (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1967), 43
- Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome (Hertfordshire, England: Dorchester House Publications, 1991), 205.
- Rev. Peter Geiermann C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1946), 50.
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