Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Gary Petty] You've heard that the Bible talks about the mark of the beast. What exactly is the mark of the beast and how can you avoid getting it?
What is the mark of the beast that we read about in Revelation 13? You know Christians have been debating the meaning of the mark of the beast since soon after the Apostle John wrote about it. And in the past few years people have declared the mark of the beast to be a tattoo, a barcode, social security numbers, computer chips, credit and debit cards, the internet, cell phones, immunizations, and nanotechnology.
How can you recognize this mark which is condemned by God? Is possible you already have the mark of the beast? How can you avoid receiving it? Well today we're going to look at what the Bible teaches about the prophetic beast and determine what scriptures reveal about the mark of the beast. And it may not be what you think. Now the first question that we have to deal with is who is the beast? So let's begin. We're going to go through a lot of Scriptures today. Let's begin with a prophecy given by the Apostle Paul, who's not exactly someone we usually think about when it comes to prophesy. In 2 Thessalonians Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica because some of them had been deceived by clever arguments that Jesus had already returned. And so he's dealing with that. So let's go to 2 Thessalonians. Let me read you some of what he wrote to them. And it's interesting because he's actually telling them I told you about this. So we don't know everything he told them. We only know a little bit.
He says, "Now Brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if it came from us, as though the day of the Lord had come. Let no one deceive you by any means for that day," now that day is the day of the return of Jesus Christ, "for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the Son of perdition who oppresses and exalt Himself above all that is called God that is worshipped so that He sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that He is God." So the day of the Lord, the return of Jesus Christ, will be preceded by a human leader who will sit at a temple and claim to speak as God. Now I'm going to bring out some important sort of bullet points to these prophecies and show you the continuity between a number of prophecies today.
The man is so evil he's called the man of sin. Now let's look a little bit later here where John writes. "And then this lawless one, this man of sin will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." Now this is interesting, John doesn't tell us exactly when the person is going to come along. I mean it's an individual. We know it's a person. We know this person deceives the world. He does great miracles as we'll see in a minute. He only tells us when he's destroyed. So we have to work backwards. We're going to go through a number of prophecies where we have to work backwards. We don't know when they begin exactly, but we know when the end. This ends with the return of Jesus Christ. So this is important to remember.
Now let's go on, how he describes this. "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan." This is very important. He has power from Satan, "with all power signs and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they may be condemned, who did not believe the truth, and had pleasure in unrighteousness.” That's a powerful passage. But that's all there is. That's all there is because Paul said, "I'm writing to you because I've already told you about this. You should know this." Unfortunately, we don't know what he told them.
So we have this prophecy that seems to sit by itself but I'm going to show you how it's actually connected to other prophecies. So remember there’s this man of sin, will deceive many people with satanic powers. He's going to perform miracles. And people are going to see this. This isn't done in some hidden place you know, in some back rooms of a business or something. Those who were deceived by him are people who do not love the truth of God. Because of this self-willed rejection of Biblical truth God's going to send them a strong delusion. And the acceptance of this man of sin involves a decision, okay? A decision to reject the God of the Bible. Now let's look at just sort of the bullet points of what we get here from this passage. Okay?
Before Christ's return, a man of sin will come on the world scene and be worshipped as a divine person. He's going to be worshipped as a divine person. So we're just pulling out things that we're going to be able to recognize when it happens.
Two, he will by the power of Satan, deceive many people through amazing signs and wonders.
And three, he's going to be destroyed by Jesus Christ at His return.
And that's basically all we know from the Apostle Paul. We don't know much more than that. Now remember, our purpose today is to answer the question, how you can avoid this great deception that's going to happen at the end time and not receive the mark of the beast. So before we go to Revelation, because that's where it talks about the mark of the beast, there's actually one other prophecy we have to look at.
The Old Testament prophet Daniel was given a vision from God of four strange beasts. And he is told in this vision that the four beasts represent actually four kingdoms, and that the fourth kingdom will be destroyed when God's kingdom is established on Earth. Once again he doesn't tell us exactly when each beast, each kingdom, is going to come but we know when the fourth one is destroyed. And the fourth beast are a lion with eagle's wings, a bear, a leopard with four heads and four wings, and a fourth beast that had 10 horns, and was…he couldn't even describe it. Daniel says it was dreadful, and terrible, and exceedingly strong. And he says it has huge iron teeth. And what's interesting when you go through the book of Daniel, is Daniel actually lived at the time of the first beast. And we know that from the book of Daniel. This first kingdom was Babylon. He lived into the second kingdom, which was Persia because Persia destroyed Babylon. And you read the book of Daniel and Daniel is alive at that time period. He receives another vision, another prophecy about the third beast. He's given a vision about a beast that destroys the second one, and then mentioned by name. Greece will destroy Persia. But you also see Daniel on a couple of place say, "I want to know more about the fourth beast." Because the fourth beast didn't come too long after his death. It was the beast. It was the kingdom that destroyed the Greek kingdom. It's the Roman Empire. And the Roman Empire has existed for 2,500 years off and on. It comes and it goes. And it comes and it goes.
So now let's read what Daniel says about the fourth beast because we're going to have to tie this in and see the similarities between Revelation 13 so that we can understand then the mark of the beast. Here's what Daniel is told. "The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which shall be different than the other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, triplet and break it in pieces." This fourth kingdom is different because it attempts to create a world empire. Okay? Not just a local empire, but a world empire. “The 10 horns are 10 kings, who shall rise from this kingdom, and another shall rise after them and be different than the first ones.” So what we have here are 10 kings, these 10 political powers who are part of this beast, and then there's this 11th, this little horn, this 11th king. But this 11th king is different than these ruling kingdoms. He says this little, "This little Kingdom shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and laws. And the saints shall be given to His hands for a time and times, and half the time."
Daniel was told that the fourth kingdom will include a small horn, another powerful ruler, but it's separate from the other 10. And we realize something. He speaks pompous words against God. You see the fourth kingdom also has something else associated with it. A small little ruler who is a religious leader, he speaks against God. And this religious leader persecutes the saints of God for a time times and half the time. It is commonly accepted the phrase time, times and half a time, through most biblical, almost all biblical commentators understand this means three-and-a-half years.
So when Daniel's vision, the fourth beast is destroyed, when the Kingdom of God is established on earth. If you just read beyond what I just read, it describes how it's destroyed when God's Kingdom is set on this earth. You see a similarity already between what Paul said at 2 Thessalonians, about a man who sits in a temple who is worshipped.
So let's review the main points here of Daniel's beast because then we can use that to understand more when we start to look at Revelation 13. There will be a terrible world empire described as a terrible beast that will arise before the Lord sets up His Kingdom on this earth. The beast will include a little horn. Now this little horn is a religious leader. He's not big like the 10 kings, and he persecutes the saints. We're going to see this over and over again. So remember this. And then both the beast and the small horn will be destroyed at the return of Jesus Christ. And they'll only be in power for three-and-a-half years. When they rise up in the power, they only exist for three-and-a-half years.
So now let's look at the Beast of Revelation 13 where we find the mark of the beast. But right before I go there, we're still going to get there, I want to talk to you about our important study guide that we're offering today. What is, or “Who is the Antichrist?" You know if you're going to resist the mark of the beast you're going to have to recognize the coming antichrist. And this Biblical revelation is really important for your future. If you want to get this, you simply call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv.
How can you avoid this beast? Well first, we must determine who, and what, is the beast and what causes the famous mark. Okay what causes it? Why do you have to have a mark? And many times it's misunderstood. What many people think about the mark of the beast and its purpose is actually misunderstood. So let's go now to Revelation 13. We're finally going to go there and we're going to look at these verses.
And John, the Apostle John receives a vision of a terrible beast coming out of the sea. And this is part of the description. I'm not going to go through every verse here, but this is part of the description. He says, "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. And the dragon," of course, which is Satan, "gave him power, his throne and his great authority." Notice that there's something unique about this beast. He has all the components of Daniel's for a beast. Remember I told you there's a lion, right? Lion, bear, leopard, and then a fourth terrible beast. This beast has all those components. And the reason why is this prophecy is the same as Daniel 7. It's about the fourth beast which is a composite of all those other empires and it comes on the scene and it will be destroyed. If you read through the chapter, it's going to be destroyed by the return of Jesus Christ. So they worship the dragon, which is Satan. And it says, "And they worship the beast saying, ‘Who is like the beast who is able to make war against him?’” But we have to understand here is that the beast is a political power. And here's why. “Who is able to make war against him?” Who's able to stand against him? It's a great military power. And this is very important. The political-military power of the prophetic beast last for how long? Okay. I just read he's a military power. Let me finish here. It says, "And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And he was given authority to continue for 42 months." When this beast comes on the scene, he lasts 42 months. How many years is 42 months? Anybody? Do you know how long 42 months is? Three-and-a-half years. See, it's that same beast. This beast comes on the scene 42 months before Christ returns.
Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 are prophecies about the same evil power that exists before Christ's return. And so we also if you read through this in Revelation 13, it was granted to him to make war against the saints. So he persecutes the saints. Isn't that what Daniel 7's fourth beast did? They both persecute the saints. This beast represents the most powerful political military system the world has ever seen. And it will persecute all who worship the God of the Bible. To understand the continuity between Daniel and Revelation, let's just compare the two very quickly. Both are extension of four great empires, both attempt to try to set up a world-ruling empire. And both persecute God servants. And both last only 42 months or 3.5 years. They're that same thing. Now the prophecy of Daniel also had this little horn, which represented a religious leader. Well how do we understand that in terms of Revelation 13. There's actually a second beast in Revelation 13. We have this political power, this military power, but there's another beast. "And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth who had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon." The second beast looks like a lamb. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. It appears to be Christian, but it speaks the words of Satan. “And he exercises all the authority of the first season beast in his presence and causes the earth and those who dwell on it to worship the first beast. And he performs great signs that he even makes fire come down from heaven, on the earth in the sight of men. And as he sees those who dwell on the earth by those signs, which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the beast, and it is worshiped."
The religious beast causes people to worship the political beast. If we're going to understand the mark of the beast, we have to understand this. And this seems very strange to us. But those who lived when John wrote this at the time of the Roman Empire, this wasn't strange. You see Rome had great religious freedom. The only requirement was you had to give an offering, a sacrifice, no matter what God you worshiped, you had to give it in the name of Caesar. Because Caesar was a divine being, ever worship was woven into the very fabric of the Roman Empire. And images of the Emperors were all over the place. In the future a powerful charismatic political and military leader is going to begin to bring security and order to a chaotic world. And an ecumenical religious leader will make an image of the political beast and through miracles inspire people to worship the beast. Remember in Thessalonians, a man is worshipped in the temple? This man is going to sit in the temple. A temple is going to be built and he's going to sit in it.
Now we have one more prophetic timeline we have to look at in order to really understand this. And I'm going to remind you, who is the Antichrist. You really want to get this. What you need to do is call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv, where you can order a copy or you can download one right into your computer. Now before we finish this, Revelation 13, because we have a little part of it still to look at, we need to look at a few things that happened before the final terrible beast comes into power because we know some things that happened before it comes. And Jesus’s Olivet prophecy, He tells His disciples about events that will happen before His return. And He says there's going to be a series of events called “the beginning of sorrows.” The beginning of sorrows, according to Jesus will be a time of false Christ, continual warfare, famine, disease epidemics, and earthquakes. And that is going to be followed, He said, by intense persecution on his followers. And we've talked about this in "Beyond Today."
You can go to beyondtoday.tv, and see a number of programs on this subject. We also then see a similar description of events in Revelation 6. In Revelation 6, we have what is commonly called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These four horsemen are descriptions of devastating events that include false religion, wars, famines, pandemics. Sound like what Jesus said? They're the same events. But here's what we find out in Revelation 6 - that these events lead to the death of 25% of the world's population. You see these global events are more terrible, more destructive, more terrifying than anything that's happened so far in human history. We also find by the way, in Revelation 6, after 25% of the world's Earth dies, guess what happens? The saints are persecuted. Do you see this? Do you notice this? Every one of these prophecies end up with a global persecution of the saints of God, just before the return of Jesus Christ. And I want to talk about that for a minute. Let's look at the continuity of what we have then and what we've read. What we've been able to see is that in the Olivet prophecy Jesus spoke about the beginning of sorrows, followed by persecution. In Revelation 6 what we have are the four horsemen of the apocalypse, followed by persecution. And what we have in the beast, whether Daniel's beast or beast of Revelation, he says it only lasts 42 months. So the mark of the beast happens 42 months before Jesus comes back. So no, the COVID-19 immunization is not the mark of the beast. Bill Gates isn't the beast. That's been something that's been on the internet. How do we know? Because we know 25% of the world has to die, and then this beast power rises up. And the beast power is the one that requires the mark of the beast.
So in Revelation 13, here's what this religious leader requires. Revelation 13. Because it's the religious leader that requires the mark. He says, "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads.” And that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the, or the name of the, beast or the number of his name. So people receive a mark. What does that mean? Remember it's the religious leader that's causing people to do this. It's a religious leader who is causing everyone to receive this mark. Here's where people get confused about this because of the economic ramifications. If you refuse to receive the mark you can't buy, you can't sell. But remember in order to receive it, you have to do something. You have to worship a man, a beast, as we talk about a person who is revered throughout the world, who performs great miracles, who sits in the temple and claims to be divine and speak as God. The terrible results for those who refuse the mark? You can't buy food, you can't hold down a job, you can't take care of your families. And there is systematic religious persecution and killing of those who refuse the mark. So you start to see why we bring out this point that the mark of the beast, you don't have it yet. You can't. The beast hasn't demanded it yet. It's not going to be done in secret. You're going to know it. Through receiving the mark, you have to make a choice. That's why you need to get this study guide. You need to look...it's a very simple study guide. And when you look through this you'll see the Biblical prophecies of what you must do to avoid the mark of the beast. And there is one chapter here I want to bring to your attention that we didn't cover today. We've done "Beyond Today" programs on this. It's the coming abomination of desolation. That's one of the prophecies you find in Daniel and Revelation.
And Jesus talks about it in the Olivet Prophecy. To understand what's going to happen you need to understand what the abomination of desolation is because it has to do with the rise of this beast. Call the number on your screen, call it right now, or go to beyondtoday.tv where you can read or download your free copy of "Who is the Antichrist?"
Here's how you can make sure that you don't receive the mark of the beast. Okay what is it, I need to know? Well first recognize that the mark of the beast isn't here yet. It's forced on people by a political religious system that arises after the beginning of sorrows, after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, after 25% of the world dies. Think how horrible that's going to be. Those will be the good times compared to what's called the Great Tribulation. And that's what happens when the beast comes into power.
Now understand this. Our second point is the mark of the beast may involve some kind of physical mark, we don't know. You know it may be some kind of chip or something. I don't know. But that's not what's important. The important thing is if you want to resist it, you have to know what it is. And it's not the economic thing you need to zero in on, which is what most people do. You have to zero in on what you will be required to worship. You're going to be required to do a system of worship that sees a person on the earth as a semi divine being, sort of a false Christ. There's going to be a false Christ to worship. When we look at Revelation, Revelation 7, "The saints are sealed by God," it says, "on their foreheads." Remember the mark of the beast is in your hand and on your forehead, on your hand and on your forehead. The seal in this case is receiving of God's indwelling Holy Spirit. In other words, it's a mark of true worship.
God told ancient Israel, and this is a real important verse, He told ancient Israel, that his laws and teachings were to be, read this, “in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes.” On our hands and in our minds, on our foreheads, the saints, and their actions, and their thoughts will be true worshipers of God, and those will be the ones who recognize what the mark is whenever it happens. Because you have God's mark on you.
You see instead of worrying about cell phones, and social security numbers, and vaccines as the mark of the beast, Christians need to make sure that we are humbly worshiping God in a way that is pleasing to Him. Make sure you know and are living by His ways and laws that His ways, His laws are in your hands and in your mind. You need to have faith instead of running around here and there in the confusion that's going to happen in this world. Can you imagine what's going to happen when 25% of the world are dying from wars, and famines, pandemics? Because that's going to happen. And you need to make sure that you have the mark of the blood of Jesus Christ, that you are a Christian. And you'll notice what the mark is, you will know what it is, and you'll know how to resist it because you're a Christian. Not because you have to worry about something that's happening in secret. You need to examine your life in the light of the Word of God and see if His mark, God's mark, is upon you because it's the only way that you're going to be able to recognize and refuse the coming mark of the beast.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free booklet offered on today's program, "Who is the Antichrist?" Bible prophecy shows us that a powerful religious leader called the Antichrist will rise up in the end time. This mysterious figure will deceive the masses and turn people away from the true God. These prophecies of the antichrist have led many to wonder who He is and how He will appear. This free study aid, "Who is the Antichrist," will show you what God's word actually teaches about this vital topic. It will help you know what to watch for as man's age draws to a close and great prophecies unfold. Learn what the Bible says about the coming antichrist. Order now, call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. You don't have to remain in the dark. You can know what lies ahead regarding the coming antichrist. When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine. Beyond Today Magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year, you'll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage, and family, and godly principles to guide you toward a life that leads to peace. Call today to receive your free booklet "Who is the Antichrist?" and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine, 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.