Mark of the Beast


The mark of the best is far more uplifting than the mark of the beast.

If you’re an evangelical you may be wondering why SDAs interpret the mark of the beast to mean enforced Sunday worship in the end times.

With Ben Carson’s run for the Presidency, you’re going to see a lot of skewed reporting on the mark of the beast.

Here’s a nutshell explanation:

1. ‘Mark’ in Rev 13:16 is ‘charagma’. It means authority, stamp, endorsement, character. (It cannot mean tattoo, microchip implant or physical mark on body – that word is ‘stigmata’).

2. “Receive a mark in right hand or on forehead” comes from Deut 6:8 where it very obviously refers to the Ten Commandments. This is also obvious from the context of Rev 13 – commandment keeping is referred to in 12:17 and 14:12 – and also 22:14 (KJV). This cluster of context legitimises the SDA view that ‘mark of the beast’ is a perversion of one of God’s commandments.

3. The beast’s global behaviors in Rev 13:4-16 violate the first four of the Ten Commandments.

Please note:

(i) “worshiping beast, worshiping dragon, all the world worship him” (Rev 13: 4, 8) violates the 1st commandment of no other gods before Me.

(ii) “causing as many as would not worship the image of the beast” (Rev 13:15) violates the 2nd commandment of no graven images

(iii) a “mouth speaking blasphemies against God”. (Rev 13:5, 6) violates the 3rd commandment not to take God’s name in vain.

(iv) if the sequence of (i) to (iii) is correct, then “causing all to receive a mark in their right hand or forehead” (Rev 13: 16) violates the 4th commandment – the Sabbath commandment.

4. In Rev 13:16 and Rev 14:9 (i) “mark on forehead” (Rev 13:16; 14:9) is contrasted with (ii) 144,000 have “Father’s name on forehead” (compare Rev 22:4) described in Rev 7:3-4 as “sealed”. Those sealed in contrast with those who receive the beast’s mark, have God’s name which means they reveal God’s character (‘charagma’). Those who have the Father’s name are those who keep God’s Commandments. This makes sense because God’s Commandments reveal His character.

5. The Sabbath/Sunday issue is not about splitting hairs over a day but about whose character (‘chargma’) and authority is ultimately valued above the other. That’s the key issue. The Sabbath or Sunday choice is merely an outward badge of whose side we’re on when the issue is legislated in the end times.

6. The 7th day Sabbath is a sign between God and His people of sanctification. (Ex 31:13; Ezek 20:12, 20). Willingly receiving the beast’s mark is a sign of loyalty to the end time political/ecclesiastical beast power. See Rev 13:4.

7. Rev 13: 14 is an obvious allusion to Daniel 3 in which a political leader (Babylon’s leader) issued a civil law to worship an image whose measurements were 666 (Dan 3:1). The law was universal (Dan 3:2), it was concerned with forced worship (Dan 3:4) and a death threat applied (Dan 3:6) – compare death threat in Rev 13: 15. Jesus legitimised the study of Daniel to end time events (Matt 24:15). Revelation is impossible to decipher without the Old Testament and Daniel in particular.

8. No one today has the mark of the beast. When Sunday rest/worship is enforced by civil law to replace the Bible Sabbath (God’s law), then when a person wilfully chooses to break God’s Sabbath law in favor of a man-made Sunday law – only then does such a person receive the mark of the beast – the admitted ‘mark of authority’ of the Roman Catholic Church.

9. In Rev 14:6-12 an end-time religious movement is described. It comes on the scene just before Jesus returns (verse 14). One of the identifiers of this group is a call to honor the Sabbath. This is clear from 14:7 where the identical language is used as in Exodus 20:11. The expression “keep His commandments and the faith of Jesus” is again used as a descriptor of those in that movement, similar language used of the persecuted group described in 12:15-17.


Study by Herb Kersten

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