Description: “The Mark of the Beast”
What in the World Is God Doing?
Viewer Screen: What in the World Is God Doing?
Viewer Screen: Islamic Cleric: “The Quran proves that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews.”
In an article written by Aviel Schneider, and recently appearing in Israel Today (Islamic Cleric: “The Quran proves that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews” | Israel Today), a leading member of Pakistan’s National Assembly Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani told the camera. “The house of God was built for the children of Israel and not for the Palestinians.”
The Muslim cleric also states: “Muslim scholars should read the Quran, where Muhammad says to Moses, ‘We gave the land in your name and we gave the land to your people.’ The Quran and history prove to us that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews. King David built the House of God in Jerusalem for the Israelis and not for the Palestinians.”
Eretz Israel means “the land of Israel,” and, by “the House of God,” the cleric means the Jewish temple. Thus, this leading Islamic cleric is proclaiming that Israel and Jerusalem belong to the Jews. This is significant as it appears to prepare for the rebuilding of the temple in Eastern Jerusalem.
Why is this significant? Arab / Muslim acceptance of Jerusalem and Israel belonging to the Jews prepares the way for the seven-year Dan 9:27 treaty which will launch the Tribulation period. (I also believe that the moment that treaty is confirmed is the moment at which the rapture of the Church occurs.) The treaty will include approval for Israel to rebuild the Jewish temple in Eastern Jerusalem.
Who could have seen a change in heart of this magnitude among Arabs even a year ago? Clearly, God is at work preparing the way for end-times prophetic fulfillment of His word!
This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”
What in the Bible Is God Saying?
“The Mark of the Beast”
Viewer Screen: “The Mark of the Beast”
During World War I, the German treasury was low in gold. Its budget was unbalanced. Inflation went sky high.
In 1919, the German mark was worth twenty US cents, or four marks to the dollar. Within four years it plunged in value to equal one million marks to the dollar.
Panic and madness swept the country. People carried suitcases of money to buy a sausage. The mark kept falling in value, and, within three more months, 4.2 trillion marks were needed to equal one dollar in buying power.
The value of every pension was wiped out. All security was gone. Then the people were ready to listen to anyone who could voice their bitterness. Enter Adolph Hitler.
This is not post-World War I Germany, but signs are evident that the stage could be quickly set for the world to receive a man like Adolf Hitler, a man the Bible calls the Antichrist, the False Prophet. That eschatological character will control the global economy, as described in Rev 13:16–17:
Viewer Screen: “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 or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:16-17).
This False Prophet will cause everyone to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. According to verse 12 in the very same chapter, he:
Viewer Screen: “causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast” (Rev 13:12).
The first beast is the one we have been calling the Beast. He is the one who will be given the authority to rule the world for forty-two months (Rev 13:5). This second beast, the False Prophet, will seek to force all humanity to receive the mark of the Beast.
To see the significance of taking the mark of the Beast and its connection to worship of the Beast, let’s look at Revelation 14:9, 11:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, . . . they . . . who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name’ ” (Rev 14:9, 11).
These verses show that receiving the mark of the Beast is connected with worshipping the Beast. Bowing to the physical image of the Beast is one way people will worship the Beast.
The connection between taking the mark of the Beast and worshipping him is also made in 16:2:
Viewer Screen: “So the first [angel] went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image” (Rev 16:2).
This verse describes a specific judgment of God upon those who possess the mark of the beast and who worship his image, indicating that receiving the mark of the Beast is a commitment to, and a form of, worshipping the Beast. Three chapters later, in 19:20, the connection between taking the mark of the Beast and worshipping him is made once again:
Viewer Screen: “. . . the false prophet who worked signs in his [the Beast’s] presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image (Rev 19:20).
Those who receive the mark of the Beast prior to this scene are the same ones who worship his image.
One final example of this connection is found in Revelation 20:4:
Viewer Screen: “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands” (Rev 20:4).
Here the Apostle John describes his vision of those martyred for their faithfulness to Jesus during the Tribulation period being promoted to rule with Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom.
In the verses we have viewed, receiving the mark of the Beast is connected to worshipping the Beast by the word “and.” This connection makes it seem as if the actions are two different and distinct acts. However, in Greek, the language in which the New Testament was originally written, the word “and” can simply be a connector joining two phrases which refer to the same concept. This is how it is used in each of the verses we just saw. Thus, to take the mark of the Beast is to commit to worship him as god.
Those who will vow to worship the Beast are identified in Revelation 13:16 as:
Viewer Screen: “. . . small and great, rich and poor, free and slave” (Rev 13:16).
These phrases emphasize that people of every social class, financial level, and freedom status will take the mark of the Beast.
A powerful motivation for receiving the mark and worshipping the Beast is revealed in v 17:
Viewer Screen: “. . . no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:17).
That is a powerful motivation for anyone who does not have faith in God to provide for their needs. After all, they will not be able to purchase any of the necessities of life such as food and clothing—or anything else. To refuse to worship the Beast will appear to make the choice to starve themselves and their families.
Incredibly, there will be those who choose not to take the mark. Rev 13:8 announces who will receive the mark, and by so doing, who will not:
Viewer Screen: “All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the beast], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).
All who do not believe in Jesus for eternal life will take the mark and worship the Beast. In making that statement, the Apostle John implies that believers in Jesus will not receive the mark.
An even clearer statement about who will not take the mark of the Beast appears in Rev 14:9–11.
Viewer Screen: “ ‘If anyone worships the Beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. 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 ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name’ ” (Rev 14:9-11).
In this passage, the wrath of God and the eternal torment described are two different experiences, though both will be experienced by those receiving the mark of the Beast. The wrath of God is described in the present tense, indicating something experienced during one’s present, mortal life, while the other experience mentioned in Rev 14:9–11 occurs eternally. This means that one who receives the mark of the Beast will undergo God’s temporal judgment during the last half of the tribulation period and will experience eternal torment in the lake of fire.
This shows that all unbelievers will receive the mark of the beast, while no believer in Christ will receive the mark. This is indicated by this declaration: “anyone who worships the beast . . . shall be tormented with fire and brimstone . . . forever and ever.”
The Bible clearly teaches that when one believes in Jesus for eternal life, he or she has eternal life. Because it is eternal, it cannot last merely ten, twenty, or thirty years and then be lost—or it would not be eternal. Therefore, the proclamation of Rev 14—that all who receive the mark of the beast will experience eternal torment—shows that a believer in Jesus will NOT receive the mark of the beast.
How is it that no believer will receive the mark? Of course, faithful believers will choose not to worship the beast. But unfaithful believers—those who might drift from the Lord—could very well be tempted to take the mark. It will take great faith to refuse to take the mark because, humanly speaking, that will seem to mean a certain for them and their families.
Though lukewarm, or even cold, believers will be tempted to receive the mark of the Beast in order to protect themselves and their families. However, God can certainly protect them from taking the mark. For example, He can take their lives before they can take that disastrous step.
It is not unheard of for God to take the lives of unfaithful believers. God did that, for example, in Acts 5 when Ananias and Sapphira lied to God; He also took the lives of the Corinthian believers who got drunk at the Lord’s Supper. In addition, God has warned about this possibility again and again (i.e., Pro 10:27; Ecc 7:17; Ezek 18; etc.) Also, Jesus implied God will take the lives of believers in the last half of the Tribulation period when He declared in Matthew 24:13:
Viewer Screen: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Mt 24:13).
There are two key words that must be understood in this verse in order to grasp what Jesus is saying here. One of those is the word “saved.”
Typically, when Christians see this word, there is a knee-jerk reaction to understand the term as being saved from hell. However, the vast majority of the biblical uses of “save” or “salvation” have nothing to do with salvation from hell. The meaning of this word in Mt 24:13 is revealed just nine verses later in verse 22:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [physically delivered; physically survive]; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened’ ” (Mat 24:22).
Here the word “save” clearly refers to physical deliverance, informing us of the meaning of “saved” in verse 13:
Viewer Screen: “ ‘But he who endures to the end shall be saved’ ” (Mat 24:13).
Thus, the meaning of “save” in verse 13 relates to saving one’s physical life.
The word “endures” in verse 13 is a word that is used in the New Testament of Christians remaining faithful to Christ through difficult times. Of course, the ultimate difficult time for believers will be the last half of the Tribulation period. Therefore, the statement, “he who endures to the end shall be saved,” means this: The Christian who remains faithful to Jesus through the difficulties of the tribulation period is the Christian who will physically survive the tribulation.
This implies that unfaithful believers will not survive the Tribulation period. Since God is in control of life and death, this statement by Jesus further indicates that God will take the lives of unfaithful Christians during the Tribulation period. Though unfaithful believers may be tempted to receive the mark of the Beast, if need be, God will their lives before they can take the mark.
Let’s return to Rev 13:18:
Viewer Scren: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev 13:18).
Many have attempted to identify the Beast by calculating this number, 666. However, that is actually a misguided exercise, as no one will be able to identify this man until he is on the scene as king.
God reveals this number of the mark of the Beast, not to discover his identity. Instead, God is communicating, by the repetition of 666, that the Beast is merely a man. The number 6 is representative of man who was created on the sixth day of creation. Furthermore, while the number 7 is the number of God, the number of perfection, the number 6 falls short of God and his perfection. Hence, the number 6 represents man in two ways—by his creation and by his status before a perfect God. This is why, as announced in this verse, this “is the number of a man.” The repetition of the number 6 emphasizes that, though this man is worshipped by the world as god, he is merely a man. There is only one God, and this man is not He!
As we have seen, this system, represented by the effort to cause all humanity to receive the mark of the Beast, will seemingly make things even more difficult for Jews who believe in Jesus during the Tribulation period. However, it will be extremely important for those Jews to remain faithful to Jesus. We will see that truth demonstrated next time here at End Times Today, when we encounter “The Ten Virgins.”
Questions / Answers
Q: Since the Temple is going to be built in the first half of the Tribulation, HOW could something that massive be completed quickly enough for the Jews to have sacrifices during the first half of the Tribulation? — Diane, Arkansas
A: We don’t know exactly when the temple will be completed, but we do know it will be built within three and a half years, as Dan 9:27 shows that temple sacrifices and offerings will be underway prior to the midpoint of the Tribulation period. I believe Israel has some of the best engineers and builders in the world. In addition, the Jewish nation could recruit and hire the best help to get it done. Furthermore, Israel will be highly motivated to get the temple built as quickly as possible. I believe Israel may be able to build the temple within six months or less. Of course, since God’s word tells us the temple will be built prior to the midpoint of the Tribulation period, we know that will occur.
Does Satan intend to kill ALL new believers…. both Gentile and Jews, or is he only interested in killing Jewish believers~? — Diane, Arkansas
A: Satan is primarily interested in killing Jewish believers. That is because Zech chapters 12-14 reveal that when the last Jews believe in Jesus—at the end of the Tribulation period—they will cry out to the Lord for deliverance; and God will answer by sending Jesus to Israel—to deliver believing Israel and to establish God’s kingdom. Thus, Satan will seek to eliminate believing Jews well before the end of the Tribulation period so they cannot call out to the Lord for deliverance at the end of the Tribulation period. He believes that by accomplishing that, he can prevent Jesus’ return and, in so doing, he can hold onto this world as his kingdom.
Q: Revelation 3:10 seems to indicate there will be a partial rapture of the church for faithful believers rather than a full rapture. Also, Hebrews 11:35 talks about a better resurrection which also seems to indicate only faithful believers will be raptured. How do you interpret these two verses? — Jenna, Michigan
A: Good question, Jenna, but I don’t believe Rev 3:10 refers to the rapture of the Church. Let’s look at the verse:
Viewer Screen: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Rev 3:10).
It is assumed by some that this “trial which shall come upon the whole world” refers to the Tribulation period, but there is no reason to understand it in that way. The Greek word for “world” is used elsewhere in the NT to refer to the area controlled by the Roman Empire (i.e., Acts 17:6; 24:5). In my opinion, it refers to a trial that occurred in the first century within the Roman Empire.
This verse also promises to faithful believers within the church in Sardis that they would be protected from this trial due to their obedience. However, I believe that Scripture teaches that all believers alive at the time of the rapture will be taken by the Lord. First Thess 5:9-10 indicates this truth:
Viewer Screen: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation [deliverance] through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1Th 5:9-10).
After teaching about the rapture in 1 Thess 4:13-18, the Apostle Paul is comforting his Christian readers in these verses by assuring them they will not experience the Tribulation period.
“Wrath” in verse 9 refers to God’s outpouring of wrath in the Tribulation period. We know this, because in the context, Paul identifies the period he is addressing as “the day of the Lord” (v 2), which refers to that particular seven-year period in which God will pour out His wrath upon an unbelieving world. It is also important to note that the term “wrath” is never used in the Bible to refer to hell.)
“Salvation” in verse 9 is the Greek word for “deliverance.” This deliverance refers to being delivered from this eschatological period of wrath. Paul had just described this deliverance in the previous passage (4:13-18) when he described the rapture of the Church.
The terms “wake or sleep” refer to being spiritual alert (faithful to the Lord), or being spiritually lethargic (unfaithful to the Lord). So, allow me to interpret those verses in this way:
Viewer Screen: “For God did not appoint us [the Church] to the period of time [Tribulation period] when He will pour out His wrath upon an unbelieving world, but He has determined for us [the Church] to be delivered from the day of the Lord [Tribulation period] through our Lord Jesus Christ who will deliver us at the rapture of the Church. After all, He died for us so that whether we are faithful to Him or unfaithful, we will be with Him” (1Th 5:9-10).
Thus, ALL believers, whether faithful or unfaithful, will be delivered out of this world prior to the Tribulation period, the period in which God’s wrath will be poured out upon the unbelieving world.
Now let’s look at the other verse you brought up, Heb 11:35:
Viewer Screen: “And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection” (Heb 11:35).
Throughout the book of Hebrews, the author exhorts his Christian readers to faithfully and publicly align with Jesus so they can experience great reward in the kingdom. Throughout Hebrews, the author uses various terms to refer to kingdom reward, such as “reward,” “promise,” “salvation,” “better resurrection.” The “better resurrection” in Heb 11:35 refers to a greater experience in the kingdom as a result of faithfulness. In other words, it portrays greater kingdom reward as a result of living faithfully for Christ.
Neither of those verses teaches a partial rapture. That is because, when the rapture occurs, ALL believers alive at the time will be taken up to Jesus.
Thank you for your questions; and thank you for joining us today at End Times Today. See you next time!