The mark of the beast (666) has evaded men's understanding for centuries, as many look for a visible mark to be stamped upon our forehead, or hand, similar to a brand one might find on cattle. However, in our modern world of computers many now believe it will be some kind of computer bar code, like we find on the products we purchase in the stores. Such a control code would surely require a visible mark as many believe the Bible indicates.
However, these techniques have already becoming obsolete in our modern world of technology because we now have scanners that can instantly read the pupils in our eyes, or the actual composition of our skin. Bar codes can be easily changed or duplicated, but it is not so easy to change the eyes, fingerprints, or texture of our skin. There are also small transponders that can be placed underneath our skin at birth, which could be read from a distance as we pass by. Such transponders are already being used to identify dogs and other pedigree animals, but they too can be easily switched, modified, or destroyed. If such a mark is to be used, I think it will have to be something more durable, but the biggest question to me is why would the Father be so against us having such an identification mark, what is the difference between a tiny mark, and our written names? Both can identify us to the world around us.
I personally believe the answer is found in the fact that the scriptures are not referring to a visible identification mark at all. I believe the mark is already in place, and we cannot see it because we have been blinded by Satan's evil deception. If we could see the true mark, perhaps we would repent and Satan would lose the battle. Satan is using all of our modern computer technology to mislead us and to prevent us from seeing the real mark of the evil beast, which was foretold in Revelation 13. The mark of the beast (666), now stand strong and clear for all to see, but why can't we see or understand the mark which identifies our soul? Satan has slowly hid it from our view so we would not see the evil that has ruled the lives of mankind for centuries? Look into your mirrors closely and ask yourself, who is this reflection we see looking back at us so innocently in our mirror, could that image already have the mark of the beast? Perhaps we need some help to see if the mark already rules our lives, so let us look again at the scripture's warning. Here is the mystery, let them that have ears hear and understand. Remember that the "he" in verse 16 is Satan himself, the great deceiver. The key word is "deceiver".
(16) And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: (17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Also note the use of the word "or" which tells us there are three difference possibilities, the mark, or the number, or the name. These words require us to look within ourselves to find the meaning, because it is not an external or physical marking as many have believed. It is also not some kind of computer bar code that can be seen with the human eye, or with some kind of computer scanner. The mark is to be found upon our hearts telling us exactly who we are in the sight of the Father. It is an inner marking just like the one described more clearly in the first verse of the following chapter of the Revelation.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Again the scriptures speak about a marking of the forehead, but I think it is plain in Revelation 14:1, that the Father's name will not be written in some kind of human language externally across the heard of those described above. I believe the verse is saying the name will be carved into their soul where God sees and knows their every thought. The one hundred and forty four thousand will be totally committed to the Father, willing to stand humbly before their Lord and King, but they will not bow to earthly idols, or evil, and Christ will be the only Lord in their hearts. It is the love of Christ, which rules their every thought (forehead). Their entire lives are bound around their love for the Father, and His only begotten Son.
It is also an inner marking of the beast which will identify those referred to in Revelation 13:16, and each of us must look into our own hearts to see the mark which God sees. If we are to understand Revelation, Chapter 13, we must understand exactly what the mark is referring to, because it identifies the characteristic of the worldly man, not the child of God. It describes those who are the opposite of the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14:1. Their thoughts will not be of the kingdom of heaven (forehead), and the deeds of their "hands" will not glorify the Father. The mark of the worldly man is best seen in what the scriptures tell us is the root of all evil, as described for us in 1st Timothy;
1 Timothy 6:10-11;
(10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
In Revelation 13:16-17, it is easy to understand that we cannot buy or sell without currency, or money, in today's capitalistic world. Even the word "capitalistic" is an abomination in the sight of the Father, it is the opposite of all that the Father stands for, just as the 144,000 will have the love for others ruling their hearts, not the greed of a self centered person. Today we buy things with cash money in our hand, or on credit, which is to placed the debt upon our head for later payment, just as the words in Revelation 13:16-17 foretold. . The poor and the rich are the same, in how money rules their lives. Many pastors today are quick to point out that it is the "love of money", which is the root of all evil, and not money itself. I think many such are misguided and hide their own failures behind such legalisms to justify their own position and desires. It is the love of money that gives money its value and power, without which it is useless paper.
I can't begin to count the many times I have seen and heard of people rejecting the family of Christ because all they see and hear in our Christian services is the endless request for more money. It seems we think we can pay someone else to go and do our work, we can pay someone else to tell others about Jesus for us, we can pay someone else to sing for us, we can pay someone else to preach for us, and we can pay someone else to die for us. Even Christ had to do these things Himself, but His only currency was love. We find solos in paying someone else to pray our prayers, and to lay down their lives in our place. Yet we forget it was just such a situation that brought anger to our Lord Jesus when he saw the moneychangers within the temple who were selling sacrificial offerings to those who thought they could buy their way into heaven. How can one purchase a sacrifice with paper, unless money is the only value which rules our souls? Our great sacrifice is to give up some of our useless paper money. The truth is there within our hearts, but will we accept it? Paper cannot replace blood or true love. True love is a personal thing, and can only be personally given.
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
As I said before, I don't believe the number is some kind of external branding, but is an internal branding of the spirit. The number 666 has long had evil meanings in the realm of astrology, and men of the last days will look to the stars for their creation. It is the "big bang" theory which rules, not the creative power of God. I think there is a simpler way to understand how God sees the evil image of the beast, or animal that is carved upon the hearts of those in the last days. The first man was created on the sixth day, and I believe the number 6 represents the human animal, or "beast", with all our lusts and self-pride. In the later days, man will think himself equal to God the Father (6), God the Son (6), and God the Holy Spirit (6). In the later day's man will think himself to be equal with God, in all His wisdom and creative power (666). Man will marvel at his own accomplishments, and will say in his heart, "who is greater than me". But how pitifully ignorant the beast really is.
Brothers and sisters in Christ we must look hard into our own souls and ask ourselves what is really most important to us, and who or what do we truly love? Show me where you spend most of your time and what are the desires of your heart, and I will tell you which mark is carved upon your soul. Is it the mark of the 144,000, or is it the mark of the greedy human beast? Who rules our souls, the human beast, or the loving spirit of Christ living within us? Where is our true God, in our own hands, or are we in His hands? Where is our faith, in the power of human technology, or in the power of God's word? What are we living for, our own human desires, or for the love of the Christ who loved us enough to die for us? In His death, He showed us how to live. Or do we pray to the stock market, and worship it as though it will last longer than our last breath? Do we see the things we own as having some kind of lasting value, something to be proud of, and forget that our last shirt has no pockets?
If we truly believe without a doubt that there is a God, then when we stand before Him what is going to be important at that moment? All those things we let rule our soul, or our simple love for the Father and His children? The mark of the beast can be erased, but it is up to us to choose which mark defines our eternal souls. Is it the love of money, or our love for the Christ and His sheep? It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Where is our treasure?
If one truly knows there is a tomorrow, then one should prepare for its coming. Let Christ rule your heart, not earthly things.
Lord have mercy on us all, but for the grace of Jesus Christ we would all be lost!-