Bible study lesson 17 - Mark of the Beast
Purpose: To show that at the end of time the Mark of the Beast will be Sunday observance.
Theme: At the end of time, Jesus will not let you down.
Bible verses to read:
- Revelation 14:9-11
- Revelation 12:9
- Deuteronomy 6:5-8
- Romans 6:16
- Matthew 4:9-10
- Revelation 13:15-16
- Revelation 14:7
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
- John 17:12
- Revelation 14:9-12
- Revelation 13:15-17
- John 8:33-36
- Mark 8:35
What is the mark of the beast? Is it a number tattooed onto our foreheads? Perhaps a computer chip implanted beneath our skin? Or is it something even more subtle? Let's find out what the Bible says about the mark of the beast together in today's lesson!
Let's turn to Revelation 14:9-11.
According to these verses,what happens to people who receive the mark of the beast?
- Answer (highlight to read): They will receive the wrath of God.
These verses are given as a strong warning against receiving the mark of the beast. Would you like to avoid receiving the mark of the beast?
Symbolic imagery is used in these verses to describe things that will happen literally. In order to avoid the mark of the beast, we need to find out if it is literal or if symbolizes something.
Let's turn to Revelation 12:9.
According to this verse, what did Satan do to the whole world?
- Answer: He deceived the whole world.
Exhibit A - not physical
The world is going to be in a condition that it is unaware of. Could you be unaware of physical mark on your forehead or on your hand? Of course not! If the mark of the beast is a physical mark, then you could not be deceived into receiving it on your forehead or your hand. You would know exactly what you were doing.
Let's turn to Deuteronomy 6:5-8.
- According to these verses, where did God want to put His words?
- Answer: In your heart.
Putting something in your heart meant that it needs to become a part of your life. The attachment as a sign is the same thing. This is not literally writing them out on your hand or on your forehead. In the Bible your hands represent what you do and your head represents what you think. You can read the following verses to help understand this: Exodus 13:16, Deuteronomy 11:18, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Isaiah 59:6-7, and Luke 9:62.
So, what does the mark symbolize?
Let's turn to Romans 6:16.
- According to this verse, how do you became a slave of sin or a slave of righteousness?
- Answer: You become a slave of sin by obeying sin, or a slave of righteousness by obeying righteousness.
Exhibit B - act of obedience
What makes you someone's servant? What can identify or mark you as someone's servant? The answer is by your obedience to that person.
This gives us a principle that was true in the days of Adam, in the days of Jesus, and will be still true till the end of time. What you do alerts others to whom you obey. The physical sign is your active obedience to one or the other and this marks your allegiance to the master you serve. For example, Adam and Eve fell and became slaves to sin by choosing to obey what Satan said instead of obeying what God said about the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Let's turn to Matthew 4:9-10.
According to this verse, what did Satan want Jesus to do?
- Answer: Satan wanted Jesus to worship him.
When Jesus rebuffed Satan's request, Jesus connected worship and service. If Jesus had obeyed Satan's call to worship, He would have become Satan's servant in obedience to that command. If God says to worship in a certain way and Satan says to worship in another way, how you worship will show who you obey and are servant to. If you worship the way Satan says, then you are obeying him.
Let's turn to Revelation 13:15-16.
- According to this verse, what did the image of the beast cause people to receive?
- Answer: He causes everyone to receive mark on their right hand or forehead.
Let's turn to Revelation 14:7.
- According to this verse, what does the angel call out for us to do?
- Answer: The angel is calling on us all to worship God, who created heaven and earth.
Exhibit C - apparently Christian
The first beast is a state that uses the image to force people to worship the beast, hence receiving the mark of the beast. It is a forceful church institution that uses politics to enforce its agenda.God is saying do not worship the beast! Instead worship God as Creator.
Let's turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.
- According to these verses, what will the man of sin try to do?
- Answer: The man of sin will exalt himself as God.
The work of the Antichrist will occur before the Second Coming. Can you fall away from the church if you were not first a member of the church? Paul is talking about an apostasy inside the true church, a "falling away." Falling away is translated from the original Greek word "apostasia", which means divorce. There is going to be a divorce within the church, and as a result of that divorce, the man of sin will be revealed. The Antichrist will not come as someone opposed to faith and the true worship of God. Rather, the Antichrist will seem very religious and spiritual. Now, when he sits inside the temple of God, he will act as an imposter displaying himself as a god in place of God.
The Antichrist is not a violent opposer, but a subtle imposter. The Antichrist must be Christian if he is to come from inside the church. His mark must then be a sign within the Christian faith as a call to some form of Christian worship.
Note that the Antichrist is called the "son of perdition." This phrase was used only other other time in the Bible, and was to describe Judas Iscariot.
Let's turn to John 17:12.
- According to this verse, what did Jesus call Judas Iscariot?
- Answer: The son of perdition.
Here we have a word connection between the antichrist and Judas Iscariot. Judas was a disciple who preached the Word, cast out demons, healed the sick, and when he betrayed Jesus, he did it with a kiss. A kiss is a sign of friendship, and Judas betrays Jesus while pretending to still be a friend.
This word connection is used to show that the Antichrist will have the same characteristics as Judas. Judas was not a violent opposer of Christ. He was an apparent supporter of Christ. Therefore, if the Antichrist is apparently Christian, his mark must also be apparently Christian.
Note that the "anti" in Antichrist does not mean in "opposition to," but rather, it means "in place of."
Let's turn back to Revelation 14:9-12.
- According to these verses, what are two characteristics of the saints?
- Answer: The saints keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.
Exhibit D - contrary to commands
Those who do not receive the mark of the beast are those who keep the commandments of God. This is what the mark is not. Therefore, the mark of the beast must be breaking the commandments of God. If you do not want to receive the mark of the beast, stay faithful to the commandments of God.
Exhibit E - mark of the beast
What is the beast going to get people to do that is not contrary to the commands of God? The beast will try to enforce Sunday worship.
The Papacy is not trying to force to world to bow down to Mary, it is not trying to get the world to pray to bones or to even use a rosary. It is working through the politics of state to enforce Sunday as the day of worship in place of the true Sabbath day of worship as given in the 10 Commandments by God.
Just to be clear, NO ONE has the mark of the beast right now. Sunday worship is an issue, but it is not the sole issue yet. It is only at the end of time when legislation passes to force everyone worship on Sunday instead of the true Sabbath that all Sunday worshipers will receive the mark of the beast.
Let's turn to Revelation 13:15-17.
- According to these verses, what will happen to those who do not have the mark of the beast?
- Answer: They will not be allowed to buy or sell.
Those who want to be faithful to God are going to have to be willing to sacrifice themselves in very significant ways. Buying and selling? When this issue comes to pass at the end of time, it is going to be a life and death decision. If you cannot be faithful now, how will you survive being faithful when there will be serious consequences in the future for being faithful? The trouble that we face now for being faithful is training us to remain faithful in the future.
Jesus was the loneliest man of earth because no one understood Him. Yet, Jesus remained faithful even unto the cross at Calvary. God has lead you this far. He is not going to let you down!
Let's turn to John 18:33-36.
- According to these verses, is Jesus' kingdom of this world?
- Answer: No
Do you want to be a part of Jesus Christ’s kingdom that is not of this world? The beast may take your life in this world, but he cannot take your place in heaven.
This world is not our goal. We are storing up treasures in heaven.
Let's turn to Mark 8:35.
- According to this verse, what happens to those who lose their lives for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel?
- Answer: They will save their lives.
He who seeks to save his own life will lose it. However, he who loses his life in the name of Jesus will find it. God will ultimately reward those who are faithful to Him, even if they don't see the reward in this lifetime. If you are faithful to God, He will reveal Himself and His power in your life.
The decisions you make today turn you into the person that you will be tomorrow. If you continually make the wrong decisions today, then you may turn yourself into someone who is incapable of making the right decisions tomorrow. My friend, I encourage you to make the right decisions today.
At the end of time, we will have to choose a side. Even if you do not make a choice, that is still making a decision. You should choose what is right; not just what is convenient. Make a decision that is not based on what your friends and family think, or what is more comfortable for you. We have to be selfless in our decisions and stand for what is right, regardless of the consequences.
My friend, how will you decide?