Mark of Beast
Buying & Selling
Mark of Self – the one you don’t want
Revelation 13:17 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. 18 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.
Mark of God – the One you want
Ezekiel 9:4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
The other day at the gym, I saw a man with a tattoo on his forearm of a bar code with the words “Made in Rio” above it. It struck me, the mark we bear reflects by whom we are made, thus by what we are made of? The man with the tattoo was “made in Rio” – a part of that heritage, culture, beliefs, and family. Each of us is a part of one of two entities made up of a heritage, beliefs, and family …
Ultimately, there are two options by which you can “be made of”; self or God. There is no neutral ground. Either you are made of God or made of self, which is under the sway of “evil” (what is contrary to love) because it is counter to God. 1 John 5:19 What we are made of starts in our minds and in our wills – that is why the mark is on the head (mind) or on the hand (will). Revelation 13:16
Which mark do you bear? Take time to contemplate this question in the light of Truth. Many are deceived in thinking they bear the mark of God when it’s truly of self; for that is what deception is.
What makes up your thoughts? What do you meditate on? Ideas of people, religion, or philosophies of this world? In what do you really trust? What do your actions show?
Have you experienced a renewal of your mind, a mind transformed from seeking your will to God’s will? To be spiritually minded instead of carnally minded?
Whose will do you truly desire to do? Yours or God’s? Do you desire to do what you think God wants or do you spend time daily with Him to truly know Him and His will so you can walk in it?
Who do you serve truly?
To have the mark of man is to strive to serve this life. It means you live by the wisdom of the world. You trust this wisdom fulfill your desires and purposes. You try to be the best in and of this world. Your mind is filled with thoughts and beliefs of people, institutions, etc. It’s ultimately about serving you; of course this can wear many disguises because to outwardly do so would be “selfish”. But that is at its core. You know best. The world tells you if you don’t live according to its wisdom, then you won’t advance. You can’t “buy and sell” unless you follow its protocol, bear its mark, own its philosophies and follow them, that is the only way you’ll advance to becoming to who you want to be, which will ultimately fulfill you and be good, of course.
Let’s dig a bit deeper. You feel you strive to do what is right and good. Even if you are oriented to be a good person isn’t that really serving your own need to be good and feel justified? Jesus said only God is good. Luke 18:19 So why do people strive for to be good outside of God? Possibly it makes us believe there is a change. We are different. We are special. We will be in God’s good graces, though we aren’t seeking His goodness. The only true transformation comes by the hand of God and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. It isn’t about our efforts but Him living and working through us. Many will be surprised in the end to see that they were really serving self, or the image of God constructed by self, but not God. They haven’t sought God to know Him to truly follow Him. How can you follow who you don’t know?
To be truly born again from above and to have a transformed mind is to “be made of” God. It means you have sought the truth to the extent to make a choice between self or God. Only the truth dispelling the lies of this world enables you to see past the deception the self will for what it is, death and destruction. With the knowledge of the truth of God and His ways, you let self go (true repentance) to follow God’s ways that bring peace, love, joy, rest, and life. Bearing God’s mark means you seek to live with God as Lord of your life, not you. Therefore, you seek to know God, know His ways and seek His counsel in all areas so you can walk in it. He is your first love. You meditate on the things of God. You want to advance and grow in the wisdom of God, not man, therefore you spend time seeking God’s wisdom not man’s. To seek God, to know, trust and live in and by Him is to be made of God.
Who owns you truly? Do you feel like a slave to this life? To the things of this life? How much time do you spend seeking God? How are you trying to advance in your life? All these things tell you who you are really serving, thus what mark you truly bear.
When we look to the entire Word of God and not just one verse, the mark of the beast appears to be the one who has left their imprint or mark on our beliefs.
Corinthians 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
I was meditating on the above verses. What is sealing? How does it relate to the mark? This is what I’ve been exploring . . .
It seems receiving a mark is being sealed and sealing is related to our beliefs. First, the mark can be for good or evil.
Revelation 7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
Ezekiel 9:3-4 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Revelation 13:16-17 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, 17 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.
How we are marked depends on what/who we trust in. Our faith is either built on man’s ways or God’s. If we trust in Jesus Christ, if He is Lord of our lives and our only hope for salvation and sanctification then we are sealed in Him. Along with the illustration of having the seal of a king, I was thinking that being sealed is also like sealing up a jar of preserves (I know, but stay with me), the freshness is maintained so it isn’t ruined. When we are sealed in the truth we are preserved in Christ and can’t be corrupted. We are shut in, preserved and maintained by our faith alone. Sealing or having His mark means God’s truth is written on our minds (foreheads) and hearts. It is the truth we live by, therefore what we trust.
The guarantee that we have been sealed is the Holy Spirit abiding within us. When we have His Spirit, our desires become His desires. We long to know and follow His will and that desire testifies that we are His. 1 John 3:24
If we receive the mark of the beast, name or number, then we are sealed for corruption in its truth. The beast’s number is 666, the number of man. Rev. 13:18 Those bearing this mark are simply those who trust in man’s ways.
Ezekiel 9:6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple.
Those in His sanctuary bearing His name, yet having a foundation of trust in the religious systems and religious men don’t have the mark of God and as the next verses tell will enter into judgment for following man’s wisdom instead of God’s. Ezekiel 9
This life is all about what we believe, what and who we truly trust in. That faith is the foundation of the Christian walk, not works or anything else. Without faith in God we have nothing. He is our first love, our source of truth, and our life, we either live by His truth or this worlds. Whichever truth we trust is the one we are marked with.