The other day I posted something on Facebook that created some disagreement and some good questions. You know, when people question me, it usually has the effect of causing me to dig deeper in what I believe. I think that is a good thing!
One of the questions asked of me was about the Mark of the Beast. People questioned me on how what I had posted fit in with the Mark of the Beast. So often we have set doctrines about things that are based on our thoughts on a subject or by what we have been previously taught. As I dug into the Mark more I soon discovered that I really didn't fully understand it myself so I began to use some of my 4 Rules of Proper Bible Interpretation on the subject and was amazed as to what I discovered. The 2 Rules that seemed to apply were Rule #2: Context and Rule #3: Don't make doctrine from obscure, stand alone verses. However, before we go much further, for the sake of context, how about taking the time to read for yourself Revelation Chapter 13. If you are like me, you haven't read these verses in a very long time.
OK, now that you've read the chapter here are a few thoughts and questions:
1. Please note that the Mark of the Beast is only found in this chapter of the Book of revelation. Nothing is mentioned about it by any other writer of the New Testament. So, the info about the Mark is obscure, stand alone material. Now, I'm not in anyway doubting or placing doubt on John's revelation! Please understand this! However, I do find it interesting that Paul, especially Paul, as the bringer of New Covenant Grace into the Church in the day did not mention any of this material in anything he wrote in any of his letters. Remember it was Paul that spend 3 years with Christ in Arabia being taught the things that were of great importance to those of us living the New Covenant life!
2. In John's vision we see two people groups mentioned, "The world" and "God's holy people." In our effort to comprehend insight into the Mark of the Beast is is vital to understand this! Right now, it might be worthwhile for you to re-read chapter 13 and take note of these two groups and examine what happens to them and and the results.
3. Question: What do the people of the "world" do? They worship the Dragon and the Beast. (v. 8a)
4. Question: Who are the people of the "world?" "They are the ones whose names WERE NOT written in the Book of Life." (v. 8b)
5. Question: What happens to "God's holy people?" They suffer great persecution and must endure! (v. 9-10)
6. Question: Which group of people will suffer great deception during this time? The "World." (v. 12-13)
7. Question: Who then will be taking the Mark of the Beast? Those who have been deceived, reading in context from verse 15. (v. 16)
Therefore, based on my understanding of Revelation chapter 13, it is my belief that the Mark of the Beast will not be an issue to those who are truly "God's holy people."
I trust that this Blog post gives you a little clearer understanding on this subject and allows you to come up with your own conclusions on the subject.
Grace and peace!