Scripture Reading: Revelation 13:11-18

“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.” (Revelation 13:16,17)

The mark of the beast was to be placed without discrimination upon those who worshiped the beast. This mark is said to consist of a number — “the number of a man, and his number is 666” (v. 18).

What is this mark? Some try to solve the puzzle by using gematria (the study of the numerical value of people’s names, a value which is figured by ascribing a numerical value to each letter in the alphabet, usually using the Greek or Hebrew alphabet, and then totally the number of all letters). Others say it is a social security number or an embedded chip.

However, remember that Satan is the master counterfeiter. In Revelation 7 we found that the seal of God is applied to the foreheads of His people. This mark of God upon their foreheads is a spiritual seal, signifying ownership through our union with Christ. Now in Revelation 13, we find the counterfeit of God’s seal. Like the seal of God, the mark of the beast is an invisible sign that signifies ownership. Those who bear the mark of the beast belong to him and live according to the rules of his world system.

Those of us without the mark of the beast, who refuse to submit our minds to the programming of the world, will find it difficult “to buy and sell,” that is, to interact with the beast’s ways of carrying out life day to day. You may have already experienced such a thing. You refused to compromise and didn’t get a promotion. You openly spoke of your faith in Jesus Christ and were reprimanded for it.

We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of God. We belong to Him and we will be protected by Him. We have nothing to fear. However, we must expect that we will face times of difficulty because of our faith. But remember, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Lord Jesus, give me grace to live out my faith in this hostile world. Enable me to remain faithful to You and keep me from compromising what I know is right and true. Thank You for leading, protecting, and strengthening me as I seek to live my life to bring glory to You.


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