Updated: Sep 1
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead.
I find it amazing to learn how professing Christians believe that the mark of the beast was, or is going to be, implanted in them by a vaccine, they will be forced to take the mark of the beast by the government, and so forth. Such a belief is based on fear, not on Biblical truth.
If you are a true believer, you have not received the mark of the beast, nor will you ever receive the mark of the beast. Before going on, I need to set the record straight on past and future prophecy.
Daniel's Prophecy of the Seventy-Weeks
The prophet Daniel was given this prophecy by the archangel Gabriel in 539 B.C., toward the end of Israel's seventy years of exile in Babylon. While Daniel was speaking and praying, and confessing his sin and the sin of his people Israel (Daniel 9:22), the archangel Gabriel came to him and said (Daniel 9:24–27) the following:
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
A week is a period of time consisting of seven days or seven years, depending on the scriptural context. In Genesis 29:27, a week is seven years - “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” It is clear from Daniel 9:24-27 that a week is seven years. The fulfillment of the first sixty-nine weeks of this prophecy supports this.
It is of vital importance to understand that the seventy-weeks (490 years) of this prophecy was, and still is, decreed for Daniel's people (Israel) and his holy city (Jerusalem). It was not decreed for the church which was instituted on the day of Pentecost in A.D. 33 (Acts 2).
The first sixty-nine weeks began in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year (444 B.C.) of King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:1). The king issued a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me (Nehemiah) timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I (Nehemiah) will go” (Nehemiah 2:8). This letter is the fulfillment of the first part of Daniel 9:25 (the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem).
Daniel 9:25 mentions two periods: seven weeks (49 years) and sixty-two weeks (434 years). The sixty-two weeks ended in the month of Nisan, 33 A.D. when Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Luke 19:36-38). This was the official entry of Israel's much awaited Messiah into Jerusalem. Their king has finally arrived! This is the fulfillment of the second part of Daniel 9:25 (until Messiah the Prince), completing the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel's prophetic timeline.
Jesus was crucified four days later (Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing - Daniel 9:26). The temple and Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70 (and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary - Daniel 9:26).
The first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel's prophecy have been fulfilled. The last week of this prophecy is still to come and will be fulfilled.
The Seventieth Week and the Great Tribulation Period
God is not done with Israel. The church did not replace Israel. God promised His people Israel land (the Abrahamic Covenant - Genesis 15:18-21)) and a king (the Davidic Covenant - 2 Samuel 7:8-17).
1 Kings 6:13 - “I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”
1 Samuel 12:22 - For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.
Psalm 94:14 - For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
Romans 11:1-2 - I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.
Later in Romans 11, the apostle Paul wrote, For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:25-26). Regardless of their rejection of Jesus as their promised Messiah, God did not reject Israel. The people of Israel will not see Him again until the time comes when they say, "BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD" (Luke 13:35). But first they must go through the great tribulation period (Matthew 24:15-28) - the final seven-years of Daniel's seventy-week prophecy that is decreed for Israel and Jerusalem.
The First Half of the Seventieth Week
The final seventieth week will be divided into two 3-1/2 year periods. The ruler who makes a firm covenant with Israel during the first half will allow sacrifice and grain offerings (Daniel 9:27). There will be a temple in place which does not yet exist.
Revelation 11:1-2 - Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, “Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months."
Forty-two months is 3-1/2 years. During this time, God will grant authority to His two witnesses who will prophecy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth (Revelation 11:3). Twelve hundred and sixty days is forty-two Jewish calendar months (an average of 29-1/2 days per month).
Revelation 11:7 - When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
The people will rejoice over the death of the two witnesses. They will not allow their dead bodies to be placed in a tomb. The two-witnesses will be raised to life three and a half days later and taken to heaven in a cloud (Revelation 11:8-12). This will conclude the first half of the seventieth week.
The Second Half of the Seventieth Week
But in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate (Daniel 9:27). Jesus gave this warning in Matthew 24:15-16 - Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Paul declared that this world ruler is the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). The prophet Daniel wrote, He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (Daniel 7:25). Time, times, and half a time is understood to be three and a half years.
The beast that comes out of the sea will be given authority by the dragon (Satan - Revelation 12:9) to act for forty-two months. He will speak blasphemies against God, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven (Revelation 13:5-6). The beast that comes out of the earth will exercise all the authority of the first beast, and will make everyone on the earth worship the first beast (Revelation 13:11-12). This beast will cause all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name (Revelation 13:16-17).
Receiving the mark of the beast will be a voluntary act of worship to the beast.
Revelation 14:9-10 - Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Those who do not receive the mark of the beast will be martyred and will reign with Christ for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4 - Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Those in the body of Christ (the church - Colossians 1:18, 24) during this current age will be raptured (caught up) to be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) before the start of the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy or prior to the second half of this final week of history as we know it. We will not be here when the beast sits in the temple and causes everyone to worship him and receive his mark. Those who come to faith in Christ during this final week will recognize who this beast is and will refuse to receive his mark. They will be martyred and will reign with Christ for a thousand years.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture cited in this post is taken from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update.