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The Mark of the Beast


“He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark [The Greek word for “mark” is charagma. It means an etching or an engraving, a tattoo] on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” (Revelation 13:16-18, italics and insertions mine)


Comment:   The Bible says the mark of the beast will consist of two different etchings (or tattoos). One etching is the name of the lamb-like beast and the other, the number of his name. The first tattoo will be engraved on the foreheads of Lucifer’s lieutenants. This etching will be a show of rank. This tattoo will be the name that Lucifer uses after he is released from the Abyss. (Lucifer’s assumed name is unknown at this time. Incidentally, Jesus will assume a new name at the Second Coming that is also unknown at this time. Revelation 19:12) The second tattoo will be the number of the lamb-like beast’s name, which is the number, 666. This tattoo will be etched on the right hand of everyone who swears allegiance to “Almighty God” (Lucifer).


For 2,000 years, Bible students have tried to determine the identity of the Antichrist by mathematically translating various names into the number 666. For example, early Christians translated the names of different Caesars using Roman numerals. (Remember, the Roman Caesars severely persecuted the Christians, and therefore, they reasoned that one Caesar might be the “Antichrist.”) The process of translation is simple. Each letter in a name is translated into a Roman numeral. The numerals are added together, and any name whose sum is 666 could be the dreaded Antichrist! (The problem with this process is that there are several specifications in Revelation 13:11-18 that must be fulfilled before the identity of the Antichrist can be accurately determined.) During the Dark Ages, Protestants used the Roman numeral technique on various names and titles of popes. After the fatal wound was inflicted in 1798, Protestants began looking at other names, but I believe these endeavors were totally misguided. Here is why:


Before the number 666 can be calculated, the identity of the beast has to be determined. At this point in our study, we know that the beast who rises out of the bottomless pit in Revelation 13:11 is Lucifer in human form! The devil himself is the Antichrist. He was the first angel to take a position against Jesus before the was created and he will be the last angel to die when the world is cleansed by fire. When Lucifer appears at the fifth trumpet, he will have power and miracle working abilities that dwarfs human beings. He will descend from the sky with 200,000,000 angels, and as needed, he will call down fire from Heaven to prove his assumed divinity. The Bible says he will deceive the inhabitants of Earth. The mark of the devil, literally, “the etching of Lucifer,” will be a tattoo on the right hand or the forehead!”


Four Prerequisites Are Necessary    

A proper understanding of the mark of the beast requires four prerequisites. First, to understand that at the sixth trumpet, three groups of people will live on Earth. Second, to understand God’s use of “thirds,” and fourth, to understand the identity of the lamb-like beast. With these four elements in mind, let us briefly consider these four prerequisites. The first prerequisite is understanding that three groups of people will live on Earth when the mark of the beast is implemented. They are: 


  1. The saints: These people have surrendered to the gospel of Jesus and have been sealed.


  1. The religious wicked: These people have a form of godliness, but have refused the gospel of Jesus, and rather than living by faith, they have submitted to Babylon’s authority.


  1. The non-religious wicked: These people have refused the gospel of Jesus and the authority of Babylon. They want nothing to do with religion. 


The Second Prerequisite


The second prerequisite for understanding the mark of the beast is an understanding of the fifth and sixth trumpets. Since we have examined the seven trumpets in an earlier chapter, two short summary statements about them should suffice:


  1. The fifth trumpet occurs when two-thirds of the time allotted for the Great Tribulation ends. At this point in time, the advancement of the gospel of Jesus will come to a standstill. Almost everyone will have taken a position for or against the gospel of Jesus. Jesus releases Lucifer from the Abyss to apply pressure on the wicked. The devil will force people into making their final decision. The devil’s demons will inflict searing pain on those who refuse to confess that the devil is God. (Note: The devil’s angels are not allowed to harm those who have the seal of God during the fifth trumpet. Jesus hopes the non-religious wicked will notice this protection and turn from their rebellion and embrace His gospel.) 


  1. The sixth trumpet will be a great war lasting approximately seven months and the death toll will be 1.75 billion people (currently a third of mankind). Lucifer will initiate this war when he establishes his theocracy and rules over Earth as Almighty God. The devil will purge his kingdom of “unbelievers.” Millions of saints and most, if not all, of the 144,000 will die during this purge. Hundreds of millions of non-religious wicked will also perish because Lucifer’s ultimate purpose for the purge will be to eliminate opposition. He intends to rule as lord of lords and king of kings, and no one will be able to resist him.



The Third Prerequisite


The third prerequisite for understanding the mark of the beast involves God’s use of thirds. This is a critical matter. In ancient times, when total destruction was justified, a generous king might spare a third of his enemies if he thought there was redemptive value. Please consider the following examples:


  1. “David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought tribute. (2 Samuel 8:2, italics mine) David generously spared one-third of the Moabites because he knew the survivors would gladly pay their taxes, and as their nation grew, so would the tax revenue. David spared a third because he saw redemptive value.


  1. “Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your vile images and detestable practices, I myself will withdraw my favor; I will not look on you with pity or spare you. A third of your people will die of the plague or perish by famine inside you; a third will fall by the sword outside your walls; and a third I will scatter to the winds and pursue with drawn sword.” (Ezekiel 5:11,12) God destroyed two-thirds of Israel and spared a third of His people from Nebuchadnezzar because He saw redemptive value!


  1. “’In the whole land,’ declares the Lord, ‘two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call upon my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’’ ” (Zechariah 13:8,9) Again, God destroyed two-thirds and spared one-third because He saw redemptive value!


  1. “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.” (Revelation 12:4) This text refers to God’s patience with Lucifer. God cast Lucifer out of Heaven when his deception corrupted one-third of Heaven’s angels. God spared two-thirds of the angels, but cast out a third.


  1. “… A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up… A third of the sea turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed…. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” (Revelation 8:7-9,11) There are twelve instances in Revelation mentioning one-third being destroyed and two-thirds being spared during the seven trumpets. Did you notice that instead of destroying two-thirds, one-third is destroyed! The destruction of one-third proves two things.

First, Jesus is a double generous King! Jesus would have been justified if He destroyed two-thirds. Second, Jesus is on a mission to save souls even as God’s wrath is being poured out. He sees a great deal of redemptive value in mankind and He spares two-thirds so that He might save as many people as possible.


  1. “And the four angels who have been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.” (Revelation 9:15) Jesus will permit Lucifer to kill a third of mankind when he sets up his theocracy. Jesus will not let the devil go one step further. Lucifer will be permitted to purge his kingdom of his opposition.  Of course, he will not kill all of the saints, but he will kill a definite number. (Revelation 6:9-11)


Synthesis:   We have seen in the six passages that God’s use of one-third and two-thirds is not random. God is deliberate and purposeful in everything He does. The number 666 is not a random number. In fact, 666 is precisely two-thirds of 999. Consider this: When the sixth trumpet occurs, I believe Lucifer will divide the people of Earth into groups of 1,000 for purposes of logistics, rations, and administrative control. This is a common technique used for crowd control in a crisis. Moreover, there is a biblical precedent for dividing people into groups of 1,000. Moses divided the Israelites into groups of 1,000 while in the wilderness: “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. He chose capable men from all over Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.”  (Exodus 18:24-26)


There are several references in the Bible showing that people were commonly grouped into units of 1,000. (See Numbers 31:48-54, Deuteronomy 1:15, 1 Samuel 22:7, and 1 Chronicles 27:1.)  If this arrangement worked well in ancient times, it will work very well during primitive circumstances of the Great Tribulation. There will be no computers, telephones, or electronic devices with which to manage the needs of the people because electricity will not exist. The first four trumpets will have destroyed the world’s infrastructure. Dividing people into small groups of 1,000 has proven to be simple and effective way to manage people throughout history and it will prove to be an effective tool when Lucifer establishes his theocracy.


The Fourth Prerequisite


We know at this point in our study that the lamb-like beast is Lucifer in human form. This fact is crucial because the beast that owns the mark is Lucifer. Remember, the Greek word for “mark” is charagma and it means an “etching” or “engraving.” Lucifer will require a charagma on the right hand of every wicked person and this charagma must be visibly shown in order to buy and sell. This etching will be non-removable, non-transferable, and non-losable. It will be a tattoo on the right hand. (Note: A tattoo is a charagma. A story that runs parallel to the mark of the beast is told in Ezekiel 9. Although this story did not actually take place, the concept of separating people according to a mark (etching) was presented to Ezekiel in a vision.)

Consider this possible scenario: When Lucifer abolishes the religious systems of the world; he will set up ten kings. These kings will do whatever the devil wants.

(Revelation 17:13) The devil will divide the people of Earth into groups of 1,000 and one person from each group of 1,000 will be the chosen as the leader. He will report to his respective king. This will leave 999 people in each group. The devil will tell the world that 666 people in each group will be permitted to live and participate in his theocracy. Therefore, if a person wishes to avoid death, he must come forward by a predetermined date, swear allegiance and loyalty to the devil and his government, and receive a tattoo on the right hand showing the number 666. Only the first 666 people of each group of 1,000 who come forward and voluntarily receive the mark will be spared. This tattoo will separate Lucifer’s opposition from those willing to serve as devoted subjects. Most people will consider this the good news (if there is any in this), because it means that two-thirds of each group will be spared! This decree will force the wicked to make their final decision. Many will rush to receive the tattoo because they know that each group will be limited to 666 survivors. This process explains why Lucifer’s theocracy is called “the great whore” in Revelation 17. People will knowingly and willfully worship the devil to survive, and in doing so, will sell their soul to the devil.


People who refuse the mark of the beast will be come targets for murder. Millions of saints will be slaughtered. (Revelation 6:9-11, 16:6; 17:6) Most, if not all, of the 144,000 will perish. Millions in the non-religious group will also be killed. The devil is a sociopath. He loves no one. Only 666 people will be allowed to live, the rest will be killed as quickly as they can be found. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25,26)


The tattoo on the forehead is easy to understand. It is a simple counterfeit. The Bible says the names of Jesus and the Father will be engraved on the foreheads of the 144,000! (See Revelation 14:1, 22:4) This glorious insignia on their foreheads will indicate their high rank wherever they travel throughout eternity. Lucifer will counterfeit this insignia by putting his name, in the form of an engraving (a tattoo), on the forehead of his lieutenant in each group.


Lucifer’s assumed name (unknown at this time) will not be numerically equivalent to 666. The bible does not indicate or require a Roman numeral translation. Rather, the Bible indicates that the number 666 is the “number [of people] belonging to the man [of sin].” The Greek syntax puts this phrase in a genitive of possession case, that is, 666 people will belong to Lucifer. Look again at these verses: “He [the lamb-like beast] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark [Greek: charagma – an etching, an engraving, a tattoo] on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the [visible tattoo] mark [to show everyone], which is the [assumed] name of the beast [tattooed on the forehead] or the number [of people who belong to] of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate [count] the number of [people belonging to] the beast, for it is [the] man’s number [that is, the number belonging to the man of sin]. His number [of remaining people] is 666.” (Revelation 13:16-18, italics and insertions mine)                 


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