---- By Mike Exton (July 30, 2016 Edition)
In the book of Revelation (the last book of the Holy Bible) we are sternly warned against receiving the mark of the BEAST (i.e. the Antichrist!). But what exactly is the MARK OF THE BEAST? And does this mark have anything to do with the NAME of the BEAST or the number 666? Or, is the mark of the Beast something totally different & separate from the name of the Beast and the number 666? And what exactly is the name of the Beast anyway? Is it an individual, a nation, a group of nations, or a church? And what about this mark—is it a LITERAL, PHYSICAL MARK? Or does it instead have a figurative, symbolic meaning?
Let’s start off in our quest to answer these questions by first turning to Revelation 13:16-17. Here we are told that the Beast “required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a MARK on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that MARK, WHICH WAS EITHER THE NAME OF THE BEAST OR THE NUMBER  REPRESENTING HIS NAME” (NLT). So this Scripture makes it perfectly clear that the mark of the Beast is simply either the NAME of the Beast or the NUMBER that represents his name. Therefore, having the MARK of the Beast on you is the same as having the NAME of the Beast on you (or the NUMBER that represents his name—666!).
NUMER OF THE BEAST—666!
But why the number 666? How does this number represent his name? Well, let’s let the Bible answer that question. Revelation 13:18 (LB) — “…the numerical values of the letters in his name add to 666.” This Scripture plainly shows that 666 is just the NUMERICAL SUM VALUE of the NAME of the Beast! For example, take the name “VIX.” If we use “Roman Numerals” then V = 5, I = 1, & X = 10. Then if we add up the numerical value of each letter of this name (5 + 1 + 10) we get 16. Therefore, Vix couldn’t possibly be the Beast because his name only adds up to 16 (while the name of the beast will add up to 666). But if Vix isn’t the Beast, who is?
WHO IS THE BEAST?
So WHO is this Beast (i.e. the Antichrist)? Is it a United European Superpower (a revived “Holy” Roman Empire) as some teach? Or is the Beast the LEADER of this revived system? The Beast is symbolic of BOTH—both the empire and its leader! But first and foremost it stands for its LEADER. To prove that it stands for the end-time political leader of this soon-coming system let’s turn to another Scripture in the book of Revelation. Revelation 19:20—Then the BEAST was captured, and with him the false prophet…. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (NKJ). This Scripture clearly shows that the Beast represents an end-time INDIVIDUAL, for both he and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire!
LITERAL, PHYSICAL MARK?
But what exactly is the mark of the Beast, the mark of this end-time political leader? Will it be a PHYSICAL, LITERAL MARK (or is this mark just a metaphor, having some kind of hidden, mystical meaning)?
The mark of the beast will DEFINITELY be a literal physical mark! In Revelation 13:16 & 14:11 several different translations of the Bible (GW, NOG, EXB, NEB, & the JB) state that the mark of the Beast will be “BRANDED” on human beings. The AMPC, NABRE, & the EXB state that the mark of the Beast will be STAMPED on people. But I like the way the Living Bible translates these two verses the best, as it declares that the mark of the Beast will be “TATTOOED” on humans! But regardless if the mark of the Beast is branded, stamped, or tattooed, all of these translations unanimously agree that the mark will be a LITERAL PHYSICAL MARK that others will easily be able to see!
RECEIVING MARK = ALLEGIANCE TO SATAN!
If you read the book of Revelation very carefully (especially chapter 14) you will notice that anyone who WILLINGLY receives the mark of the Beast will be severely punished by God. But God most certainly will NOT punish someone who has this mark PHYSICALLY FORCED upon them, nor will He punish someone who UNKNOWINGLY receives this mark (as some conspiracy theorists teach)! The person has to KNOWINGLY, WILLINGLY ACCEPT THE MARK.
But anyone who WILLINGLY AND KNOWINGLY allows the mark of the Beast to be placed on his or her body (either on their right hand or on their forehead) will be going directly against God! Instead of obeying their Creator, they will instead be obeying Satan! They will in essence be pledging their ALLEGIANCE and their loyalty to Satan the devil (see Rev. 13:16 in both the AMP & EXB translations of the Bible)! And those who do so will be sternly punished by God! And they will be without excuse, for not only will there be two witnesses (or prophets) who tell them not to worship the Beast (or his statue) or receive his mark, but an angel from heaven will also command the inhabitants of the world not to do so (Revelation 14:9)!
NAME OF THE BEAST?
So, what is the name of the Beast? And who will this end-time political leader be? Whoever he is, one thing we know for sure, the letters of his name will add up to 666! But can anyone think of a better name than ROMAN?
First of all, “ROMAN” can be translated as “LATEINOS” in the Greek language. (But why use the Greek language? Because most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek—including the book of Revelation). In the Greek language “L” represents the number 30, “A” is 1, “T” is 300, “E” is 5, “I” is 10, “N” is 50, “O” is 70, and “S” is 200. Add them up (30 + 1 + 300 + 5 + 10 + 50 + 70 + 200) and what do you get? 666!
Secondly, if his name were “ROMAN,” it would be similar to the false trinity doctrine as it would represent three things in one. Not only would it be the name of this end-time political leader, but it also would represent the ROMAN Empire as well as the ROMAN (Catholic) Church.
No matter what you do in the future, NEVER (under any circumstances whatsoever!) receive the mark of the Beast or worship him (i.e. the Antichrist) or his statue!!!
“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard... the Antichrist is coming... The man of sin... the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped... He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (1 John 2:18 NKJ; 2 Thess. 2:3-4 NKJ; 2 Thess. 2:4 NLT).
“Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And it was granted to him to make war with the saints [TRUE Christians] and to overcome [conquer] them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have NOT been written in the Book of Life...” (Rev. 13:6-8 NKJ).
“If anyone worships the beast [i.e. the Antichrist] and his image [i.e. his statue], and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb [i.e. Jesus Christ]. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9–11 NKJ).
----- By Mike Exton (July 30, 2016 Edition)
For more information concerning the mark of the Beast, please read “Revelation Comes Alive” and “The Antichrist & The Final 7 Years.” These books are available for FREE at: www.TheBibleComesAlive.com