The “mark of the beast” has been speculated about and sensationalized throughout the ages through such movies as The Omen and over the Internet. Although Scripture tells us that understanding the number of the beast will take wisdom, we’ve seen it in the form of a 666 tattooed into the head of a small boy on TV (as in The Omen), believed it to be the Social Security number, and also reasoned it will take the form of an embedded microchip. Sigh. But what will it be really? What does Scripture tell us about this mark associated with the Antichrist? What will be its purpose?
Just as God will seal the 144,000 “redeemed from the earth” for protection before His wrath, the Antichrist will have sealed his followers for their protection, both physically and fiscally, as he unleashes his terror. That will be the purpose of the mark of the beast – to identify those who’ve made a choice to follow the Antichrist for the sake of their lives, forsaking the one true God.
The Bible tells us that the mark of the beast will be on the forehead or right hand and that it will be the number of man: 666. Is there significance to the number or location? Yes.
God gave the Israelites certain commandments after the exodus from Egypt (cf. Exodus 13:9 & 16 and Deuteronomy 6:8 & 11:18). He told the Israelites to remember how He’d saved them, and to remember His commandments – part of the covenant with Israel – and teach them to subsequent generations. God used the tangible and familiar “forehead” to represent the receiving and committing of His commandments to memory. Likewise, He used the “hand” as an identifier for action related to that knowledge. The learning, retaining, and acting upon God’s commandments would prove allegiance to Him while also completing the covenant.
What about the number itself – ‘666’? Remember that the number is that of a man, and that the Antichrist will be one part of an unholy trinity: Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet. The number used historically to represent man is ‘6’, whereas God is represented by the number ‘7’ to indicate perfection. Because of this and the unholy trinity mentioned above, I suggest the number 666 was used in Scripture as a way to represent some kind of identification or sign of allegiance that will come from the Antichrist (empowered by Satan) through the False Prophet.
With whom will your allegiance rest during the 3 years or so before Jesus returns?