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What Is the Mark of the Beast?

150 150 Paul Luna
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By The Village Church

Even if you’ve never read the book of Revelation, you’ve probably thought about the “mark of the beast.” Much ado has been made about this mark on the forehead or hand referenced in Revelation 13:16–18. People are often concerned with determining the exact nature of the mark so they can avoid it. Is it a tattoo? An implant? Some kind of physical brand?

Probably not. As we’ve mentioned, Revelation relies heavily on symbolism and figurative language to convey unseen realities. Instead of a literal mark, the “mark of the beast” is more likely an attempt by Satan to do what he does throughout the book—mock God.

In Revelation 7:3, 9:4, 14:1, and 22:4, the people of God are described as having the “seal” or name of God written on their foreheads. This symbolizes who these saints belong to and where their loyalties lie. It is a “mark” of their indwelling by the Holy Spirit. The mark of the beast, then, is also a mark of belonging—not to God but to the Enemy. It is a symbol of loyalty to the unholy Trinity of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet.

So why the forehead and the hand? John alludes to Deuteronomy 6, where the Great Commandment is given to love God with our whole selves. Israel was told to “bind [God’s commands] as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes” (Deut. 6:8). In other words, Israel’s thoughts (forehead) and actions (hand) declare her allegiances. In Revelation, John employs the same metaphor to communicate that those who follow the Beast will think and act according to his ideology.

The lesson here is that those who belong to God don’t need to fear tattoos, technology, or anything else. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and His mark is unmistakable.


Paul Luna

Paul Luna is a pastor, husband & father of four in Oregon. He's passionate about faith, family, & community, he enjoys painting, hiking, & tech.

All stories by: Paul Luna