"He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666." (Revelation 13:15-18)
By this time, the survivors, in Babylon and elsewhere, are in “shock and awe” over what they just witnessed, and again, dead are everywhere, but this time through the orders of this lamb like beast and executed by what appeared to be angels of light. Babylon again, is earning its name ‘confusion’ as the surviving inhabitants are trying to figure out what was just done. Some are beginning to have doubts about the nature of their ‘god’ and may begin to question the powers that be about this.
The lamb like beast begins a rather rapid transformation into the dragon, and man of lawlessness, and begins to make outrageous demands of the remaining survivors, which are now mainly in Babylon. With all of his enemies either destroyed, or imprisoned and waiting execution, there is no more resistance to Satan, and he now shows his true nature. Since those that have participated in Babylon have not lived by faith and trusted the message of the 144,000, their hearts have grown cold, and their ability to now trust in the word of God is greatly compromised.
Satan is now preparing for the ultimate test of mankind. Satan sets up a test nearly identical to that of King Nebuchadnezzar in that he builds a very large image of himself and will require all to submit to it. Unlike, Nebuchadnezzar though, Satan is allowed to breathe life into this image and this very unnerving event will scare nearly all of the inhabitants into obedience to Satan and his desires.
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, 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. 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."
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Revelations 14:9-11)
The action now centers in the Middle East, as this area is now the centerpiece for the rest of Revelation. Instead of sacrificing animals for the ‘atonement of sin’ Satan will now require human blood, and will finish off the 144,000 and most of the believers with the seal of the Living God. The method used in execution will be beheading, and this method will effectively terrorize the inhabitants of Babylon into submission. The amount of blood shed at this event is considerable and it very well may be that there are several rows of guillotines going at break neck speed. Take the mark and be spared execution, or be beheaded with those that have the mark of the Living God and the remnant of the 144,000.
"And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)
Cowardice will reign supreme as the vast majority will submit to the demands of the dragon and take his mark. During this time, there is ample evidence that God literally sends angels, who will be visible in the heavens, warning the inhabitants to not take the mark of the beast, at the same time they seen massive numbers of executions and amounts of blood unimaginable. God has such love for his creation, that when the time comes for this ultimate test, he will allow for very supernatural events to take place, and those willing to walk in faith will be given the ability, and peace to submit to death for their witness.
And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!” “Yes,” Says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them” Rev. 14:13
The mark of the beast is translated as 666, and Scripture states it is literally a tattoo. Why this seems to be a more literal interpretation is possibly twofold: 1) Satan, despite being fallen, is still an angel, and angels are messengers and ministers of God. Satan is still under obedience from God, and has to obey his commands. God has mandated that 666 be used, and it seems one could make a case that it will be done literally as it is written. 2) Technology will primarily be wiped out, and there may be no other way but an ugly tattoo, which is also humiliating, and is reminiscent of slavery, going back millennia.
Unlike what many current commentators are saying and presenting about the mark of the beast, it cannot be an event outside of the trumpets, it must require the presence of Satan, lamb like beast, anti Christ or whatever term one wants to use for the devil, and there has to be the penalty of death, which is immediate, after refusal to take it. Scripture cannot be clearer concerning this event and God would never allow for people to be tricked into an event with the eternal consequences such as this.
For prophesy to be fulfilled, it must meet ALL the criteria of the prophesy, or it is not fulfilled. The mark is an eternal decision, and never in the history of the universe has there ever been one event that has brought about instant judgment for such a large number of beings. Therefore, to attribute the mark to some sort of chip, universal bar code or whatever the going story of the month is is to trivialize the story of Revelation.
I have been asked too many times about the mark and the attempts to microchip us. I am in agreement with most of the commentators that we as Christians must RESIST this. The primary reason is that I and others who see prophesy this way is it is ‘mark like’ meaning, the more one can be conditioned to a certain thought pattern and behavior, the easier it is to introduce the ‘real thing’. If a Christian can justify being micro chipped, for whatever reason, they will be more susceptible to taking this mark when it comes along. It is no different than any other sinful behavior; once one conditions themselves to breaking a rule, or behavior; it is only a matter of time when the same person will give in to larger and more harmful behaviors. Satan will trivialize this act, but will have a great show of murder for the non compliant. Fear will rule, and many will justify doing this without understanding the ‘permanence’ of it. Obviously, Satan gets the significance of this, and will force this onto whomever he can.
Again, cowardice will rule the day. The mark of the beast is so well known by virtually every religion and society on the planet. There will be no one who can plead ignorance on this matter, and it will be no secret when it happens. People will succumb to the mark mainly through lack of preparation, which is in essence lack of faith. Saving oneself by taking the mark will carry a penalty that will not be evident until after taking it, and this will result in the greatest anguish ever experienced by living humans up to this point.. This is the sin of the spirit, the unpardonable sin, and any semblance of the Holy Spirit residing within these individuals will vanish at the moment they take the mark. And the sad part is, they will be aware of this moment, as God abandons them to their master FOREVER.