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The Beast from the Earth Part 2: The Image and Mark

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By David Sheldon

Last Updated: August 01, 2023

The Beast from the Earth in Revelation 13 is one of three main players in the global system at the end of this age, along with the Beast from the Sea and the Great Harlot. The Beast from the Earth is a “beast” in that it will be a demonically empowered rule of authority.

The Beast from the Earth will be headed up by a man called the False Prophet (see The Beast from the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet). He will exercise the same Satanic authority as the Antichrist. Neither of them will appear demonic to the world, however. They will come across as glorious and awe-inspiring. The False Prophet will draw the world to worship the Antichrist (Revelation 13:3-4).

How can the False Prophet possibly bring the entire fallen world into complete adoration and worship of the Antichrist? It is through an image and a mark (Revelation 13:15-17). What is this image? And what kind of mark could be forced on all people throughout different cultures? We answer these questions in this article.

Image of the Beast – Worship

Mankind has a long history of worshiping images – from things created in the form of animals to statues of kings or emperors. Quite often, worship has included things created by man’s own hands.

We see this in Scripture with the building of the tower of Babel. It was a corporate gathering with a single purpose: to build a city and a tower that reaches to the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9). There was one focus/one system of worship, with every aspect of culture engaged.

Another example is found in Daniel 3 where King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image to be worshiped. Based on evidence within the text, it is surmised by many theologians this golden statue was actually an image of himself. The worship of it was forced. All were to bow down and worship this image. When Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego refused to do so, they were thrown into a fiery furnace.

With the “image to the Antichrist,” it will be more of the same kind of thing. However, it will be on a much grander scale. It will be the final, ultimate, corporate, planned, and worldwide worship of an image, all led by the False Prophet.

14 And he deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. Revelation 13:14-15 NASB

The word “image” here (Greek – eikon) is the same word used for physical images, as well as the image of man, or the God-Man, Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:23; 8:29; Colossians 1:15; 3:10). But not a lot of detail is given about this “image of the beast.”

Is this a physical statue, a digital image, or something else? We do not know, and instead of trying to figure out the specifics, we should simply focus on the spiritual reality. Fallen mankind will displace worship of the true and living God, with worship of the fallen and corrupted image of God in man.

This is nothing new. Romans 1:25 states, “For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

The world, even in its fallenness, seeks after spirituality and destiny. But it is apart from God. It is through one’s own self. Worshiping the image of the Antichrist will be the embodiment of this rebellion and self-worship. This is in direct violation of the first and second commandments.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,” Exodus 20:4-5a

It makes sense that worship of self/man is the ultimate extreme rebellion against God. It was within the temptation of Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden – “You shall be as God!” (Genesis 3). The False Prophet (and Satan) will reiterate the Serpent’s lie of fake life/destiny for those who worship the image of the Antichrist. But the devil cannot deliver on his word. After all, he is the father of lies.

There is a process and coordination that leads up to this kind of false worship. We know from earlier in Revelation 13 that the world has already been prepped for the worship of the Antichrist, as well as – whether the world realizes it or not – worship of the dragon (Satan):

3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been fatally wounded, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” Revelation 13:3-4 NASB

The Beast from the Earth Part 2: The Image and Mark

Mark of the Beast – Allegiance

The ‘mark of the beast’ will also be required during the end of the age, symbolizing ultimate allegiance to the beast system. Placed either on the forehead or right hand, it will enable one to buy or sell. Without the mark, one cannot do so.
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 and he decrees that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. Revelation 13:16-18 NASB
There is much speculation about this mark. In Greek, the word charigma is used for things like an image on a coin, a stamp, an etching, scratch, imprint mark, a brand or tattoo. The mark of the beast could be some imprint that is quite visible or something rather hidden like a microchip. Either way, it will be very real – no one can buy or sell without it. Scripture says the mark will correspond to either the name of the beast or the number of his name (666). When the time comes and as events unfold, the truth of what the name/number is will be more clear to the saints. But there are two main points to consider:
    1. Actual number – In ancient languages, letters were assigned a corresponding number. It was called gematria. We are familiar with Roman numerals: I, V, X, L, C, D, & M. But the languages of Scripture, Hebrew and Greek, also used gematria. It is believed that the actual letters of the Antichrist’s name, when assigned numbers, will add up to six hundred and sixty-six.
    2. Symbolic number – The text says “…it is the number of (a) man.” In Greek, there is no ‘a’ before the word man. It simply says “it is the number of man” – not a particular man. So the name/number of the mark may also be symbolic in that it indicates that “man” is attempting to act like or displace God.
So the “wisdom” of the passage might very well include the fact that 666 represents the whole of mankind in a rebellion against God. After all, the number 6 is common to man – man was created on the sixth day, six is prominent in the measurements and worship of the image of Nebuchadnezer (Daniel 3), and human measuring is full of multiples of 6 – months, inches, degrees, etc. The number three in Scripture would seem at times to represent God. So three 6’s is man playing the role of God. The mark, though required, will gladly be taken by those of this world. By receiving the mark, they prove their allegiance to the beast (Antichrist), along with their complete and total rebellion against God. This, however, finalizes their eternal destiny.
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11

Those Who Refuse

What about those who refuse to take the mark or show worship to the beast? True saints who have the Holy Spirit will not willingly fall into line with the rest of the world. Those who refuse to worship the image will be killed (Revelation 13:15) and “…no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark” (Revelation 13:17)

The text does not say when the death sentence will occur, or how long one can survive without being able to buy or sell. Only time will tell. It will obviously be a time of severe testing for those who do not fall in line with the Antichrist’s system.

But our great and awesome God knows all of this and will not abandon His own. He has given believers His Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen during trials. There will ultimately be eternal comfort and joy for the saints of God in Christ.

12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” “ 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.” Revelation 14:12-13

[Side Note: The ten horns mentioned in Daniel probably come into play during all of this reign of the Antichrist (see The Beast from the Sea Part 2: Ten Horns). The ten horns are kings/leaders, perhaps super oligarchs, who have regional authority in conjunction with the Antichrist and False Prophet. Unlike current “nation-states” whose leadership has political and military authority, these specifically have economic authority. Global economic control will be to such a degree that the “nation-states” of the world, along with the multinational corporations, give their full support to the system! (Ultimately, it would seem there will only be seven as the Antichrist will uproot three of them. Daniel 7:8,20,24)]

5 Reasons Why Revelation is Hard to Understand

There are several reasons why the Book of Revelation is hard to understand. Grasping these five should give confidence to keep reading & studying the book!

The Beast From the Sea Part 3: The Antichrist

The Beast from the Sea is one of three main players in the final world kingdom. Its leader is the Antichrist. He has several defining characteristics and doings.

The Beast From the Earth Part 1: The False Prophet

The Beast from the Earth is a prominent player in the final world system. There are several facets to it including a leader (The False Prophet), mark, & image.

Who are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

We must correctly understand the four horsemen of the apocalypse in order to properly understand the rest of Revelation. Who are they and what is their mission?

Is Revelation in Chronological Order?

Revelation is more of a montage. Some of the chapters are in chronological order, but many overlap each other. Our charts give a visual explanation of this.

When and Where Will the Antichrist First be Seen?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 states specifically that the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, will be revealed in the end times. Scripture tells us the circumstances.

Who are the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11?

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 proclaim a message of repentance and judgment for a period of 1,260 days during the first half of the end-time tribulation.

What are the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation?

The trumpets and bowls found in Revelation are specific events of God’s judgments that will take place at the end of the age. They are very similar to each other.

Is the Rapture of the Church Found in Revelation 4?

Some believe John’s experience in Revelation 4:1-2 is representative of the rapture of the church before the seven year tribulation period. Is this the case?

When Was Revelation Written?

It was towards the end of Domitian’s reign that John received the vision. We could surmise about 91-96 A.D. And he wrote Revelation while he was still on the island of Patmos.

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