Escape the Mark of the Beast: How to Secure God’s Protective Seal

For many years I have believed that we place too great of an emphasis on the mark of the beast and not enough emphasis on the seal of God on his faithful.

John’s vision included both the mark of the beast and the seal of God.

The angels were told to withhold judgment until God’s faithful were sealed.

“Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads” (Revelation 7.3).

Chapter 13 introduces the mark of the beast. “Also, it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be given a brand on the right hand or the forehead” (Revelation 13.16).

Whether the mark is of the beast or the seal from God, they signify the name of the one to whom ultimate loyalty is given. The destiny of every person is determined by the mark that person bears.

Devoted to the Lamb

How do people receive the seal of God and come under his protection?

Joel wrote, “Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls” (Joel 2:32).

An amazing thing happens when humans open their lives to God in prayer. I have often said that when we give God an inch, then he will take a mile – in a blessed way.

When we “call on the name of the Lord,” we open our lives to his grace. He, in turn, gives us the privilege of a relationship with him and eternity in his kingdom.

John describes God’s relationship with followers of the Lamb (Jesus).

Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps,

And they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been redeemed from the earth (Revelation 14.1-3).

There is a significant contrast between the followers of the Lamb, who have “the Father’s name written on their foreheads” and those who have the mark of the beast (Revelation 13.16-18).

The number of the beast (666) demonstrates his attempt but utter failure to achieve perfection. Human systems are not able to fix the world’s problems that they have created in the first place.

The number seven represents God’s perfection. The people (144,000) who have committed themselves to the Lamb and to the path of self-sacrificing love are aligned with God and his perfection.

They are the ones who have called on the name of the Lord and are living in a faithful relationship with him. They have the privilege and responsibility to serve as priests in his kingdom.

They join John in his praise of Jesus, “To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1.5-6).

Characteristics of the 144,000

Deception, destruction, oppression, and persecution are characteristics of the beast and his followers.

Jesus and his followers have three characteristics that are defined by John.

It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

They have been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless (Revelation 14.4-5).

Sexual immorality is a frequent image to describe unfaithfulness to God. The prophets confronted people who claimed to be following God but were serving idols and called them “adulterers.”

Paul wanted the church to be completely faithful to Jesus and wrote, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).

Jesus spoke of our allegiance to God and said, “No one can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6.24).

Another characteristic of people who have the seal of God on their foreheads is that they follow Jesus’ life and instructions.

Jesus said this about discipleship, “If any wish to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).

The third characteristic of God’s people is that they tell the truth.

Zephaniah (3:13) spoke in words that resemble John’s vision about truth-telling followers of the Lamb.

The remnant of Israel;
they shall do no wrong
and utter no lies,
nor shall a deceitful tongue
be found in their mouths.
Then they will pasture and lie down,
and no one shall make them afraid.

Today’s Application

This passage encourages us to reflect on our own allegiances and priorities.

Are we faithfully devoted to God or swayed by worldly influences?

Do we live lives of integrity and faithfulness, remaining dedicated solely to God?

Are we following Jesus’ example in thought, word, and action?

Do we uphold honesty, authenticity, and righteousness in the way we deal with others?

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s