Who is really the Beast and What Is its Mark?
For years, many Christians have spoken of the mark of the beast and signalled that if any man receives this mark, it will cause final segregation between himself and God.
But who does the Bible refer to as the beast and what is this mark associated with it? Family and Religion has sought the answers from ministers of religion and members of the Church and will present these responses in a two-part series.
Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Donald Bailey claims that the beast which the Bible speaks of is a religious, political system and its mark is the enforcement of Sunday worship.
"That rascal wants to be worshipped too, but God will destroy him and his worshippers. But before He (God) does so, He makes sure He gives us the last warning and tells who to worship, why to worship and how to worship."
Revelation Chapter 14: 6- 10 states: "And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come and worship him that made heaven and earth, the seas and the fountains of water'. And there follow another angel saying, 'Babylon is fallen' is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed, saying with a loud voice,'If any man worship the beast and his image and receives his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of wrath of God'."
WITH HIM OR AGAINST HIM
In referencing this passage of scripture, Bailey said, "Every individual on this planet will make a decision on whose side he or she is standing. If you are not with Him, then you are against Him. God is not into the 'in the river - on the bank' Christianity. The God that we are to worship is the Creator God - any other god is false. He is the same God that says, 'Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy'. God is calling the inhabitants of the Earth back to true worship."
He further mentioned, "The beast represents a religious, political system that will attempt to use certain authority of God by trying to change God's law and will enforce economic boycott against those who oppose it. Eventually they will also pass death decrees on those who will not yield to its command. The beast is not a computer, it is not a powerful earthly political leader. The beast is not a child born in the Middle East, nor a single religious leader, nor a Roman emperor. The beast is a religious, political system that will set itself up against God."
"The mark of the beast is the exaltation of religious traditions over the word of God. The mark of the beast has to do with worship, and the worship is between God and that rascal. It tells us that we ought to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. That is God's mark. The beast also wants worship and so he sets up one that counteracts God's worship. The beast will take it a step further. The mark of the beast will be Sunday worship."
In clarifying his claims, Bailey acknowledged: "I did not say Sunday worship is the mark of the beast, but it will be, for they are going to legislate law that will force you to worship on Sunday, and those who do not worship on Sunday will neither buy nor sell. When that law is passed, all those who accept will receive the mark of the beast."
Bailey hastened to mention that being a Sabbath keeper will not save an individual, but rather, it is dependent on one's relationship with God that will allow that individual to enter the gates of Heaven.
Next week, we get the viewpoint of another minister of religion on what the beast is and what it represents.