September 21, 2023

Revelation: The Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast

For many, the Antichrist is a figure that resides in the world of horror movies and fiction. But when we delve deeper into Revelation and look at history, we find that the idea of a charismatic and corrupt leader is not confined to the realms of fantasy. So, who is this Antichrist, and what’s his mark?

In this episode, Whit and Casey answer questions like, How do we avoid falling prey to magnetic leaders? Can you accidentally take the mark of the beast?

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In Revelation 12, we see a cosmic view of the battle between the devil (the dragon) and God’s people. And in Revelation 13, we’re introduced to the beast (the Antichrist)–a man whom the dragon gives his authority to.

So, what do these passages about the Antichrist and his mark mean for us today?

The Temptation of False Salvation

Revelation 13 tells us that all inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast. So, how do we not fall prey to a leader who is so magnetic?

Humanity has a propensity to find salvation in things other than God.  We set our hopes on things that can’t truly satisfy and convince ourselves that if only “this bill is passed” or “this person is elected,” the world can be made right. But this way of thinking is a faith in a false heaven.

The promise that anything other than Christ can alleviate what ails us leads us only to slavery and oppression. We see this pattern play itself out in humanity in small and big ways.

To keep from being deceived, we have to be connected to Christ (or the Lamb).

Who is Your Allegiance To?

Christ-followers should be those most equipped and well-prepared to evaluate people, particularly those in power, recognizing the good and the bad. We should know better than all people that every leader we look to is flawed and we ought to hold them accountable for their flaws.

When our allegiance goes to country as much as God, that’s a precarious place to be.

There’s a balance to strike between Romans 13 and Revelation 13, navigating where do I serve, where do I submit, and where do I resist?

Think of people in the Bible like Daniel who was sent to a lion’s den because he continued to pray to God rather than the king.  Or Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednego, who would not fall down and worship the statue of the king.

All of these men understood their duty to obey authorities, yet they were unwilling to disobey God’s commands to do so, facing the ultimate consequence.

Can You accidentally take the mark of the beast?

The short answer: no. Traditionally, this mark has been associated with technology, something we might unwittingly adopt. But that’s not how John describes it in Revelation chapters 13 and 14. We see a contrast in one people belonging to the beast and one people belonging to the Lamb–the way that we know who’s who is how they’re “marked.”

It’s about taking someone’s name. When someone gets adopted, they take on the name of the family who adopted them. It’s the same for the family of God. When you come into the kingdom of God.

In John 10 tells us that once we’re adopted into the family, nothing can change that: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).

Live a Life Worthy of the Name You Bear.

Ultimately, the Antichrist will be nothing compared to the God we serve. The mark we bear as children of God should remind us that we belong to the one who sits on the throne. Therefore, our lives should reflect the honor of the name we carry.

To do so, we must practice righteousness, as emphasized in 1 John 3: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous” (1 John 3:6-7).

Our actions should align with the name we bear, distinguishing us as children of the light rather than followers of darkness.

We must anchor ourselves in Christ and prioritize our allegiance to God over all else. In doing so, we can resist the allure of false saviors and let our lives accord with the name that we bear.

 

Show notes:

Listen to the message: The Beasts of Revelation

 

Check out another blog on Revelation: The Lamb and the Dragon: Revelation’s Plot & Main Character

 

 

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