The mark of the LORD
Most people who have read the Bible and a lot of people who haven’t have heard of the mark of the beast. Here is what the Bible says about it.
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
This describes something that will happen in the future, during the tribulation. Many who have heard of the mark but know little about what the Bible says are afraid that they might take the mark by accident. If you are one of these people I suggest you read this: 666 and RFID chips.
Most have heard of the mark of the beast but few people are aware of the fact that God places a mark on those who worship him. Ezekiel gives us a description of giving that mark.
Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, “Bring near the executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” And behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his waist. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his waist. And the LORD said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”
And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.”
So they began with the elders who were before the house.
When God judges a land he first places a mark on those who worship him to keep them from being destroyed with the rest of the people. The mark protects them from God’s wrath but doesn’t necessarily protect them from being persecuted by those who reject God. Jeremiah was probably among those who received the mark in Ezekiel’s vision because he was prophesying in Jerusalem at this time, and he often suffered at the hands of the Israelites for his preaching.
Now Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the LORD.
Then the officials said to the king, “Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.”
King Zedekiah said, “Behold, he is in your hands, for the king can do nothing against you.”
So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
When the Babylonians, who were being used by God to judge his people, finally conquered Jerusalem they treated Jeremiah well.
The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “The LORD your God pronounced this disaster against this place. The LORD has brought it about, and has done as he said. Because you sinned against the LORD and did not obey his voice, this thing has come upon you. Now, behold, I release you today from the chains on your hands. If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come, and I will look after you well, but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come.
See, the whole land is before you; go wherever you think it good and right to go. If you remain, then return to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed governor of the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people. Or go wherever you think it right to go.”
So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance of food and a present, and let him go.
If you have repented of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ you have this mark of protection. You might still have to suffer if you do this but the suffering you experience will not be God’s judgment but will be the trials he brings into your life to develop spiritual maturity.