When will the Mark of the Beast be instituted?
On July 30, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program “The Truth Will Set You Free” via TWave Radio. “Pastor Vic” (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.
In this “The Truth Will Set You Free” episode, we’ll survey the events within the Great Tribulation. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.
Mark of the Beast
Nathan: By the end of the Tribulation, the people will know whether to choose Jesus or not. Now, if they don’t choose Jesus, they will take what’s called the Mark of the Beast. The Antichrist has a public relations man, a false prophet, who will get the unbelieving people of the Tribulation to worship the Antichrist. The False Prophet, Revelation 13 reveals, will force everybody to get the mark which is the number or the name of the Antichrist placed on the hand or the forehead. This won’t be instituted until the middle of the Tribulation, so the Mark doesn’t affect anybody today.
During that time period, if a person doesn’t take the Mark and is like, “I’m a Christian and I’m not going to take it.” Then, the False Prophet will kill them. So very, very few Tribulation Saints will make it alive to the end of the Tribulation. The beginning of the middle of the Tribulation is when the Antichrist institutes the Mark of the Beast system. That’s reserved for the Great Tribulation, that second 3.5 years of the overall Tribulation.
When it comes to the Mark, the people of that time will not be able to buy or sell unless they are wearing the name or the number of his name, which is 666, on their forehead. A person then will walk into a grocery store hoping to buy some food. The clerk will look at them, and seeing the person doesn’t have the Mark, will say something like, “I don’t see the Antichrist’s name, so we can’t sell to you. If we did, we’d be killed ourselves.” More than likely they’d call the authorities and report the person so they’d get arrested and certainly be executed.
Because it’s a life or death decision, people during the Great Tribulation will certainly know about Jesus Christ and what it means to accept Jesus or not. During that time period, faith in Christ or in Satan will be blatantly obvious.
Vic: That’s why we encourage individuals to understand how crucial it is for them while there is still time to turn to the Lord, because there really is no guarantee of a long life. We could die at any moment for any number of reasons. And, we know that the Rapture could occur at any moment, leaving those who’ve rejected Jesus behind to have to endure the judgments of the Tribulation.
Nathan: Exactly. The Rapture is an imminent event, meaning it can happen at any time unexpectedly.
Vic: This is why we encourage people to turn to the Lord while there’s still time. We know that those who’ve placed their trust in Jesus Christ will be taken out of this world by the Rapture, but we also know this terrible judgment is coming soon after the Rapture. We do not wish those seven years of death upon anybody. That’s why we encourage everyone to pray to Jesus in repentance, asking for His salvation.
In the sixth part of this discussion with Pastor Vic on the Great Tribulation, we’ll survey the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments that afflict the Great Tribulation.
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Nathan,isn't the last three and a half years known as the time of Jacob's trouble?
Old Testament prophets used key phrases like "latter years" (Ezek 38:8) and "last days" (Ezek. 38:16) to indicate the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7). The New Testament authors based their understanding of this time on the 19 references from the Old Testament (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi). New Testament writers referred to this same time period as "the Day of the Lord" (Acts 2:20; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Thess. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Phil. 1:10). "The Day of the Lord" would then be the Tribulation, which is the seven year time period when God will pour out His wrath upon the world for its continued rebellion against Him, as well as use that time to bring many people to accept Jesus as Savior, especially among the Jewish people.