A while ago I began to suspect that the mark of the beast was not an actual physical mark, but rather it represented mental ascent (mark on forehead) and/or physical conformity (mark on hand) to the ways of the beast. I first came across this in some literature from the World Wide Church of God (back before they abandoned their heresy) and it got me thinking. It made sense but I really didn’t have anything to support such an interpretation, I just liked it.

Well this morning when I was reading Exodus I came across this:

And when in time to come your son asks you, “What does this mean?” you shall say to him, “By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.”It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt. – Exodus 13:14-16 ESV

What shall be a mark for them? Was it a phylactery? No, it was the redeeming of the firstborn and the telling of it to their children. Doing and remembering or passing it on. It seems reasonable that John would have this kind of thing in mind since he often used Old Testament images in Revelation. This also makes sense since he said that this calls for wisdom to understand. Wisdom is more than just knowing or being smart, it is knowing the right thing to do and doing it. Wisdom involves action.

So it seems that despite the paranoia, bar codes are not the mark of the beast. Neither are chips implanted under the skin or any other physical mark. How can a physical mark condemn you? We’re saved by grace through faith, not by grace through lack of a tattoo.

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