Whose Mark Will You Take?
by Christine Egbert
2 Thessalonians 2:8 is about the Antichrist, who Scripture calls the Lawless one. In verse 9, we learn that Satan himself will empower the anti-Messiah, enabling him to perform miraculous signs and lying wonders. But fear not! Verse 10 tells us exactly who will fall prey to Satan’s deception. It will be those who have not learned to love God’s truth. If we love God’s truth, if we have not rejected it, we have nothing to fear. For God will send a strong delusion to those who reject His truth.
What Is God’s Truth?
2 Samuel 7:28 tells us that the LORD’s (Yahweh’s) words are truth, Psalms 119:142 says God’s Torah is truth, and John 14:6 says Jesus (Yeshua) is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
What is the Mark of the Beast?
Revelations 14:9-10 warns of the mark of the beast. “…If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or in his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the anger of God having been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath.”
Many people waste their time worrying about what the beast’s mark, which Scripture informs us will be placed on the hand or forehead of those who reject God’s truth, will be—will it be a microchip? A tattoo? They forget that the anti-Messiah, like Satan who will empower him, will be a deceiver, a counterfeiter. And just as with money, the only way to recognize every possible counterfeit is to become intimately familiar with the real thing. Rather than wasting time surmising what the mark of the beast will be, the wise, those who love truth, will search God’s Word, which is truth, to determine what God’s mark is.
What is God’s Mark?
Exodus 31:16 – And the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to do the Sabbath for their generations. It is a never-ending covenant. It is a sign forever between Me and the sons of Israel…
Now, some will say, “The Sabbath is a sign for Israel. I am a Gentile.” But they’re wrong. According to Ephesians 2:12, those in Christ Jesus (Messiah Yeshua) are no longer Gentiles. In Messiah, they become part of Israel’s Commonwealth. They share in all of Israel’s Covenants. So, when Scripture declares, “It shall be a sign forever between Me and the sons of Israel,” God includes them. For there is only one people of God. And when He declares His 7th Day Sabbath to be a sign forever, He doesn’t mean just until the 4th Century, when a Roman Emperor named Constantine would seek to change God’s Appointed Times. When God declares that something is forever, He means forever.
Deuteronomy 6:5-8 – And you shall love the LORD (Yahweh) your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you (His Torah) today shall be on your heart. And you shall teach them to your sons, and shall speak of them as you sit in your house and as you walk in the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
The Hebrew word translated as “sign” in verse 8 is “owth” (אוֹת), Strong’s H226. Brown-Driver Briggs defines it as a: sign, signal, or a distinguishing mark.
Scripture repeats this in Deuteronomy 11:18 And you shall lay these Words (His commandments—Torah, see verse 8) up in your hearts, and in your souls, and shall bind them for a sign on your hand. And they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
Exodus 13:6-9 – Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day keep a feast to the LORD (Yahweh). Unleavened bread shall be eaten the seven days. And leavened bread for you shall not be seen; yea, no leaven shall be seen among you in all your boundaries. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, It is because of what the LORD (Yahweh) did for me when I came out from Egypt. And it shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and a memorial between your eyes, so that a Law of the LORD (Yahweh) may be in your mouth.
Genesis 17:11 – And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. And it shall be a token of the covenant between Me and you. (The word translated here as “token” is “the Hebrew word “owth”, which means a “mark or sign”.
God’s Commandments (His Torah, which means instruction) is the sign God’s people take between their eyes, symbolizing what they believe, and on their hand, symbolizing what they do. It’s not enough to just believe. Saving faith bears the fruit of obedience. Faith without works is dead.
Ezekiel 20:12 – And I also gave them My sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD (Yahweh) who sanctifies them (sets them apart, makes them holy).
Now that we have examined what God’s Word declares His mark to be, let’s examine Scripture to find out Satan’s plan.
Isaiah 14:12-14 – Oh shining star, son of the morning, how you have fallen from the heavens! You weaken the nations, you are cut down to the ground. For you have said in your heart, “I will go up to the heavens! I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit in the mount of meeting, in the sides of the north. I will rise over the heights of the clouds. I will be compared to the Most High.”
The Hebrew word that is translated as “of meeting” in the Literal Translation, and as “the congregation” in the KJV is Strong’s H4150 “mo’ed” (מוֹעֵד). It means an appointed time. In scripture it most often refers to God’s Appointed Feast Days and Sabbaths.
It’s the same word translated as “seasons” in Genesis 1:4 And God said, “Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens, to divide between the day and the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.”
In Genesis 17:21 it is the same word translated as “this time”. “And I will establish My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
In Genesis 18:14 it’s translated as “appointed time.” Is anything too difficult for the LORD (Yahweh)? At the appointed time, I will return to you, at the time of life, and there will be a son to Sarah.
And in Exodus 23:15 it is translated as “set time”. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread as I have commanded you, at the set time of the month of Abib.
So, when Satan says that he will sit on God’s mountain of meeting (mo’ed), it should immediately bring to mind Daniel 7:25: “And he (the antichrist) shall speak words against the Most High, and he shall wear out the saints of the Most High. And he intends to change times and law…”
1 John 2:18-19 says, “Little children, it is a last hour, and as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which you know that it is a last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they were of us, they would have remained with us, but they left so that it might be revealed that they all are not of us.
What Have We Learned?
God’s mark, the sign that God’s people will bear on their foreheads and hand, is His Torah. His commandments. God’s Torah includes circumcision, the weekly 7th Day Sabbath, and all His yearly Sabbaths, known as His Feast Days. God commands that His people keep His appointed times forever.
Satan, through the anti-Messiah, will seek to change God’s Appointed Times and His Laws (Torah). Many lesser anti-Messiahs have been at work to do exactly that. 1 John 2 informs us that, as early as the first century, lesser antichrists went out from God’s people Israel (which includes former Gentiles), revealing that they were never a part of God’s covenant people.
Through the study of history, it’s easy to tell who the anti-Messiah’s forerunners were. They reveal themselves through their pompous words that rage against God’s truth.
Constantine: “Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Savior a different way.”
Justin Martyr: “We too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your Sabbath days, and in a word, all your festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and the hardness of heart. The custom of circumcising the flesh, handed down from Abraham, was given to you as a distinguishing mark, to set you off from other nations and from us Christians. The purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours; that only your land be desolated, and your cities ruined by fire, that the fruits of your land be eaten by strangers before your very eyes; that not one of you be permitted to enter your city of Jerusalem. Your circumcision of the flesh is the only mark by which you can certainly be distinguished from other men… as I stated before it was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observance of the sabbath as a mark.” (Dialogue with Trypho / 138 A.D.–161 A.D.)
Tertullian: “…in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the Old Law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so as the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary… first we must inquire whether there be expected a giver of the new laws, and an heir of the new testament, and a priest of the new sacrifices, and the new circumcision, and an observer of the eternal sabbath, to suppress the old law, and to institute the new testament, and offer new sacrifices, and repress the ancient ceremonies, and suppress the old circumcision together with its own sabbath, and announce a new kingdom…” (Apology Chapter XVI)
Whose Mark Will You Wear?
I have quoted only a few of the pompous words spoken by so-called Church Fathers, who taught a way not found in Scripture. The anti-Messiah will, like his forerunners, seek to change God’s Appointed Times and Torah. You must decide. Whose mark will you take? Will you take the mark of the Savior of Scripture, Who never changes? Or will you take the mark of the antichrist, who provides a different way?