"He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666." Revelation 13:16-18
Now at last the beast from the sea, who looks like a lamb, like Jesus, but who speaks like the Devil, causes all to be marked on their hands and foreheads. The mark, verse 17 tells us, is the name of the beast (the "or" is not in the Greek) or the number of the name of the beast.
Before we see what the name and the number of the name is, let’s remember what it means in Scripture to be marked on the hand or forehead. A mark in Scripture is a sign, evidence, something that distinguishes us as belonging to a certain class or position. God uses different marks throughout Scripture as identifying signs that we are partakers in the covenants He has established with men, just as a wedding ring is a sign to others that we are partakers of a marriage covenant, that we belong to our spouse.
Then what we habitually do, we saw, how we act, marks us on the right hand, the agent of action; and what we habitually think about, what we talk about, marks us on the forehead, the agent of thought.
Every other place in Scripture that being marked on the right hand and forehead is spoken of, it is in reference to the evidence of actions and thoughts that distinguish us as belonging to the Lord.
So I began to think that in this case, those who are being marked on the right hand and forehead, are being marked with the name of the beast, by being identified as belonging to the anti-Christ, not to the Lord. Their identifying mark on their right hand, the agent of action, and on their forehead, the agent of thought, is what they do and what they think about and say. What they habitually do and what they say serves to mark them as belonging to the beast, and not the Lord.
The mark is not a tattoo or a microchip at all! It is the evidence of our lives that signals to everyone around us to whom we belong.
So what is the name of the beast, what about the number, and what about the buying and selling?
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 13: marked on the hand and forehead, concluded