Question: In the book of Revelations we read about the people who get the “mark of the beast.” My question is what about the people who get the mark and realize later that they made a mistake in getting the mark.
Answer: Regarding your question on the Mark of the Beast. One must understand that the whole of the book of Revelations is symbolic or “signified” language (Rev 1:1) and all the elements depicted are representative or symbolic, not literal. For instance, in prophecy we know that places represent conditions or situations. Streams or fountains can represent Godly truth, whereas rivers represent sources of support and seas represent large masses of humanity. The heavens can represent organized religious systems, whereas earth or land can represent organized orderly society. Trees and mountains can represent nations, depending on context. In the case of beasts, they represent secular or pagan Government systems (Dan 7:17, 23; Rev 16:10, 17:12, 17). We know this since God first used beasts to show the prophet Daniel a series of political systems or nations that would come to pass before the end of the current evil world. Beasts were used because they had characteristic attributes that we are able to associated with the character and nature of the system being described. In some cases, history has even shown the symbols that these nations used on flags and coins were actually associated with characteristics of the beast portrayed by it.
Keep in mind also that the revelations provided are not meant for the world of mankind in general, they are specifically for Christendom. Within Christendom, there are various levels of faithfulness. Some are followers in name only to benefit from the system (Matt 13:32) . Some will fall away and miss out altogether the resurrection of the believers to spirit nature due to extreme unfaithfulness (Luke 8:5-7; 13). Some will be lukewarm and be rejected as members of the Church (Rev 3:16). Some will be spirit-begotten but will not develop to the level of the Church in character (Rev 7:9). Some are going to be members of the Church (Luke 8:8; Rev 7:4; 14:1) .
The Gospel age is for the judgment of the worthiness of the Church (John 12:48; 5:29). The Millennial Kingdom that follows the Gospel Age will be for the judgement of mankind (John 5:29; Matt 25:31-46). Those that do not commit themselves to Christ in the Gospel Age are not addressed in the admonitions of Revelations, other than they will experience the various events on earth. The mark of the beast is detrimental only to Christians, not the rest of mankind until God, through Jesus and his Church members, administer the final 1000 year kingdom for the development and testing of all resurrected mankind here on the earth (Rev 20:6) (Rev 20:5 is spurious – added, not original text).
The mark is symbolic of acceptance of and participation in the beast system, contrary to discernible scriptural truth. The forehead represents the mind, perspective or knowledge (1 Cor 2:16, Matt 15:19-20; 1 Thess 4:11) and the right hand represents actions or behavior (Rev 9:20; Luke 21:12; John 13:6-9; Gal 2:9; 1 Thess 4:11). The mark of those Christians who buy into and participate in the Beast system will have rejected truth available to them and therefore will be known by their participation in the Beast system. They symbolically take on the name or characteristics of the Beast system and are therefore said to have taken its name or mark (Rev 20:4). Once the judgments against Christendom begin, their fate is sealed and those will have to experience the wrath of that judgment (Rev 14:9-10). That is why God’s people are admonished to come out of the system(s) (2 Cor 6:17; Rev 18:4) and to be a separate and peculiar people (Heb 7:26; 2 Cor 6:17). Those that take the symbolic mark may miss out on the high calling of the church unto resurrection to immortality. They will lose the opportunity to a resurrection to spirit being nature (Rev 14:12). Since all will be resurrected (Acts 24:15), they will possibly be judged with the rest of mankind as part of an earthly resurrection, but will miss out on the blessings reserved for God’s spirit begotten followers.
The fact that you are concerned indicates your heart’s desire. True Christians will not be tricked into the mark. Many have come to the understanding that the Papal System and much of its spin-off protestant systems are associated with the Beast discussed. This is due to the involvement of these religious systems in the affairs and power of earthly kingdoms and governments, in the commerce, wealth and power of the world. No ONE represents Christ on earth nor does any ONE denomination represents the Church. The way to avoid the mark is to study the scriptures proving every doctrine and teaching given you by any Christian group by scriptural witness (2 Tim 2:14-26; 2 Tim 2:15). ANY church, religion or Christian group that teaches anything that is not substantiated in scripture – beware (Eph 5:1-21). Jesus warned us that this would happen (Matt 24:4-5; 23-25). Study and prove every teaching in scripture, not by just one verse but by the complete record of an issue. (Acts 17:11; Matt 7:7).
The Apostle Paul said, “For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires. They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn to myth. But you must be clear-headed about everything….” (2 Tim 4:3-4). Christians have numerous beliefs based upon what they were told or taught, without proving everything in scripture. Just as a picture puzzle is not fully understood if it has large swatches of pieces missing, God’s word is to be understood in its totality. Scriptures define, establish, reinforce and build upon principles, types, pictures and examples; similarly, many pieces of a puzzle must come together to form meaningful interpretations or understandings of what is pictured. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10). If you study scripture with this in mind, then there is no need to fear the Beast, its name or its mark.