The mark of the beast and the Seal of God 

List of Studies 

1. Introduction

The study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13’ introduces two beasts.  The first beast, in conjunction with the little horn of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, is identified as the power that continues today as the Papacy. 

Here we address the second beast of Revelation 13, the Seal of God, and the mark of the beast. 

2. The second beast of Revelation 13   (Re 13:11-17)

For brevity the second beast of Revelation is summarized as follows, but the text may be read using the link above.


- arises out of the earth, signifying a new nation arising in a new geographical region

- has two horns like a lamb

- speaks as a dragon

- exercises all the power of the first beast

- causes the world to worship the first beast

- does great signs and wonders 

- deceives the world by miracles into making an image of the first beast

- gives life to the image of the first beast, causing it to kill those who would not worship the image

- causes all to receive a mark in the right hand or the forehead, that none may buy or sell unless they have the mark 

2.1 Identifying the second beast of Revelation 13 

The companion books of Daniel and Revelation are for the end time (Da 8:17;12:4).  In this period, the only new nation that has arisen in a new geographical region is the United States of America, which, with the declaration of independence, became a nation on 4th July 1776.

Its founding principles (its strengths) were freedom of worship (free from state control) and democracy (freedom from state oppression). These are represented by the two lamb-like horns, which also represent America’s original lamb-like nature - it has been a haven for the oppressed peoples of the world. 

2.2 What the second beast, America, does

However America has come to ‘speak as a dragon’, exercising its power (military and economic) over the whole world.  The dragon is Satan (Re 12:9); thus America speaks with the voice of Satan, and uses Satan’s methods, i.e. lies (false doctrine) and force, to subjugate all who refuse to bend to her will.  

America’s 'horns' now represent oppression in every sphere, but especially in the religious sphere (Satan's focus of attention), in which Protestant America has become Roman Catholic influenced America - religion and morality are increasingly controlled by the state. 

A nation speaks by its legislation.  Such is America’s power that it is able to use its legislation to sway the whole world in Papal Rome’s direction.

America, by means of wonders, deceives the world into making an image to the first beast of Revelation 13 (the power which continues today as Papal Rome), and gives the image life. A powerful religious system within America, one which promotes Papal Rome will wield such influence that the American legislature will bow to its will.

This power is already at work - America’s legislation is becoming intrusive, oppressive, and pro-Catholic.

Apostate Protestantism

This power can only be apostate Protestantism, which extends throughout the world, and which has returned to Rome, espousing her doctrines.  Apostate Protestantism in America today, along with the world, reveres the Papacy as the saviour of the whole world. The Pope has even addressed Congress (on 24th Sept 2015). 

Apostate Protestantism (in America) is the driving force by which America will cause the whole world to worship the image of the beast.  Its influence will propagate through all the worldwide Protestant movements that espouse the same Papal errors. 

Thus America, by means of apostate Protestantism, is the false prophet of Re 16:13, and worldwide apostate Protestantism is the image of the beast.

The false prophet is also discussed in study: ‘The end time: overview’,4.2.

To understand the intrinsic nature of the image, we need only to look to the history of the Papacy, which at its height controlled both church and state - this was the essence of its great power.  That power was lost in 1798 when the Papacy received its apparent deadly wound (see study: 'Identifying the antichrist beast',3.2 ). 

To heal the wound, the Papacy's great power must be restored, first in America. Today in America we see the false prophet (apostate Protestantism) agitating loudly for the unity of church and state - when this is accomplished, the image of the beast will have restored the full power of the first beast of Revelation 13.

This will precipitate (in the last moments of history just prior to the second advent of Christ), the enforcing of the doctrines of the Papacy - which is a return to the situation that prevailed in the medieval Christian world.

However, by means of doctrines held by other religions in common with the Papacy, the end time restoration of the Papacy’s power will embrace the whole world.  The scene will then be set for the final test upon mankind: the mark of the beast / the Seal of God.

2.3 The mark of the beast and the Seal of God - overview

The mark on their right hand indicates the practical acceptance of the mark, i.e. complying with the dictates of the Papacy.  The mark in the forehead indicates intellectual assent (the frontal lobes of the brain behind the forehead are the centre of reasoning). 

Those who remain true to God will have to depend wholly on Him, trusting and believing that God will supply all their needs, and that He will strengthen them to endure all things. 

When the time comes every person on Earth will receive either the mark of the beast or the Seal of God - on such an important matter the Holy Spirit will ensure that all will be able to make an intelligent choice. 

Given that these events are almost upon us, it is critically important that all identify and understand both the Seal of God (section 3) and the mark of the beast (section 4).

3. Identifying the Seal of God

Re 7:2,3  And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 

3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 

The Seal of God must be something that is unique to God, and it must be readily identifiable. 

In the study: ‘The Sabbath’ we address something that fits these requirements exactly: the seventh day Sabbath of the Lord, which God Himself placed at the heart of His moral Law as the Fourth Commandment.  

3.1 The seventh day Sabbath of the Lord

The attributes of the Sabbath of the Lord are addressed in study: ‘The Sabbath’.  In context here, they are listed as follows:

The seventh day Sabbath is God’s unique sign that He is the One True Almighty God - no other (supposed) deity takes the seventh day as their holy day.

Those who acknowledge and practise the seventh day Sabbath demonstrate their allegiance to the One True God and are sealed by Him as His faithful commandment-keeping people.

Those who observe the seventh day Sabbath are observing the true Lord’s day.

3.2 The Lord's Day

Mk 2:27,28  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 

28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. 

Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, thus the Lord’s day must be the Sabbath day.  

NB. Christ declared this before the Cross (i.e. before the point at which many claim the Ten Commandments were abolished).  Thus the Sabbath of which Christ is self-declared Lord is the seventh day Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment.

Furthermore, Scripture tells us that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (He 13:8), and that God never changes (Mal 3:6).  Therefore Christ today is Lord of the seventh day Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment.

3.3 Conclusion - the Seal of God

It is abundantly clear in Scripture that the seventh day Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment is the means by which God identifies Himself to mankind, and the means by which all who wish to do so may declare their allegiance to Him.  

The seventh day Sabbath is God’s unique sign which He has never changed, and of which Christ is Lord today.

Thus all who confess the Lordship of Christ must acknowledge the day of which He is Lord: the seventh day Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment. 

In scripture, nowhere do we find even the slightest hint that the seventh day Sabbath of the Lord has been abolished in favour of first-day (Sunday) sacredness.  Thus today, the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment is still binding upon all. 

All who acknowledge and practise the seventh day Sabbath will, when the imminent final test is enacted, be sealed by God as His true commandment-keeping people.  

The Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment is therefore the end-time Seal of God.

4. Identifying the mark of the beast

As we have seen, the Seal of God is adherence to His true seventh day Sabbath, which is an acknowledgement that God is Lord and Saviour   It follows then, that Satan, to achieve his aim of usurping God’s position, must counterfeit God’s seal.  

Thus Satan’s seal (the mark of the beast) must be adherence to a counterfeit sabbath.  The day of worship set up in opposition to the seventh day Sabbath is the first-day ‘sabbath’, the so called Lord’s day: Sunday. 

Sunday is the natural day for Satan to choose because the ancient sun gods (e.g. the Egyptian ‘Ra’; the Greek ‘Helios’ and ‘Apollo’; the Roman ‘Sol’) were the main counterfeit to the One True God - the sun gods were ascribed the attributes that belong only to Almighty God.

4.1 Sunday worship

It is important to understand that in Scripture the first day of the week (Sunday) is never sanctified as the weekly day of worship; likewise, it is neither commanded nor blessed.

Sunday worship began to be adopted about the end of the 1st century AD, when Christians, because of Roman persecutions and sanctions against the Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, wanted to differentiate between themselves and the Jews (who observed the seventh day Sabbath). 

Sunday worship was given secular authority by decree of the Roman emperor Constantine on 7th March 321 AD.  Thus it is jointly an institution of the world and the apostate church.

Sunday was chosen because it offered those who worshipped the various sun deities on the ‘venerable day of the sun’ an entry into (nominal) Christianity, thereby bringing pagan doctrines into the church.  

Thus Sunday sacredness is an invention of the apostate early church, promoted by the increasingly powerful Bishops of Rome, who, in 538 AD by decree of the Roman emperor Justinian, effectively became the Papacy (see study: 'Identifying the antichrist beast',3.2).

4.2 Sunday sacredness and the Papacy

Note. When discussing the Papacy we address the system, not individual Roman Catholics, who are often very devout (although misled). 

The Papacy asserts that imposing Sunday sacredness in place of God’s true Sabbath is a sign of her authority, in that she claims the power to change times and laws (see study: 'Identifying the antichrist beast',3.3 ), as seen in the following.

In: Catholic Christian Instructed, Rev. Dr. Challoner, p. 204

Q. Has the [Catholic] church power to make any alterations in the commandments of God?

A. Instead of the seventh day, and other festivals appointed by the old law, the church has prescribed the Sundays and holy days to be set apart for God’s worship; and these we are now obliged to keep in consequence of God’s commandment, instead of the ancient Sabbath.

In: The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Peter Geiermann, p50.

Question: Which day is the Sabbath?

Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath.

Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?”

Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.

In: A Doctrinal Catechism, Rev. Stephen Keenan, (1851), p174.

Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.

The Papacy confirms that Sunday sacredness is her doing, and it is her MARK of authority:

 In: Letter from C.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, 28th October 1895.

“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act…And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.”

In: Catholic record of London, Ontario, 1st Sept 1923.

“Sunday is our MARK of authority ….the church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact”

In: Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, Pastoral Letter, 20th November 2011.

“The way we celebrate Sunday will affect the way we live the remainder of the week and is a mark of Christian identity from generation to generation.”

Note. In recognizing that Sunday sacredness has no Scriptural authority, the Roman Catholic Church (the Papacy) is placing herself above both Scripture and the Law.  By replacing God’s Sabbath with a sabbath of her own, Rome transfer’s allegiance away from God to herself.  The Roman Catholic Church thus usurps God’s authority on Earth 

Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit will guide into all truth (Jn 16:13), yet He never teaches that the seventh day Sabbath has been changed.  Surely such an important change would be taught clearly and unmistakably - yet there is not a single text of scripture in support of Sunday sacredness.

Scripture does teach, however, that though a person may adhere to all the commandments save one (i.e. the fourth, seventh day Sabbath commandment), that person is guilty of breaking the whole law (Ja 2:10).  It is therefore imperative to adhere to ALL truth as taught plainly in Scripture, forsaking the commandments of men.

It is abundantly clear that Papal Rome (the end time manifestation of the power behind the first beast of Revelation 13: the dragon, i.e. Satan, Re 13:4; 20:2) regards Sunday sacredness as the MARK of her authority.  Thus Sunday observance, when it is willfully preferred above the seventh day Sabbath of the Lord, constitutes the mark of the beast.

4.3 Implementing the mark of the beast

The Papacy has stated that she intends to enforce Sunday observance by law.  The Papal encyclicals ‘Dies Domini’ (the Day of God) of 1998, sections 64-67, and ‘Laudato si’ of 2015 section 237, both advocate forcing Sunday observance by means of legislation

Those who will comply with such legislation will accept the mark of the beast.  As we have seen, those who will refuse to comply with Sunday legislation, preferring to remain true to God, will be denied the necessities of life.  In some cases, they will be put to death. 

At the time of writing, a Sunday law has not yet been enacted, though around the world Sunday legislation is increasingly being agitated (notably, by the European Sunday Alliance).  However, in keeping with prophecy this is especially so in America.  When America does enact such legislation it will be speaking wholly as a dragon (i.e. as Satan) - see section 2.1.

We have only a short time to establish Scripture truth in the heart, and to resolve to remain true to God, come what may.

4.4 Summary - Sunday sacredness and the mark of the beast

The Roman Catholic Church claims to be above the Bible, and that changing the seventh day Sabbath of the Lord by substituting the first day of the week (Sunday) as the new ‘Christian’ sabbath, is the mark of her authority. 

In the study: ‘Daniel 7 and Revelation 13’ we see that the little horn of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and the end time manifestation of the first beast of Revelation 13 are identified as the power that is exhibited in the Papacy.  Also in the study: ‘Daniel 8 part 2’ the little horn of Daniel 8 is identified as the Papacy. Thus the Papacy is identified as the end time antichrist beast power. 

In conclusion, we have identified the mark of the beast as adherence to Sunday sacredness, for which there is no scriptural authority.  In the very near future a test, a Sunday law, will be universally applied, when all will have to choose between the Seal of God and the mark of the beast.     

The term ‘accepting’ is used because all who will have the mark of the beast imposed will have made a conscious decision to refuse the Seal of God.

As we have seen (Re 13:16), the mark of the beast is applied in the right hand (indicating practical acceptance) or in the forehead (indicating intellectual assent).

In Re 13:16 the Greek word translated ‘or’ (Strong’s G2228) is a disjunctive particle, indicating ‘either or’. Thus those who may not assent to the Sunday law, but for expediency will comply with it, will receive the mark of the beast the same as those who do assent to it.

5. Final unity in Apostasy

The studies in Daniel and Revelation identify the end time antichrist power (the beast) as the Papacy, and we see here in section 2 that the United States of America will exercise power on behalf of the Papacy to cause all (except for God’s faithful) to receive the mark of the beast.  This will require all the world to be united in apostasy, which Revelation confirms will happen:

Re 17:12,13  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 

13  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 

When these words were written the Papacy and the present powers of the world had not emerged.  Today, at the very end of time, we see the whole world having one mind, uniting under the Papacy to form a one-world unity on points they hold in common, setting the scene for the very final events. 

Additionally, in Da 11:27 we see the mischievous end time apostate powers 'sitting at one table' and lying (see also study: 'The end of human probation',2.2).

6. Mankind’s final choice - true or false worship

When the final test (a Sunday law, see section 4.3) is brought upon the whole world the choice will be simple: worship the Lord by adhering to His seventh day Sabbath, and thereby receive the seal of God.  

Alternatively: worship Satan (in the guise of the Papacy) by adhering to his false sabbath (which is the first day of the week, Sunday), and thereby receive the mark of the beast.  

We saw in Re 13:17 that those who will refuse the mark of the beast will not be able to buy or sell, and will thus be denied the necessities of life.  However the faithful are promised that their bread and their water are sure (Is 33:15,16).  Those who are called to martyrdom will be strengthened.  Thus none need fear. 

Keeping the seventh day Sabbath is a declaration of Love for, and allegiance to, God. On the other hand, willfully setting aside the seventh day Sabbath in favour of first day (Sunday) sacredness is a declaration of love for, and allegiance to, the world, which we are warned against (1Jn 2:15).

All must choose between Christ and the world - there is no middle ground.  

The Lord, as He did in the time of Moses, urges all to choose Him, thereby choosing life (see De 30:19).

7. The Seal / mark irrevocable

The application of the Seal of God / mark of the beast is the outcome of God’s final atoning work in the Heavenly Sanctuary (see study: ‘The cleansing of the Heavenly Sanctuary’).  At the close of this work, probation for the whole human race is ended (see study: ‘The end of human probation’). 

At that point, Christ makes the fearful declaration:

Re 22:11  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still 

Thus the Seal / mark at the close of probation is irrevocable.  This is in contrast to the Seal applied by the Holy Spirit (Ep 4:30), which can be revoked if a repentant sinner later repudiates their faith.

Until the close of probation, the Seal / mark is not applied. Up to the close of probation Christ still calls sinners to repentance.  After that point Christ no longer calls the unrepentant - the fate of all is sealed.

8. Overall summary

For those living in these last days, there is no more important concern than the mark of the beast / Seal of God issue.

We have seen how Satan, through his agency the beast (The Papacy restored to its former power), at the very end will impose his will upon the whole world.  Those who submit to the corrupt doctrines of Papal Rome will receive the mark of the beast.  Those who resist will receive the Seal of God.

We have seen that God’s sign of His saving Covenant, His seal, is the seventh day Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment.  Satan’s counterfeit seal or mark must therefore be a counterfeit Sabbath, which will negate God’s Covenant of Grace.  The only day regarded as a sabbath, but for which there is no Scriptural authority, is Sunday, the first day of the week - a day that the Papacy acknowledges as her own invention.

Thus the mark of the beast / Seal of God issue is one of worship and obedience.  Adhering to the Seventh day Sabbath is a sign of the worship of, and love for, the One true God.  On the other hand, adhering to Sunday sacredness is a sign of the worship of, and love for, the god of this world.

None who knowingly and willfully disregard the Fourth Commandment of God, and thereby break His holy Law, can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Given that the Lord has provided ample warning in His Word, none who choose the mark of the beast (when the final test is enacted) will have any excuse; it is obey and live - disobey and perish.

 List of Studies