Birth Mark

“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb (Revelation 14:9-10).’”

Producers of a play entitled Mein Kampf, based on the early life of Adolf Hitler, recently ran a promotion for the opening of the production in which those who agreed to wear a swastika were admitted free of charge. (1) As shocking as this seems the greater outrage was that those who elected to wear a Star of David were required to pay full price for admission to the theater in Berlin. Christopher Nix who operates the theater explains that this controversial promotion is designed to bring back debate on the dangers of fascism. But in this exercise painful wounds are being reopened.

Virtually all of the German people, with few exceptions, became members of the Nazi party in the late thirties and forties in Berlin while any with Jewish ancestry were forced to prominently display the Star of David. Once Hitler’s Final Solution was initiated those so marked were dispatched according to the Fuhrer’s evil designs. Perhaps never were lines of demarcation so sharply defined; those who had sworn allegiance to the Third Reich bore the symbol of their ideology while Jews were tagged with their visible emblem, marked for destruction.

Once, in Jerusalem God did something similar as He gave directions to the executioners (angels?) to prepare to do their work, but first a man was instructed to go throughout the city and to place a mark on the foreheads of innocent (Ezekiel 9:1-4). This mark was only visible to the executioners who presumably would have seen this designator with spiritual eyes. However, there have been many other times in which God placed a more visible mark on men. Most notably was Cain (Genesis 4:16). For His covenant people God ordered the mark of circumcision (Genesis 17:11, Leviticus 12:3), a permanent mark that would always remind them that they were not like the rest of world. In the Exodus His people were to have their doorposts and lentils marked with the blood of a lamb so that when God saw this mark He would spare the firstborn in that house (Exodus 12:7, 13).

God still has such markers to identify His people who are to spared from destruction. Only those who agree to wear Christ (Galatians 3:27) and receive spiritual circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12) will be granted admission into heaven. His people are sealed with His Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13). We can’t see this mark on His people but we have some clues as to who are so branded by their love (John 13:35). Keeping His commandments is another identifying stamp of those who have been granted heavenly admission (1 John 2:5).

The book of Revelation speaks of 144,000 of the tribes of Israel who were sealed on their foreheads who were not to be harmed (Revelation 7:2-8). The church, the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), is not known by the world (1 John 3:1), but also bears the seal of God. Those who follow the deceptions of the beast freely choose to wear his mark on their hands and foreheads (Revelation 13:16).

Ultimately, we are all wearing a mark that identifies our allegiances. Which symbol we wear will determine our entrance into eternity. No one can buy their way into heaven, but if you are dressed appropriately (Matthew 22:11-14) your price of admission has already been paid.

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that you may be feared (Psalm 130:3-4).”


Billy Alexander is a member of the church of Christ in Jersey Village in Houston, TX. He and his wife Gwen both work at Hewlett-Packard where they met and have worked more than 25 years each. Billy enjoys teaching Bible several times each week at Jersey Village and Memorial church of Christ. Since 2008, his weekly article "Equipping the Saints" as run in the Jersey Village bulletin.