What is the true Mark of the Beast? This question has been asked for many centuries, since it was written in the Book of Revelation, that in the end days, people small and great, rich and poor will be required to receive that mark of the beast. This event in our time is again being talked about with the various Apocalyptic signs around the world, such as the Catholic connection with the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the installation of Pope Francis who had taken his name after St. Francis of Assisi. It is a prophetic sign for the fact, that it was St. Francis of Assisi who had bore the marks of the ‘stigmata’ on his skin.
The meaning of stigmata comes from a Greek word, στίγμα stigma, meaning a mark, or tattoo, and he was the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. These religious tattoos widely used in the Hellenistic world, are the stigmata tattoos mentioned on St Francis and that were said to resemble or match the wounds or skin markings suffered by Jesus. An event St Francis had painfully etched into his skin in blood as a sacrament to honor the Lord and Savior, Jesus which is normally associated with the Roman Catholic faith.
When the bible was first originally written in Greek, the only marks known to be on people of any kind at the time, were what we simply call today tattoos. There were none of the modern I.D. cards, social security numbers, bar codes, computer tracking chip implants, or scanners for people. The fastest and most simple way to mark someone has always been, and will always be, some type of visible tattoo on the forehead or hand. Permanent marks that cannot be easily hidden and/or removed.
For example, this method was used often, such as when Antiochus Epiphanes branded the Jews with the ivy leaf, the symbol of Bacchus (2 Maccabees 6:7; 3 Maccabees 2:29). He ruled the Jews from 175 to 164 BC. He is remembered as a major villain and persecutor in the Jewish traditions associated with Hanukkah, including the books of Maccabees and the “Scroll of Antiochus“. Rabbinical sources refer to him as הרשע harasha (“the wicked”).(Wikipedia)
Lest we not forget Hitler and the NAZI’s who tattooed the condemned Jews because there were so darn many of them to keep track of in the concentration camps. So much so, that they had employed the American IBM to help write a computer code to go along with these tattoos, that would help store and track all the numbers and prisoners. Therefor, please do not think this cannot happen again; just look to history to remind yourself if you would be so ignorant to forget these tattoo and beastly facts that are being put forth with my words on this electronic document called a website.
For thousands of years, many of our ancestors had tattooed their bodies. In fact, they were often considered the marks of noble birth to many tribes and people from a multitude of countries around the globe. People such as the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Polynesians, Brazilians, Hindus, and Europeans had all tattooed themselves heavily in the past.
“The tattoo-mark is to the Polynesian, what the shaven circle on the crown of his head is to the Catholic priest.” Back then, and still to this very day in many countries mentioned above, tattoos were, or are the norm, and you most likely would not have had a choice to have your skin inked because they were mandatory markings often given by parents and governments. Hence, you would be branded from a young age to indicate who you were, and your citizenry status would be tattooed onto your skin as said in Deuteronomy 6:8; “And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontiers between thine eyes.”
As I mentioned, these different tattoos had meant everything, from being of nobility or army status, to being branded the unfortunate one who is condemned to death. In ancient times, some tattoos were considered to be lucky or divine, in which this branded mark on someone would protect them from evil influences or spirits, and some marks were signs of life or death. Their ancestors spirits, symbols of their tribes and animal totems were often the preferred tattoos of people who had them done by free will choice. Many other tattoos were just part of every day life for thousands of years, and a method of immediate identification of anyone and/or government in identifying its people. Much like the state issued identification cards and drivers licenses that are used today. However, these marks I’m speaking of on the body cannot be easily hidden, removed or be fraudulent.
In ancient Athens, prisoners were tattooed on their foreheads to indicate a sentence of life or death. These branded prisoners had a sign on their foreheads that would let the executioner know who was sentenced to death, so he could cut their head off in an expeditious manner, and which prisoners were found innocent and would be saved from death. A simple tattoo of a lower case ‘t’ which is the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet and the symbol for death that meant the prisoner would die. But if the prisoner had the Tau, or upper case ‘T’ tattooed on their forehead, this meant a sign of acquittal. Hence, the sign of their savior, in which they would not be sentenced to death.
Many of the ancient Greek tribes had the custom of tattooing themselves for many reasons. They had tattooed their faces, arms, breasts and legs just like many people do today. This ink would indicate royal status, soldiers in battle, slaves in bondage, and even signs tattooed on a prisoners foreheads as mentioned above. They were branded on people, like a cowboy brands his cattle.
You see, back then many of these tribes were engaged in constant warfare and piracy, which included not only material goods, but also live souls of the kingdoms they had conquered and who would be enslaved en mass by many of these tribe. Not only would the royal class be distinguished by specific tattoos; so would the soldiers, the slaves and also the prisoners.
The ancient people and tribes of Europe and Britain had also tattooed their tribal marks on their foreheads and skin. The Father of English History and Doctor of the Catholic Church, Saint Bede (Beda) had said the Picts had first came from Germany and then Scythia. He states that amongst the Scythians are the ancient inhabitants of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, the Daci (Dacians), Getas (Getoe), and other nations. Bede also mentions that the first Roman writers had spoken about these people who had a custom of tattooing their bodies with tribal emblems. According to Herodian of Syria (or Herodian of Antioch), they did not wear clothes and had painted their bodies with permanent ink of their animal totem-parents;
They mark their bodies with various pictures of all manner of animals, and therefore they clothe not themselves, lest they hide the painted outside of their bodies.
The “Painted People,” more commonly known as the Picts (Picti, Pictavi or Pictones), who would have been descendants of their cousins in the East by the Greek tribes such as the Dorians, Laconians, Illyrians, Dacians, Spartans, Athenians and or Thracians. To the Thracians, to be tattooed, was considered an indispensable mark of noble birth. (Cf. Strub. vii. p. 315.) In the Messenian war, the soldiers inscribed their names or mark on their bodies, that their friends might recognize their corpses, should they fall. In some armies, soldiers would voluntarily tattoo their bodies with marks of the general under whom they served.
WILL WE SEE THE MARK OF THE BEAST IN OUR TIME?
Saint Paul had said, “Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus” (GAL 6:17, ASV) Ga 6:17, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus,” that is, I am His soldier and servant. The mark in the right hand and forehead implies the prostration of bodily and intellectual powers to the beast’s domination and Saint Augustine, “In the forehead by way of profession; in the hand with respect to work and service”
This marking on their skin of their idols is explained by the medieval Spanish, Sephardic Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, (called Moses Maimonides) who had said;
It was a custom with the Gentiles to mark themselves with their idols, showing that they were their bought servants, and were marked for their service: the sense is, that some received the mark in one place, and some in another: those who were obliged to receive the mark in the right hand seem to be the clergy, such who entered into holy orders; who lifted up their right hand, and swore and vowed allegiance to the pope, and testified they were ready to defend and support his religion and interest; and who in their ordination are said to have an indelible character impressed on them: and those who received the mark in their foreheads are the common people in general, who one and all have the same impress upon them; which may intend either the sign of the cross in baptism, or rather their open confession of the Popish religion, which they as publicly avow and declare as if it had been written on their foreheads.
If biblical prophecy rings true; quite possibly sometime in the future, a certain couple tattoo marks mentioned in this article may come back in biblical style like as in the days of Saint Paul or St Francis. A time, where the tattoos of Jesus, life or death will be considered, “The Mark of the Beast,” as written in Revelation 13:16; “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
With a new Pope named Francis, and just as St Francis had bore the marks of the ‘stigmata’ on his skin, these may very well be signs that indicate a similar tattoo event could happen in the future. Especially, if there is all over war and chaos around the world, because there would be no other way to quickly identify people, than to tattoo them on their foreheads or hands just like they had done many times in past history. Or this could all just be one big coincidence and biblical prophecy tattoo poppycock. I don’t know about you, but I see the signs and marks everywhere, and that indicate to me that it is the former that will occur, rather than the latter.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.