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As part of his plan to enforce the worship of Antichrist, the false prophet will require all categories of unbelievers, summarized as 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. Mark (charagma; from charasso, "I engrave") was the term for images or names of the emperor on Roman coins. In the ancient world, such marks (tattoos or brands) were commonly given to slaves, soldiers, and devotees of religious cults (cf. Gal. 6:17). God sealed, with a mark on the forehead, the 144,000 to preserve them from His wrath against the unbelieving world (7:2--3); the false prophet marks the unsaved to preserve them from Antichrist's wrath against God's people. The mark will signify that the person bearing it is a worshiper and loyal follower of the Antichrist. In much the same way, the Roman emperors required their subjects to prove their loyalty by offering sacrifices to Caesar. Those who refused, like those who refuse to take the Antichrist's mark, were subject to execution...

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