The Bible references several places where people received a mark on their foreheads. Was it good to have such a mark or not? Let’s take a look.
He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.” Ezekiel 9:4
God revealed to Ezekiel the idolatrous sins of 70 leaders along with many others in the temple. They deceived themselves thinking they were hiding something from the Lord.
Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying, ‘The Lord doesn’t see us; he has deserted our land!’” Ezekiel 8:12
Continuing, another 25 men turned their backs to the sanctuary, bowed low to the ground, and worshiped the sun!
Many were guilty of breaking the first 2 commandments. You shall have no other Gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything.
These people thought they could pull the wool over God’s eyes. But they didn’t. What’s even worse is, they were doing their detestable things in God’s temple.
Therefore, I will respond in fury. I will neither pity nor spare them. And though they cry for mercy, I will not listen.” Ezekiel 8:18
Check out this related post called Punishment from God Because of Sin.
Preparing to Put a Mark on the Foreheads
God had men (probably angels) with weapons appointed to punish the city. And He had another man dressed in linen ready to put a mark on people’s foreheads.
- Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a deadly weapon in his hand.
- With them was a man dressed in linen, who carried a writer’s case at his side.
- They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar. Ezekiel 9:2
Before the judgment began, the Shekinah glory of God rose up between the cherubim. Then it moved to the entrance of the temple where the men were.
There the Lord spoke to the man dressed in linen. He told him to put a mark on the foreheads of those who hadn’t turned away from the Lord.
Then He turned to the six carrying deadly weapons giving them the following instructions.
Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all . . . Ezekiel 9:5
References in Revelation
Other places in the Bible also tell about people receiving a mark on their foreheads. We find other references to it in the book of Revelation.
In chapter 7, an angel temporarily stopped 4 others from destroying the land and sea. First, the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel needed to receive a mark or seal on their foreheads.
“Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.” And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel. Revelation 7:3-4
In the 9th chapter, after the 5th angel blew his trumpet, the stinging locusts went into action.
They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Revelation 9:4
Also, keep in mind that Satan tries to counterfeit everything God does. During the tribulation, the Antichrist will require the mark of the beast placed on foreheads or the right hand.
He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark. Revelation 13:16-17
Difference Between God’s Mark and Satan’s
According to what we have read in the scripture, those given a mark from God signified safety. But, eternal torment goes to those who receive the mark of the beast.
Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. They will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur . . . forever and ever. Revelation 14:9-11
Let’s end on a more positive note. Those of us living for Christ right now have something better than a mark on our foreheads. We have the seal of the Holy Spirit.
When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
Lord, thanks for making redemption available to all who call on you and for marking us as your own.
Read all of this interesting story in Ezekiel 9.
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