In the Left Behind series, the Mark of the Beast is the way of showing loyalty to Nicolae Carpathia and the Global Community, who call it the "Mark of Loyalty" or Mark of Carpathia. It can be placed either in your right hand or forehead through the use of a biochip injector (the biochip being necessary for people to legally buy or sell), while a tattoo mark of either Nicolae Carpathia's name or the region code number is placed on the skin.
- It [to accept Christ and refuse the mark] will cost you your life, friend. You think I don't know this is a hard thing? Ask yourself, do I want to be with God in heaven this very night, or do I want to pledge my loyalty to Satan and never be able to change my mind? Tonight you'll be dead for an instant and then in the presence of God. Or you can live another few years and spend eternity in hell. The choice is yours.
Enforcement and Consequences of Receiving the Mark
Those who refuse to take the mark will suffer decapitation by guillotine (called a "loyalty enforcement facilitator" by the Global Community). The mark becomes mandatory in book 8, The Mark: The Beast rules the World. While people in the early part of its implementation were given a sort of grace period to accept the mark with no consequences (except for prisoners, whether they committed crimes against the Global Community or were Christians), in the final years of the Tribulation, people would be executed even if they chose to take the mark. It is illegal to remove the ink from the mark of loyalty. The mark of loyalty could be faked as Mainyu Mazda wore a fake mark. The penalty for a fake mark, if caught, is public torture.
Taking the mark of the beast and worshipping his image, as mentioned in the Bible, would condemn the person to eternity in the Lake of Fire, and would also subject that person to the effects of the Bowl Judgments. In The Rise of False Messiahs, Aron Ben-Eliezar was able to resist taking the mark of loyalty, even though he wanted to buy food because he was hungry, because he thought it was not merely taking an identification number but identifying one's self with Carpathia, although Aron was not yet a believer. Tsion Ben-Judah says taking the mark is a "once-and-for-all decision." Before the mark was forced on him, Chang Wong tersely said, "it doesn't work that way" when his mother suggested that he should take the mark and then ask God for forgiveness.
In Ominous Choices, there was a Z-Van concert in a "remote country in Africa". Judd Thompson Jr. observed that there were no people among the audience that had the mark of Carpathia on their forehead. They had not been able to take Carpathia's mark due to "technical difficulties with materials".
Culpability of Taking the Mark of the Beast
In the early part of the mark of loyalty program, "consciously" taking the mark of loyalty is similar to crossing the event horizon of a supermassive black hole where an observer can cross its event horizon without seeing or feeling anything significant because the destructive tidal effects that would immediately disintegrate any object occur once one is within the event horizon. However, once one crosses the event horizon of a black hole, escape becomes physically impossible because all the time-like curves (geodesics whose speed is less than the speed of light) within the event horizon inevitably lead to the black hole gravitational singularity. According to the authors, almost all of those taking the mark of loyalty are ignorant that it would inevitably lead to eternal condemnation in less than three and half years (the time of the Glorious Appearing) because the application of the mark of loyalty seems like an innocuous procedure that would have catastrophic consequences if rejected.
In James BeauSeigneur's Acts of God, an angel pronouncing Revelation 14:9–13, saying that those who take the mark of the beast and worships his image would be condemned to the lake of fire forever, shortly followed the implementation of the mark (called the "communion" there). In contrast, that pronouncement occurs in the Left Behind series only after significant implementation of the mark of loyalty, after the plague of the boils ran its course and the seas have turned to blood. When Most High Reverend Father Leon Fortunato delivers the sacred proclamation that is broadcast to the rest of the world from the Church of Carpathia in New Babylon that the grace period for taking the mark had expired, and that one must now worship Carpathia's image three times a day, an angel interrupts the broadcast to deliver the message. However, this supernatural announcement has not convinced many. Patrick Rose does not seem convinced that taking the mark of loyalty would lead one to perdition from that sign, but he did take Judd Thompson Jr.'s blunt answer about the consequences of taking the mark seriously to the point where he committed suicide from the immense despair of being denied eternal life and not being able to see his raptured wife again. In contrast, the angel Christopher appeared to some Muslim resistors of Carpathianism in China, enjoining them to accept Christ before they get executed, but they would have been executed even if they choose to take the mark.
In The Mark, during a presentation on the mark of loyalty program, Leon Fortunato said that every man, woman, and child, regardless of their station in life, should receive the mark of loyalty on their hand or forehead. This would mean that someone like Anne, from Triumphant Return, would have received the mark, unless their parents or guardians were able to conceal them from the Global Community during the latter half of the Tribulation. Even if someone like Anne did receive the mark, it would not affect their spiritual state, since they did not consciously assent to it, much like how Chang Wong received the mark. Also, the series seems to exempt young children from culpability, since the youngest people who were not raptured were 12 years old. While Jock Ashmore was talking about the fate of her son to Chloe Williams, he mentioned that the Global Community would prefer her son (whose name is unknown to the GC) be placed in Junior GC before he was to attend school, like all children. It is unknown if children in Junior GC had to take the mark. In Heat Wave, Tom Fogarty expresses the fear that his adoptive son might receive the mark of Carpathia, but his concern is not a description of Global Community policy.
Functions of the Mark of Loyalty
One receiving the mark of loyalty can choose a tattoo of Nicolae Carpathia's name, such as his first or last name or small initials, or the number of their region code. The size of the tattoo of the number can vary as one can choose to receive a small discreet number, like Andres who received a small 0, or have a large number of their region code emblazoned on their forehead or hand, like Suhail Akbar who got a giant black 42. One can also receive a tattoo of an image of Carpathia since the Greek prisoners in The Mark asked whether they can choose what image that can receive, but Alex Athenas responded that because they are prisoners they can only receive the basic number tattoo of 216. Kerry has the image of Carpathia and 2 on his right hand. In The Remnant, a peacekeeper said he only had the number when Mac McCullum under a guise asked him if he also had the image of the potentate too.
Even after the implementation of the mark of loyalty, economic transactions still occurred without the mark, at least in some regions of the world. For example, Albie paid Sahib 25 nicks in bills to guard his bike. Mainyu Mazda, who had a counterfeit mark, also received payment for his services to the Global Community, killing people without the mark and collecting a bounty, in physical nicks. Albie attempted to pay Mainyu Mazda with 30,000 nicks for electronic equipment to bug the new headquarters of the Global Community in Al Hillah, but Mainyu Mazda murdered him for the nicks and additional bounty money. In Ominous Choices, Dr. Patrick Rose, who had the mark of loyalty, said he only had 50 nicks in his wallet when he thought Judd Thompson Jr. was going to rob him.
In the The Remnant: an Experience in Sound and Drama, Suhail Akbar mentions that the chip allows satellites to track each individual. Even after an individual dies, the chip reports data, but it takes 24 hours after nerve activity ceases that the chip reports host termination. This level of tracking seems to be impossible since it requires a powerful signal to be emitted from the chip that can be received from a receiver at a considerable distance.
The Mark (or Number) of the Beast is either 666 or 616. Carpathia, however, did not overtly use 666, but rather surreptitiously used 216 in his religious numerology.
Region Codes (The Number Of The Beast)
Each of the ten regions (prophesied in the Bible) in the Global Community, the Antichrist-headed world government, is given a code that is also used when the Mark of the Beast is applied to Global Community loyalists. Each number is obtained from a mathematical expression involving three sixes, the number of the beast. For example, a citizen from the United Carpathian States would receive a 216 on his or her right hand or forehead. Prisoners, however, would be given the number of the region they are a resident of, regardless of their actual region of origin.
- North America | United North American States: -6=6-6-6
- South America | United South American States: 0=(6-6)x6
- United Kingdom | United Great Britain States: 2=(6+6)/6
- Europe | United European States: 6=6+6-6
- Africa | United African States: 7=(6/6)+6
- Oceania | United Pacific States: 18=6+6+6
- East Asia | United Asian States: 30=(6x6)-6
- South Asia | United Indian States: 42=(6x6)+6
- Russia | United Russian States: 72=(6+6)x6
- Middle East | United Holy Land (Carpathian) States: 216=6x6x6
While implementing the system, David Hassid read a note that said the only caveat to a proposing numbering system is that the United Holy Land States received the highest number, while North America received the lowest number. The latter is probably an indignity due to its role in rebelling against the Global Community.