THE MARK OF THE WHORE
 
The Book of Revelation gives prophecies about the Whore of Babylon.  She is a great spiritual empire that works against God.

The prophecies about the whore refer to a religion because it rides on the beast that did miracles (13:13, 14) and enjoined the adoration of false gods (13:14).  The beast put a mark on his servants without which they couldn’t buy or sell - 13:16,17. The beast is a symbol for a spiritual entity and the mark is a spiritual mark. Roman Catholicism claims that once a person is baptised that person gets a spiritual mark that cannot be effaced. Without that mark one cannot buy Heaven or sell it. It is very unlikely that the mark would be a physical mark. Revelation is about evil spiritual forces after all. Catholic baptism administers the mark of the beast. Some think the mark is the invisible spiritual mark put on priests at their ordination. They think the priests are a better fit than the merely baptised. They buy and sell souls to the Devil. But Revelation says the mark is forced on all people, slaves and free so baptism would fit this better. Priests are not forced into ordination. Babies are forced to take the mark of baptism. Also, adults take baptism to avoid the everlasting torture of Hell so they are forced too.
 
The Book of Revelation says the brand mark is stamped onto the victim's right hand or their forehead (13:16). This reference to the right hand and forehead is a quotation from Exodus 13. This chapter is about the passover meal regulations for the Jews. It says that the Passover will be a mark on the hand and forehead. So the mark in Revelation is a religious mark. In Deuteronomy 6:8 we read that God wants the command to love him totally to be on the wrist as a sign and as a pendant on the forehead. 11:18 has God saying the whole thing about the Book of Deuteronomy's entire body of teachings and commandments. This is telling us that the mark is the mark of a religion that pretends to serve the God of the Bible. Pagan Rome never pretended to do that. The text must mean counterfeit Christianity. Roman Catholicism is the only possible candidate. The text follows Exodus 13 better than the others so that was Revelation's prime focus. It turns up in the context of the Passover. The Catholic Church's Mass is the Church's Passover. The Mass is only for those who have been marked in baptism. Considering all this, the mark of the beast is baptism as the gateway to the Catholic passover. The mark is evil and the Mass is an abomination. Revelation 16:2 states that the punishment of terrible boils will befall all who bear the mark and those that worship the beast. The two categories show that merely having the mark will attract plague from Heaven.
 
The mention of buying and selling seems hard to fit with the Catholic Church. It can sound like the book is describing a political and trading empire. Now the Vatican does not buy and sell all over the world. But the ordinary Catholics do. These Catholics form countries that make laws. The Church as distinct from the Vatican is responsible for this. People buy and sell ultimately because they are permitted by the Catholic Church through the laws made by Catholic states.