The mark of the beast represents those who have been taken captive by the devil, whereas the seal of God depicts those who are set apart unto Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise
Christ has sealed the Elect unto the day of redemption, and gives us the down payment of His Holy Spirit in our hearts (Eph 4:30, 2 Cor 1:22, John 6:27).
Satan on the on the other hand has caused the ungodly to have an evil heart of unbelief (Luke 8:12, Mark 4:15, Mat 13:12). Satan is able to catch away the word that is planted in the heart of one that is not able to discern the truth. Those who are taught by the Holy Spirit are no longer in darkness, but embrace Jesus who is the light of the world (John 3:21, 8:12, 14:26).
Matt 13:19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart.
The Greek word Harpazo is translated as catches away or caught up. It also describes seizing with great forcefulness (Mat 11:12, John 10:28-29, Jude 1:23).
1 Thess 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
At the second coming, it will be as it was in the days of Lot and Noah. One shall be taken to inherit destruction, and the other will be caught up or gathered unto Christ. This is the unfortunate fate for all who have not found protection in Christ, and have been deceived into accepting the mark of the beast.
Matt 24:39-40 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left.
The word mark, as in mark of the beast, is used seven times in the book of Revelations. This same word is also translated as graven or etched, and is used once in the book of Acts.
Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
The Mark of the Beast is etched into the minds of the deceived. This will include those who will fall away because their faith was luke warm to begin with. Our faith must not be based on the wisdom of men, or the works of the law, but in the power of God (2 Thes 2:11, 1 Cor 2:5, Gal 2:16, Rev 3:15-17).
The second advent of Christ is when the Elect are gathered together, and there is no scriptural validation whatsoever for a pre tribulation rapture. Christ will not return until the man of sin is revealed and a great falling away occurs (2 Thes 2:3, Mark 13:24-26).
2 Thess 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The Elect of Christ are His temple, and His Holy Spirit resides in them; this is the mark of a true Born Again believer. Likewise the mark of the beast represents those who have accepted the spirit of this world that resides in their minds and hearts (1 John 4:3, Acts 5:3, John 13:2).
Contrary to the popular teachings of a rebuilt temple for the jewish people, this will not occur. The false teachers in the church do not have an understanding of the temple of God, as the god of this world has blinded them from the true light of the gospel of Christ (2 Cor 4:4).
The message hidden to most in 2 Thess 2:4, is as follows. If any one worships the man of sin or Satan as god, then the temple or dwelling place in us that is designed and set apart for God, is occupied by this impostor.
1 Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If any man defiles the temple of God by taking the mark of the beast, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Cor 3:17).
So the phrase,” He as God sits in the Temple of God” is no longer a mystery. Scripture informs us that Satan is the god of this world.
Satan imitating God, dwells in the place of God, showing himself that he is a god (1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Acts 7:48; 17:24; Rev 11:19). This indeed is the mark of the beast.
God no longer dwells in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48).
He as God sits in the Temple of God is in reference to Satan dwelling where he ought not to. The mark of the beast is upon all who obey the lusts of the flesh because their minds are corrupted by the spirit of Satan (Eph 2:1-3).
And the Devil said unto Jesus,” all these things will I give to thee, if thou will fall down and worship me” (Matt 4:9).
Jesus said unto them,”I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not, but if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (John 5:43).
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The true gospel of Christ can only be understood by those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit. The natural man can not truly serve God, nor can he receive the things of the Spirit of God. The Words of God are spiritually discerned, the carnal mind can not comprehend them (1 Cor 2:14).
Rev 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
It is possible that the image of the beast and the abomination of desolation are one in the same, as both transpire during the great tribulation period (Rev 13:11-15, Dan 12:7-13).