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Catholic Confirmation and The Mark of the Beast

March 2, 2012

I’m just going to post this quickly because I’ve been seeing a lot of searches asking if Catholic Confirmation is the Mark of the Beast…

Protestants really don’t have Confirmation at all.  It is one of those Sacraments that was jettisoned as Protestantism grew into different sects.  Confirmation comes from the Bible.  I invite you study these passages of Scripture:

“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John (Apostles appointed by Jesus Himself) who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Acts 19:5-6

“Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity… instruction about baptisms and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1,2

“Locusts came out of the smoke onto the land, and they were given the same power as scorpions of the earth.  They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or any tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.”  Rev 9:3,4

In the Sacrament of Confirmation the bishop or priest uses the chrism oil (blessed oil) and marks the believers forehead with the Sign of the Cross and prays over them.  This fulfills the ancient practice handed on by the Apostles which seals the believer in the Holy Spirit and places the Mark of God on their forehead and on their soul.

In ancient Christianity the leaders of the Church talked about this practice.

“After coming from the place of washing we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction, from the ancient discipline by which [those] in the priesthood . . . were accustomed to be anointed with a horn of oil, ever since Aaron was anointed by Moses. . . . So also with us, the unction runs on the body and profits us spiritually, in the same way that baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged in water, while its effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins. After this, the hand is imposed for a blessing, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit” (Baptism 7:1–2, 8:1 [A.D. 203]). – Tertullian

“No soul whatever is able to obtain salvation unless it has believed while it was in the flesh. Indeed, the flesh is the hinge of salvation. . . . The flesh, then, is washed [baptism] so that the soul may be made clean. The flesh is anointed so that the soul may be dedicated to holiness. The flesh is signed so that the soul may be fortified. The flesh is shaded by the imposition of hands [confirmation] so that the soul may be illuminated by the Spirit. The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ [the Eucharist] so that the soul too may feed on God. They cannot, then, be separated in their reward, when they are united in their works” (The Resurrection of the Dead 8:2–3 [A.D. 210]). – Tertullian

“Those in Samaria (Acts 8:14-17) who had believed had believed in the true faith… had been baptized inside—in the Church. . . . Since, then, they had already received a legitimate and ecclesiastical baptism, it was not necessary to baptize them again. Rather, that only which was lacking was done by Peter and John. The prayer having been made over them and hands having been imposed upon them, the Holy Spirit was invoked and was poured out upon them. This is even now the practice among us, so that those who are baptized in the Church then are brought to the prelates of the Church; through our prayer and the imposition of hands, they receive the Holy Spirit and are perfected with the seal of the Lord” (ibid., 73[72]:9). – Cyprian of Carthage

I have spoken of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how the imposition of hands is different than the charismatic “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, or if I haven’t made that clear, I have at least written about the gifts imparted to all believers through Baptism and Confirmation and that is is not the seeking of extraordinary chrism’s like those sought by Charismatics through their interpretation of these Biblical passages.

I do invite you to read my blog entry entitled The Mark of Baptism to better grasp how I came to understand how a soul can be marked by God or evil, but I did want to publish something concise and direct for those who seem to feel or be inclined to believe that Catholic Confirmation is somehow related to the Mark of the Beast in Revelation.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2012 1:35 am

    Great post! If I may ask, where is this “Mark of the Beast” insinuation coming from? Also, this reminds me of the indelible mark left on the soul by Holy Orders.

  2. Christine permalink*
    March 4, 2012 8:00 pm

    Thank you for your kind comment! I think the “Mark of the Beast” insinuation is coming from the anti-catholic belief that the Catholic Church is (or is in league with) the Anti-Christ (some say the Pope is the Anti-Christ) or that the 666 Beast is the Church. They believe all the ultimate evil from the book of Revelation is the Roman Catholic Church.
    I adore the fact that an indelible mark is left on the soul by our being Confirmed and Baptized in Christ which is where the other blog Mark of the Beast and Baptism really describes that understanding. I didn’t realize that an indelible mark was left on the soul because of Holy Orders, but it makes absolute sense that our Sacraments would mark out our souls for God. How beautiful!!!

  3. March 10, 2012 3:53 pm

    Well I know what confirmation is and it is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ( Pentecost) Which the Holy Spirit did give me the gift of tongues and other charisms.

  4. March 11, 2012 2:48 pm

    You are absolutely correct in saying Confirmation is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Confirmation seals our souls to God with the (chrism oil) mark upon our forehead and it is a fuller outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our lives. However, this is not the same thing as Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is what many Pentecostal churches utilize. Nor have I ever known any Protestant church use the term “Confirmation” since it’s a decidedly Catholic practice. Even if one did use the term “confirmation” for the laying on of hands, there would still be discrepancies in the ceremony due to the object or purpose, and two invalid Holy Orders. In a Pentecostal church through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, some churches demand a sign of speaking in tongues manifest before one is considered to have legitimately received the gifts of the Spirit. This is also where Catholicism and Protestantism practices differ since Confirmation is not utilized in order to try and obtain extraordinary charisms. In fact, the Catholic Church discourages the laity from seeking out extraordinary charisms or gifts, but to utilize that which as already been given to them as God sees fit. HOWEVER, this does not negate that some people do and are given unique and rare charisms. It is not unknown for our dear saints to have posessed the ability to speak in an unstudied language, to heal, or to do many amazing things through the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I would encourage you to read my entry about the Spiritual Gifts of Padre Pio. Amazing!

  5. January 8, 2015 2:56 pm

    Four comments in favor of your delusions and no dissenting comments? How fair and honest of you. The Truth will set you free, believing in your delusions will only further enslave you.

    • January 11, 2015 1:14 pm

      Actually, I usually post all comments whether negative or positive on my blog which, if you’ve read my blog at all you can see that. The only ones I don’t post are worthless drive-by comments like yours filled with negative unproductive bashing comments hiding behind fake names and untraceable emails. I’ve only gotten positive responses on this specific blog so far, therefore that’s all I’ve posted, but thank you for the idea that you think I’m getting so much more.

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