I had breakfast with George Vandeman, the famed Adventist evangelist from the It is Written television broadcast, and we talked about the Book of Revelation and the Mark of the Beast while we ate our morning pancakes at a Northern New England Camp Meeting many years ago.
We both agreed that the Mark of the Beast was symbolic and was given to people in the end-times, after the close of probation, who perverted the genuine gospel of Jesus with a gospel of works involving a forced conversion to Christianity and the worship of a false Christ. Furthermore, the Sabbath is a symbol of the free gift of salvation through resting in the completed works of Christ, and a reminder that we cannot work our way into the heavenly kingdom.
Forcing someone to worship God, or submitting to the worship of a false Christ, is a spiritual death sentence for those alive at the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Sabbath is a reminder of the gospel of Jesus.
This is the REAL meaning behind the Sabbath and the Mark of the Beast in the end times. It will be clear to all genuine Christians living in that time period that God does not force anyone to worship. Obedience that is not motivated by love for the free gift of salvation purchased by the blood of Christ is worthless, evil, and idolatrous.