There are many very recent technological achievements that have made the events described in end-times prophecy now possible. For example, the invention of television and satellite transmissions has made it possible for people around the world to witness an event at the same time. Revelation 11:9 describes how two witnesses will proclaim what is happening and prophesy but then be killed by the Antichrist. Then, “For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.” Just fifty years ago it would have been impossible for such a thing to happen, but today satellite communication and the Internet makes that easily possible.
Along with television and satellites, we also can include the radio and Internet. With all of those technologies in mind, we can see how the prophecy in Matthew 24:12 can now be fulfilled. There we read, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Undoubtedly these relatively new technologies have provided the capability for these end-times events. While not possible just a few decades ago, they can now be easily realized.
Technology in the Hands of the Antichrist
Until recently, the Antichrist would not have been able to control all buying and selling of goods on a worldwide scale as described in Revelation 13:16. Now, however, with computers, RFID chips (that can track people and objects), and an electronic banking system, one can see how a world banking system run by a single authority could easily controls people’s buying and selling of goods and services. The ability to do so could simply depend on whether or not you have accepted the mark of the Beast, which is described in Revelation 13:16-17 like this:
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
Note that the mark of the Beast is not the same thing as the number “666.” The number 666 is a reference to how the Antichrist will be identified. The mark of the Beast, on the other hand, will be required for anyone to buy or sell. This would, for example, simply require that people be made to have a chip implanted in them. As recent as 2004, VeriChip Corporation developed the “VeriChip,” which is implanted under the skin and then can be used to access data about the individual. Whether or not it will be the VeriChip (or a technological equivalent) that is used as the mark of the Beast, however, remains to be seen.
Another option may be biometric identification, wherein people are identified by doing retinal or fingerprint scans. In March 2010 legislation was introduced to use that technology to identify people like Social Security Numbers are used now. We can easily see how such technology could be used to provide credentials for legal employment, access to health care (which has recently been nationalized in the United States), and then eventually to enable people to buy and sell. Interestingly, as we imagine how John was seeing the mark of the Beast being used in his vision, could it be that he saw people getting retinal scans or being fingerprinted on their right hand as a means of identification?
One thing is for certain: today’s technological capabilities make it quite easy to render that concept into reality. (Note: I do not believe the “mark of the Beast” will be something one gets accidentally; it will be obvious to people accepting the mark that they are doing so in recognition of the Antichrist’s authority. In other words, we should not fear every effort to provide identification for us, but we can see how it will set the stage for it to be used for the Antichrist’s evil purposes latter)
Perhaps second only to the word “Armageddon,” the phrase “mark of the Beast” is one of the most tossed about terms today, even by people unfamiliar with Bible prophecy. We can thank Hollywood for “educating” people on those terms, though most often they are grossly misrepresented and stirred into the same stew as the prophecies of Nostradamus, stories of aliens, and grand conspiracy theories.
The Results of the Mark of the Beast
As noted above, the mark of the Beast will enable people to buy and sell, albeit they literally will have to sell their souls to the Devil in order to do so. Therefore, I think it’s important to discuss it more. The Bible clearly explains the results of receiving the mark of the Beast, or not, in several places in the book of Revelation.
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God. (Revelation 15:2)
The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. (Revelation 16:2)
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Revelation 19:20)
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
As for the mark of the Beast, it’s crucial that one understands that no matter how bad it seems and no matter how tempting and “harmless” accepting the mark may appear; if you are living in the end times when the mark of the Beast is being offered (or seemingly even “forced” on people), you should not accept it under any circumstances. Your eternal existence will depend on the choice that is made. With that said, I believe that what you are accepting will be obvious. That is, you will not be able to “accidentally” accept the mark of the Beast without understanding that it means you are making a choice to follow the Antichrist.
The technology featured in spy novels and movies, whereby one’s every move is monitored and known, has become more and more a reality. These are exactly the types of tools that will empower someone (the Antichrist) to rule the entire world. Moreover, the Antichrist will do so in a way that will be cruel and evil. Spy satellites, the proliferation of video cameras, large computer databases, and the use of “electronic money” all contribute to the ability of the Antichrist to dictate and monitor commerce. Anyone who falls out of line will be punished and/or killed. However, under no circumstances should one accept the mark of the Beast, for it will mean accepting the Antichrist and will result in eternal damnation. Hope still remains for those people who stay faithful to Christ, for their eternal reward will be in heaven.
Source : learnbibleprophecy.com
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