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In 1975, I accidentally listened to a weekly, Sunday afternoon Catholic radio program (I’m not Catholic) where the priest/host was interviewing a representative from a very well known cash register company. That guest was introducing listeners to the new universal product code (UPC).
His presentation was fascinating. I was just a little saddened because as a college student, I had worked various grocery and department store jobs in order to survive. And one of my favorite pastimes, something to do while I was watching the clock, was pricing product by hand – with a marker, an ink stamp, or stickers. The barcode, he said, would do away with all that.
Just a few years after that radio program, in a grocery store, I first saw a computerized laser reader in action. Astoundingly, the checker just waved an item over that multi-beamed electronic eye and ‘BEEP!’–the rest is history.
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The whole deal is built upon simple, expeditious logic: immediately, in a single pass, the price is in the register – the buyer has a partial total, and the store knows what they’ve sold and how many they have left in stock. And when they need to order more, that can be done automatically. It also eliminates cashier errors. Today, it’s common knowledge that every facet of commerce uses the barcode for manufacturing, inventorying, shipping and receiving, retail sales – you name it.
All sorts of industrial farm feedlots have used a bar coded tag on an animal’s ear so, with a single swipe of a reader, they can know the specific animal, his age, his diet, his weight progression and so on. Today, a subcutaneous, micro-broadcasting chip – inserted in the flap of an ear or around the lower lip – monitors the development and marketing process of all kinds of livestock.
But during that radio program in ’75, neither the speaker nor the priest realized that impromptu radio seminar described perfectly the preparations for what I now completely believe initiated the roots of what the Apostle John – nearly two thousand years earlier – identified as ‘the Mark of the Beast.’ That ‘mark’ is a principle factor of the end-time EVIL he WARNS readers about in his fascinating Bible narrative, ‘The Revelation.’
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The guest speaker was explaining how the inevitably approaching, computer-based economy would work. After he had walked listeners through the use of the UPC in retail trade, he began to elaborate on the expected additional benefits that would result from that system. Its workings had been planned by innumerable brilliant minds through years of blackboard discussion in government-subsidised thinktanks. That logic and foresight, time has shown, was so solid that it is still playing out today. The effort of all this planning was assisted by computers that were much less sophisticated than today’s personal desktops (yet as big as SUVs).
“You see, Father,” he explained, “the program’s whole structure is built upon what we are calling ‘Electronic Funds Transfer’ (EFT). Here’s how the overall system is expected to play out.”
He talked about a coming cashless society. He said that, because money would one day cost more than its own worth to print, we would eventually be using checks and credit cards solely. Not long after that, he said, since checks and credit cards create a mountain of paperwork and can be lost, forged, or stolen, every transaction would be entirely EFT. And at this point, his prognostications became a bit unnerving …
“Where we’re heading with this, Father, is a personal identification MARK or brand to be taken – right on our bodies!” The cash register guy was beside himself with excitement. The not-unusually biblically-naïve priest merely took issue with the idea of people being branded – “like cattle!” He said it was “offensively impersonal.” But to me, a recently reborn Christian who had just days before read the terrifying Scriptural warning in Revelation 13:16-17, his words were an awakening, like cold water splashed on my face.
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In the last 40 years especially, many movies have been made implementing or centering on the ominous and mysterious “Mark of the Beast.” While it may make for a good draw at the box office -playing on the horrific drama of some satanic clone building a dark Empire and vying for world domination (not necessarily alluding to our current president) – the concept is based upon a quite serious warning GOD has already issued, through his Bible, to this dying world.
If you are not familiar with Scripture’s dire WARNING to all people to NEVER ACCEPT WHAT THE BIBLE CALLS THE “MARK OF THE BEAST,” it is wise to familiarize yourself with that warning and be prepared to give an emphatic and final ‘NO’ in the event that anyone, government or ruling authority, requires your accepting of such a thing – FOR WHATEVER REASON. Taking that ‘mark’ – again, the Bible indicates – is an eternally fatal error.
God made the bottom line very easily understandable: “And he (the ‘false prophet’) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
While God does forbid permanent tattoos on our bodies (Leviticus 19:28*), various decorative tattoos are not the equivalent of that mark of the beast John mentions there in the book of Revelation. But in accepting that mark of the beast (it probably won’t be named as such) as it is described in the Bible, people will be saying – TO GOD – “I don’t want to have faith in you. I don’t want to try to trust something I can’t see or feel. I WANT ONLY WHAT APPEARS TO ME TO BE SECURITY; a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, so to speak. I don’t give a damn about spirituality, your offer of eternal life, your son who allegedly died for me or your moral requirements as my creator. I want none of that. I’m willing to be branded like a cow. To hell with you, God; I’m taking the mark!”
Before asking Jesus into my heart, I’d grown up in a home where the Bible was principally a table ornament and a file for family photographs. Then, most unexpectedly in my third year as a sophisticated collegiate atheist, I experienced a deeply personal and vibrant MEETING with the LIVING Jesus Christ. Now, just a few months after my conversion, I was discovering, firsthand in this radio program, the fulfillment of Bible prophecy?! What the hey?! The broadcast went on …
The speaker began detailing the ergonomic interface (practical, physical dynamics of usage), explaining how a human would access an all-electronic economy. He said that specific locations on our body (perhaps the hand or forehead) were found to be most accessible to a scanner but least marred during the course of a working day. Both he and the priest openly struggled with the notion that someone would want to wear a visible brand.
In the mid-seventies, however, tiny implantable chips weren’t even a pipe dream.
At this point, he discussed the practicality of what years of brilliant conjecturing had produced:
“It just makes good sense all around, Father! Every single business transaction, no matter how large or small, will be recorded in our government’s central computer. And because you will carry your personal banking number on your body at all times, who cares if you lose your wallet or purse? And it will virtually eliminate much crime! Can you feature somebody cutting off a portion of your body in order to buy beer or a tv?! I think not!” Again, the priest just thought it was a coldly impersonal idea in an already deteriorating society.
But the part of the conversation that most intrigued me was this:
“Let’s say a prisoner breaks out of jail. The MOMENT he buys a bottle of milk or a crust of bread, POW! The cops know right where he is! And, think of it, no one will ever again be able to cheat on their income tax (or yearly tithe, for that matter, Father). Every nickel we make will be accounted for!”
I will never forget that interview or how it left me hanging. When Jesus once said “Oh, ye of little faith!,” He was speaking directly to me. Nevertheless, since then, over my four decades of being a Christian (which has gone by in about forty minutes), I have watched SO MUCH of the prophetic word in God’s Bible come to pass. Perhaps more accurately stated, SPRING INTO BEING.
There are volumes of quite up-to-date commentary available (online and hard copy) that are devoted wholly to further corroborating the COMPLETE RELIABILITY of God’s word. TONS of documentation is available to anyone who is interested enough to explore. Yet, just as Scripture foretells, today most people are adamant in ignoring the irrefutable ‘proof texts’ (prophecies) that God has included in His word in order affirm His existence, perfect omniscience – and His Son’s certain return.
Do I think that people (those who accept the mark that John described) will actually be tattooed with some eye-catching (or even visibly noticeable) brand? No, I don’t. Neither do I pay much attention to the fanatical, homemade photos of various internet trolls’ ideas of what the ‘implant’ might look like. When the day arrives that our cash is finally shut down – our every move electronically monitored (which is now firing up) – and the next dehumanizing step is initiated, that technology will be made manifest so no one can miss it. (And as an aside, we will REALLY then be set up for disaster on this earth. Imagine what terrorists or any evil government could achieve in possessing control of that system – legitimately or by hacking into it. Disaster for all!)
The Greek term was used in John’s Book of Revelation, for the word ‘mark’ could more closely describe a gouge like that a sculptor might make in chipping a piece out of wood or stone – even perhaps an indention from a stab. Back when John transcribed his vision while he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos, there was no knowledge of or word for a ‘radiofrequency identification’ (RFI) microchip (which may or may not be involved in that mark). He simply described what he saw and was told, as best he could, in the terminology of his day.
Nevertheless, when the moment arrives that our government or anyone else begins requiring us to receive any specific ‘mark’ – for purposes of trade, tracking, or whatever reason – to be taken on your right hand or forehead, REMEMBER THAT GOD’S WORD WARNS THAT YOU MUST NOT BE INVOLVED WITH THAT.
Eventually – perhaps attributed to establishing a failsafe method of positive ID for security precautions, or maybe anti-terrorist measures – people will even be put to death for refusing that identifying mark. (Revelation 20:4) [As for children, We know that God is sovereign over the eternal welfare of those innocents. He knows their hearts – and He wants them in heaven infinitely more than do their parents or caretakers. Just like it was with Noah and his family, God knows how to keep his little ones safe.]
There are some who argue that the mark of the beast is not a physical label but rather a determinedly sinful state of heart and mind. My only response to that is that the Bible, especially its warnings, is written so even the simplest can grab a hold of it. I am one of those simple people. John specified it would be SOME SORT of a specific designation, contrary to the goodness of God, that mankind would be caused to receive ‘ON THE RIGHT HAND OR FOREHEAD.’ What I AM certain of is that ANY heart attitude or spirit that would accommodate people in so WILLFULLY and FINALLY rejecting the meek and loving Son of God will also easily induce such people to be branded like cattle.
Indeed, this has been a weird article to pen. When I had just become a new Christian, I never thought I would one day be writing about stuff like this. But no one will deny that these are strange and evil times and that EVERYTHING – from the increasingly calloused and icy hearts of the people surrounding us, and the evil cults and totalitarian tyranny we see tightening its grip around the neck of the free world, to the amazing reestablishment of the tiny nation of Israel and the predicted trouble resulting from that – all clearly points to that time of trouble that we are told WILL SHORTLY PRECEDE THE RETURN OF OUR LORD JESUS!
If any of the above causes you any concern or gives you the slightest pause, by all means TURN from whatever bad things you may be doing (just living life apart from God is a bad thing) and, in prayer, sincerely call upon the Lord Jesus. Agree with him that you are a sinner and quite less than perfect. Ask JESUS to give you the gift of his freely imparted righteousness and salvation!
EVERYBODY DIES, AND YOU DON’T WANT TO LEAVE THIS LIFE APART FROM HAVING A SAVING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. After that prayer to Jesus, GET A BIBLE AND BEGIN READING IT! (Philippians 1:6)
The warning in Revelation regarding the mark of the beast is, like all the rest of God’s word, VERY REAL.
WE HAVE BEEN WARNED.