Of all the different prophecies about the end times, perhaps none other has received so much publicity than the Mark of the Beast. Some have refused to use credit cards, insisting that they are the scheme of the Devil. Others have refused Social Security numbers for fear that they are the Antichrist’s tools. Are these the “666” tools foretold to be stamped on the world’s population in the latter days? Three verses in the book of Revelation give us the essential details of the Mark of the Beast. By grasping a few simple traits of the mark, we’ll be able to identify it when it comes our way:
And he 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (Revelation 13:16-18).
First, we should note the strictness of the mark. An individual in authority will order that all people receive the mark so that none can buy or sell except those who have the mark. None are left out, whether important or not, rich or poor, free or slave. This qualification has nothing to do with our credit cards, does it? We may still buy and sell without credit cards. None of us are forced to use them.
Second, we should note the location of the mark. The mark was placed in the right hand or the forehead. That rules out the Social Security number or other identification cards, doesn’t it?
Third, we should note the use of the mark. It will be used to buy and sell. Today we have soldiers and other people receiving a small pellet inserted under the skin for identification purposes. So that is not the Mark of the Beast either – those devices are not used for buying and selling.
Why would anyone want to put a plan like this into action, anyway? Well, financially, it’s ingenious. If we no longer used credit cards, paper, or coins, then there would be no muggers stealing our wallets, no counterfeit paper money circulating, and crime bosses would find the flow of their dishonest gain impeded. Many, many more criminal enterprises where money was involved would be dried up.
What’s the big danger about the mark, anyway? Well, those who accept the mark will be “marked” by God as well – for a hideous fate noted later in Revelation: “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:1-2).
Those who refuse the mark, who show their faith in God by denying themselves food, clothing, shelter, and other necessary worldly goods, will be rewarded: “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
I believe God will use this mark to identify true believers in that time. If people have been consistently choosing to indulge themselves for this life and were constantly shortchanging their faith, God will used this mark to wake up those who live in that time.
This prophecy, written about two thousand years ago, has the best chance of fulfillment in our generation or the next. Our money has free movement around the globe thanks to the interconnectedness of the world’s bank and the digital age. The European Union has been uniting their diverse monies into a common currency, the Euro, and other countries have signed on. The stage is being set for the launch of this mark during our age as in no other. Now is the time to be watchful against anything that could compromise your faith in God and his word.
What Do You Think?
a. What if a person rose to power in your lifetime and ordered you to receive the mark? Will you be able to resist the mark – to forgo buying groceries, paying the rent or mortgage, getting a paycheck – or will you love your comfort too much, and succumb to the mark?
b. If you knew the mark could come in your lifetime, what steps should you take to prepare yourself to refuse it?