"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." (Revelations 13:16-17 NIV)
This part of scripture tends to confuse or even scare people so much that they skip the entire book of Revelations altogether. You shouldn't, it is a book of hope!
However, as we discussed earlier about the Rapture, darkness will have to fall first before good triumphs. Take this as a warning of things to come.
What people tend to focus on with this part of scripture is the following continuation:
"...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." (Rev. 13:18 NIV)
We won't focus on this because it is a little confusing. What I want to focus on is verses 16 and 17.
Imagine not being able to buy or sell without approval of the government. Imagine wanting to get some food but not being able to unless you have some sort of ID tag. Far fetched, hardly!
You see, Revelations is written chronologically. The Mark of the Beast doesn't come into play until the beast is unleashed upon the earth. That hasn't happened yet! The rapture has to take place first: http://repellingtheenemy.blogspot.com/2008/11/breaking-news.html
Then and only then can Antichrist come to power. Then there is a seven year peace pact made, but half way through someone breaks it and attacks Israel. Martial law is instituted and then the Mark of the Beast is implemented in a George Orwell-1984 way. (That is the short version of course.)
So what is the Mark and how is it used? Let's see.
The Mark, in my opinion, won't be a tattoo with the number 666 on it. People would be able to recognize that immediately and would rebel. It has to be something subtle, something that people would want to take or use. But it will also be a way for you to be tracked everywhere you go. And everything you do will be known to the authorities.
But why would anyone knowingly take this Mark? Deception! You will be told that it is something else, something that is for the best. Imagine that, government telling us what they think is best for us!?! WOW, sounds like some of the things floating around nowadays.
The Mark, in my opinion, will be a microchip or something like it. There are plenty of tiny microchips that are capable of being implanted under your skin. Look at the following link: http://www.doomedamerica.com/rfidforced.jpg Look at the size of those things!!! And with technology progressing like it has been, it won't be long before GPS tracking those chips become a reality.
Anyone with pets can attest to that. You can have your pet implanted with a GPS tracking chip in order to easily find them if they wander off. See, that's how it will start. Something benign enough. I don't give it long before people will call for their children to be implanted with chips like this. Kidnappings will be a thing of the past with these new chips!
Ok, so now we can see how they can track us with chips, but how does that prevent buying or selling?
I'm sure some of you know all about the new credit or debit card readers that they have out now. You don't even have to swipe anymore, you just simply pass your card over the reader and the transaction is made.
But those cards can be stolen, ID theft is a huge problem now. How can that be prevented forever and all of my bank information made safe? Have all of your information put on a chip and have it implanted. Again, I don't see this that far off in the future.
Because of terrorism in the world, people are screaming for a national ID card to prove you are who you say you are. But those cards can be faked, how can we truly get around that? You got it, implant our population with the new "National ID Chip." Again, this is just around the corner, just wait!
There will be great pressure to willingly take this Mark, or chip. The prospect of not being able to conduct business, work or even buy food can be very compelling. Here's another reason people will take the Mark, execution.
There is a clear picture of people being executed for not taking the Mark of the Beast and worshipping his image. Beheading to be exact. Not a pretty picture at all.
So what happens to those who do take the Mark? Let's find out.
"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.'" (Rev. 14:9-11 NIV)
WHAT?! How can they be judged if they just take the Mark in order to survive? Here's the reason, it won't be just a financial or patriotic decision. It will also be a spiritual decision. In order to receive the Mark, you have to profess that the Antichrist is God Himself. Think of it as a twisted perversion of being born-again.
The devil wants your soul, and he will have it if you take the Mark of the Beast willingly and worship him as God.
Now, do you see where God's wrath is coming from? Once you willingly take the Mark, you are doomed for eternity. Think of it as God's Scarlet Letter.
So, what's the point here? As earlier discussed, I believe that people that accepted Jesus as their Savior will miss this part of history in the future. Those left behind may have to make a decision: Take the Mark and live for a while or refuse the Mark and lose your head. Not a choice I would want to face. Keep in mind, the choice will affect where you go for eternity.
I did say though that Revelations is a book of hope, didn't I? Here it is: you can be saved right now. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you won't even be a part of that terrible future known as the Great Tribulation.
But if you are left behind, you need to know that God hasn't abandoned you. He still wants you in heaven with Him. Accept Jesus now and refuse to take the Mark of the Beast, in whatever form it comes in. Run to the hills, run for your life and your eternity.
As I said, we aren't there yet. But if you read the news and listen you can clearly see government slowly trying to take our rights away. Freedom is taking on a new meaning. The Constitution is being eroded away ever so slowly and sneakily.
The right to bear arms is under fire, conservative talk radio is being threatened. Those are listed in the Bill of Rights, 2nd and 1st Amendments respectively. Yet some want to change all that and have Big Brother government take your hand and lead you to the promise land. We, the people, aren't capable of living our lives to the fullest without someone else stepping in and dictating what is best for us. Or so some think and say.
Be watchful and informed. Don't be caught unaware.
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 25:13 KJV)
This isn't some conspiracy theory, it is happening right now as you read this. The technology of the future is aligning itself with Bible prophecy of old. The Lord is coming back soon. Please be ready!