[Note: This series covers my chapter from Terry James’ newest book, Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days. Available on Amazon! Start with the first segment.]
#3) The Mark of the Beast
The third sign involves those technologies which will make the Mark of the Beast the terror of the world. The book of Revelation forewarns, “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).
Let me provide you with a little context here concerning the Mark of the Beast. A seven-year Tribulation time period is coming when God will be pouring out His wrath upon the world, just as He did during the days of the Flood. Revelation reveals that at the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist and his False Prophet will set up a system of commerce whereby a person cannot buy or sell unless they have sworn allegiance to the Antichrist. They do so by writing his name or the number 666 on their right hand or forehead.
What kinds of technologies would be required to control the world’s commerce? The Apostle John could visibly read the name and number etched on the people who had sworn their allegiance to the Antichrist, so some kind of tattooing is certainly involved. Magnetic inks can store a person’s personal, financial, and health information; and then digital readers would scan the ink in order to authorize whether that person is allowed to buy and sell. Maybe a RFID microchip is also involved, embedded in a rice-sized glass case underneath the readable mark.
Global commerce also needs a way to collect all those countless terabytes of information, and so would require the constructing of giant data centers in order to store a planetary population full of data. That data would need to move lightning-fast using high-speed Internet connectivity, complex ecommerce systems, wireless networks, billion-dollar satellites, and so on.
The closest system we have today to the Mark of the Beast is China’s social credit score, which has already been instituted in their more populated cities. The Chinese government has positioned millions of cameras everywhere in order to spy on their citizens. Computer algorithms then rate the citizen’s allegiance to the government, granting benefits to those who are more loyal and restrictions on those the computer deems as not being patriotic enough. Just imagine that horribly restrictive system instituted on a global scale!
All of these ecommerce technologies, which make today’s buying and selling so much easier, are actually all coming together so that the Antichrist can control all of the world’s commerce, and thereby control all of the people under his rule.
A lot of fear surrounds taking the Mark of the Beast, and rightly so, for those who take it God says will have lost their hope of becoming saved. But, we today should have no fear of accidentally taking the Mark, for it will not be instituted until half-way through the Tribulation, well after the Church has been raptured up to Heaven. Therefore, don’t sweat chips and barcodes and credit cards. They have nothing to do with the Mark of the Beast… yet.
Today’s global ecommerce network points to the fact that Jesus Christ is returning soon.
Sign number four is actually a wonderful sign, for it’s a positive one. This sign prophesies that the entire world will be evangelized in the end times. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
God wants the Church to preach the Good News of His salvation to the entire world, and so He’s provided us with powerful communication tools for sharing the Gospel. Today’s exponential curve in communications technology has played a vital role in reaching more of the world for Christ than has ever been reached in the previous nineteen centuries. Technologies such as cameras and microphones, televisions and tablets, smartphones and cell towers, communications networks and satellites, the Internet and the airwaves, big media and social media — they all work together to form the largest pulpit the world has ever known.
And while all these breathtaking technologies are leading people to Christ by the thousands each day, the entire world, as Jesus referred to it, will not all hear the Gospel before the Rapture happens. That blessing awaits the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. Communications technologies will continue to spread the Gospel to the post-Rapture world. In addition, God will send forth 144,000 Jewish evangelists, the Two Witnesses, and even the Gospel Angel to preach throughout the whole world. Every person on the planet will be evangelized by the end of the Tribulation. God will leave no person without a chance to choose His Son and so be saved.
Today’s communications technologies point to the fact that Jesus Christ is returning soon.
In the seventh segment of this series on the end times sign of technology, we’ll continue looking at the signs of technology as they relate to the “living” image of the Antichrist and the great population explosion.
In this book, edited by Terry James and including chapters by Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones, eighteen “watchmen on the wall” tackle issues that are critical for this generation of believers to understand. Each contributor examines, under the microscope of Scripture, a specific topic, from anti-God movements within religion and culture to satanic geopolitical rearrangements. This, we believe, will help make understandable the madness taking place in this generation.
Order Discerners: Analyzing Converging Prophetic Signs for the End of Days on Amazon! Available in kindle and paperback.