The Mark of the Beast is probably one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood passages of the Bible.
Because of the intrigue and mystery surrounding the Mark of the Beast it is one of the most speculated sections of biblical prophecy. Most Christians are jaded by the topic and often wary to address its significance. Let’s face it, the internet is littered with websites that have painted the picture of Christians as crazy conspiracy theorists. However, there are some simple applications of this passage that will allow you to test the times.
Simply stated, during the Tribulation there will be a currency that is neutral and not tied to one particular government, a global currency. A ‘mark’ or identifier will be used in order to buy and sell.
“He required everyone small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.” – Revelation 13:16-18
How do we handle this passage? How do we accurately portray this passage in an educated, non-sensational fashion?
When interpreting scripture we have to look at both (a.) the historical context of the culture to which God gave the information and (b.) the context of the culture in which it will ultimately be fulfilled.
Prophecies are telescopic, meaning they can have multiple fulfillments. There are often forerunning events which foreshadow its ultimate fulfillment. In the Book of Revelation the imagery given to John was used in the context of his day, however it was prophesying a future time. He did not have a context for cell phones, helicopters, modern day military equipment, bombs, etc. So when we read the text and apply it to our day we can, by the help of the Holy Spirit, use it as a general barometer of the times in which we live and our general trajectory.
One of the best leading indicators to discern the signs of the times is technology. Technology is not subject to the Law of Diminishing Returns, at least this is argued among scholars. The reason is the trajectory of technology. It neither retreats nor contracts, it is always moving forward and in a parabolic state. Wars, natural disasters, dictators etc have all occurred with varying frequency throughout history. Technology, however, is consistent with steady upward trending growth. Technology is the new Tower of Babel and a leading indicator of our position in the biblical timeline.
For example, the internet has created a global economy and this became clearly evident during the financial collapse of 2008 and subsequent contagion.
Does the Mark of the Beast feel far-fetched? Let’s put it into practical, modern day terms.
- 666 or the “number of man” which everyone receives is not much different than the American Social Security Number (SSN) which is 123-12-1234 digits. This future number will likely be a 6-6-6 digit number (123456-123456-123456 ) which can handle the entire world population.
- Your cell phone is your first wearable technology. Although not physically on your person it is almost always with you. Phone numbers were once tied to an address but now they are tied to a person. Your phone number 123-123-1234 is a similar numerical system. The convergence of phone numbers with Facebook profiles is illustrative of these numbers being tied to your identity. Scanning your cell phone to pay combines all three components: your number, your social identity, and your payments.
- Digital currency, such as Bitcoin, will be used in this system. Why? Because gold can be mined and dollars can be printed. Digital currency is more easily controlled, tracked and monitored. Because you can only buy or sell through this system it suggests gold, precious metals and gems (that can be mined from the ground) would be replaced as well as paper currency that can be printed to worthlessness. People will have the opportunity to trade in current assets for this currency when the transition occurs.
The number of man or Mark of the Beast is literally tied to something called the Golden Ratio. This is presented in Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and in shapes such as the pentagram, the pentagon and the Star of David, which is really a 20th century application of the Seal of Solomon. All of which are rooted in the occult and are known Satanic symbols.
The internet, wearable technology and digital currency are all signs that point to the infrastructure needed for the biblical, Tribulation system.
The prevailing trend is for Christians to lean solely on Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” This is often used as a default response in order cover or justify ignorance of biblical prophecy. Although it is true that only the Father knows the appointed hour, Jesus warned His disciples to be aware of the changing of the seasons (Luke 21:29-31).
The point was to keep the disciples focused on the mission at hand, spreading the Gospel, rather than sitting and waiting for Christ to return. However, Jesus did instruct His disciples to discern the seasons, no different than when summer changes to fall and fall to winter. In fact, many parables and passages suggest being ready for the ‘owner’ to return.
Living in a spirit of readiness holds loosely the things of the world, is actively engaged in the Gospel movement and is aware, by education and the Holy Spirit, of the environment in which they live.
A comprehensive understanding enables you to speak clearly and articulate intelligently the current day application of scripture to our highly educated and highly skeptical culture. It can be an asset to which the Holy Spirit will move and prepare people to receive and follow Jesus before it is too late.