Today we want to give another major prophecy that is ready to be fulfilled today: The Mark of the Beast! This is something that nearly everyone has heard about whether or not they understand it.
To set the stage for this part of Antichrist’s story, we need to look at 13th chapter of Revelation.
13:1 And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
In the previous chapter in the Revelation, Satan was described as this dragon…
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
Revelation 17 explains that the seven heads are seven world empires – six of which have come and gone; The 10 horns are on the last head, and they correspond to the 10 toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. They may represent the European Union because the first 10 nations to join the EU still form the coreof the Union.
These animals correspond to another vision in Daniel’s prophecy about world empires that would arise before the last days.
Now, look at this…
The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.
Antichrist will be empowered by Satan himself!
3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.
As a false Christ, this leader of the last days will even counterfeit the death and resurrection of Jesus.
4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
A few verses later we read…
8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
9 He who has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.
14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
Then, a few verses later it mentions another “beast,” who is a false prophet. This false prophet sets up an image of Antichrist. This leads to the Mark of the Beast…
15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 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, 17 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.
18 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. (from New International Version)
Now, this, of course has not yet happened. But 10 or 20 years ago it seemed absurd that one man could have this kind of control – to be able to control all of the buying and selling in the world. But how the world has changed in the last two decades!
By the way, we follow the Bible’s warning not to set dates or identify who Antichrist is until the Tribulation period. In 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8, where the Apostle Paul is teaching about Antichrist, he wrote:
6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
There are many ways to convert numbers to names and vice-versa. On our Prophecy Central site we have a whole section devoted to the various theories that people have had about who Antichrist is. Some of them even demonstrate how their name could equal 666. But we don’t take these seriously at this time. You can visit Prophecy Central at www.Bible-prophecy.com. We have over 100 subtopics of prophecy listed there. You might want to look at the Antichrist section, the Mark of the Beast, or the Modern Technology sections.
Going back to the Book of Daniel – in the last chapter, God told him,
4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." (from New International Version)
This prophecy of the increase of knowledge and a picture of people “going here and there” are surely descriptions of our age – with the advent of the computer and the “Information Explosion.”
Let me describe some of the incredible technological advances that are either now in place or are being developed now that make this kind of economic control of the whole earth feasible.
COMPUTERS – ESPECIALLY SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE PERSONAL COMPUTER
My first computer was an Apple I – handmade by Steve Wozniack and Steve Jobs. Couldn’t wait to get my hands on one in 1978 when Popular Mechanics first printed an article about computers people could own and use in their own homes! All of this was made possible by the Space program of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Computers were miniaturized and mass produced. As a result, we have experienced the greatest changes in human history.
Cash is becoming unnecessary – maybe even dangerous (robbery)
Even fast food places encourage us to use credit cards.
THE INTERNET (AND INTERNET II- “The Grid”)
Perfect example of Daniel’s prophecy about “Going to and from”
Many people prefer to shop and purchase on the Internet now!
For people in far-away places, the Internet is still available almost everywhere because of satellite transmission. I used this in what used to be New Guinea when I was on a missions trip there.
INEXPENSIVE CARD READERS
Even in least developed countries it is now possible for small vendors in little kiosks to accept credit cards and have connection to the Internet.
IMPLANTABLE ELECTRONIC IDENTIFICATION DEVICES
WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL CRISIS
PERSONAL SECURITY/ ID THEFT
Verichip used for people in danger of being kidnapped.
We mentioned before- the health benefits of having a chip and being tied into Microsoft’s “Health Vault”
Since 9/11 people are willing to trade some of their privacy for increased security.
Identification theft is one of the biggest problems of our time. More “chipping” will decrease this danger.
Fastest Supercomputer Ever to Simulate Nuclear Blasts
Feb. 3, 2009 - IBM is working on its new Sequoia computer, to be delivered in 2011 to the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It will operate at 20 petaflops (20 quadrillion floating point operations per second!). The previous fastest computer was an IBM unit delivered June to the Energy Department. That computer broke the 1 petaflop barrier.
IBM says Sequoia will be highly energy-efficient for the job it does but even so will occupy 96 refrigerator-sized racks in an area the size of a big house — 3,422 square feet (318 square meters).
Each of the 6.777 billion people in the world today – 2950 floating point operations per second –
Theoretically, this is fast enough to check your location, your bank balance, your credit rating and whatever else the system needs to know. Then the computer could move on to do the same for every other person in the world. When all of that has happened, one second will have passed, and it could start the process all over again!
SUMMARY – Nothing new is required of technology to make it possible for control of a one-world economy by an economic dictator like Antichrist.
The technology is not intrinsically evil – just be wise. Mark of the Beast will be a requirement to WORSHIP him. You won’t miss the meaning of it, so people will be held accountable.