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The Mark of the Beast

John Hoole July 14, 2002

Today we are going to study one of the best-known prophecies in all of Scripture. Even most people who have never opened a Bible have some familiarity with the phrase: "The Mark Of The Beast." Most people sense the sort of eeriness that accompanies the number 666.

I have not seen films like The Omen or The Exorcist, but I have been told they use antichrist imagery, demonic activities, and 666 typology. What is missing in so much of the secular discussion of the mark of the beast is the proper context in which this prophecy is presented to us in the Scriptures.

In 1997, a California judge ordered the state's Department of Motor Vehicles to accommodate the concerns of five men who want to apply for driver's licenses without providing their Social Security number as required. The men objected to Social Security numbers on religious grounds, saying that they may be the Mark of the Beast" mentioned in the Revelation of John. In her decision, issued in October, 1997, California Superior Court Judge Diane Wayne said the state DMV can find another method for identification that accommodates the men's "sincerely held religious convictions."

Let me say at the very beginning of this class: The Social Security Number has NO relationship to the coming mark of the beast.

I also want to say that during this lesson, I hope you will realize, that taking the mark of the beast will not be some inadvertent or accidental act that will cost you your very soul. Those taking the mark of the beast will know exactly what it means when they choose to accept it. No believer will be blind-sided into accepting a mark they do not understand.

Current Events

July 5, 2001 - A tiny new chip has been developed by Hitachi that contains ROM (read-only memory) and a RFID (Radio frequency Identification) transponder. It is only 0.4 millimeters (about .01") on a side. The chip is called Mew, can transmit information over a distance of about 30 cm. It can be imbedded in a paper product to insure its authenticity, and as in the case of money, to track its location and history.

June 16, 2001 - Plans to create an under-the-skin monitoring chip will be tested for a 90 day period, starting July 1, 2001. None of the tests involve actually implanting the devices under (human) skin. The device is called Digital Angel, and is the first biosensor and wireless telecommunications device that will be linked to GPS (Global Positioning Systems). Its developer, Applied Digital Solutions, is a Florida-based firm, who say the "digital angel" could be used in a wide range of potential applications, including:

1. Monitoring the location and medical condition of at-risk patients,
2. Locating lost or missing individuals,
3. Locating missing or stolen household pets,
4. Managing livestock and other farm animals,
5. Pinpointing the location of valuable stolen property,
6. Preventing the unauthorized use of firearms,
7. Providing a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-commerce security.

May 27, 2001 - In an Associated Press Article entitled "McDonalds tries electronic payment," writer Melanie Carrol says the 26 McDonalds locations in and around Boise, Idaho are experimenting with electronic payment by use of a little wand with a transponder.

March 31, 2001 - Four Kroeger stores in the Houston area have been using a point-of-sale fingerprint scanning device for just over a year to validate customer identification. Customer acceptance has been a problem, as is the cost of the equipment, but they believe all stores will eventually use such a system. The equipment is provided by Biometric Access Corp.

Jan. 22, 2001 - Children's fingerprints are being used to purchase school lunches at some schools in the Tussey Mountain School District in western Pennsylvania. Some observers are very enthusiastic about the program since it "eliminates theft of lunch money," "eliminates losing swipe-cards," and "removes the stigma of being known as the free-lunch kid." It works on a debit account system - parents put money in, and students order food. When the account runs low, a letter automatically goes to the parents. Parents can also restrict students to only certain kinds of purchases.

Kuala Lumpur airport

When passengers arrive for a flight, facial images are recorded on camera and that data is encoded on both boarding passes and baggage tags. When you finally board the plane, the system scans your facial image again to ensure that the person with the boarding pass is actually the one getting on board.

ATMs in England

Have you ever pulled up to an ATM machine and forget your PIN? ATMs in the Nationwide Building Society in England doesn't require it. They have piloted an iris recognition system, where an image of the person's retina is recorded in the system.

Trial sub-skin implants for humans

The London Times reported a couple of years ago: Trials of sub-skin implants have been underway for nearly 5 years. "Film stars and the children of millionaires are among 45 people who have been fitted with implant chips."

Medical Science

Some hospitals are asking, "how about a chip providing a complete medical history in case of emergencies?"

Medical patients

In the May 20, 2002 issue of People Magazine, in an article called "Chips Ahoy," stated that about 50 Floridians, most with serious medical conditions, will be chipped.

Filling the tank of your car

There are a number of variations already being tested for what is called "smart cards." One form of this is called the Mobil Speed Pass. You drive up to the gas pump, and when you come within 5 feet, it gets ready to service you. It knows who you are and how to charge your purchase. However, you still have to get out and pump the gas. You don't ever take out your wallet. You don't punch in a PIN number.

Toll Booths

Orange County, California, already has three new roads that collect tolls from cars passing at full speed. The same system is also used in France and Italy.

Welfare Payments

The State of Wyoming uses smart cards, which transfer welfare benefits electronically to the card.

This enables the state to regulate the items welfare clients are allowed to buy, and controls the maximum number of a product that can be purchased. It also electronically transfers funds to merchants bank accounts.

These kinds of technology is already being used in a number of places with animals.

o Canada has approved a chip implant for all cattle. The implant is smaller than a grain of rice, and can contain hundreds of pages of info.

o All livestock in the entire European Community are required to be implanted with a chip.

o In Colorado Springs, Colorado, along with other places in America, they are replacing dog and cat tags with implants.

o Many places are now implanting chips in pets when they come into animal shelters. It will allow for lost pets and their owners to be match up again.

These implants don't need batteries. They have a little coil, and a pre-programmed set of numbers, all encapsulated in glass. It is inserted under the skin with a special hypodermic needle. It won't get infected, and you would hardly know it is there. But scanning devices know it is there. It could be tied to your bank account, or a number of other systems. If used on humans, it could include hundreds of pages of information about each individual. Or it could be linked to systems or databases that have a whole lot of information about you.

This kind of technology is already here. The companies that manufacture these devices tell all the good benefits they offer. Various local agencies, like hospitals, animal shelters, airports, government and military agencies, banks, prisons, security personnel, etc., also tout their benefits.

And, in America, fear of terrorism has placed Americans in danger of trading their right to be let alone, for some sense of security that a national identification card might give.

What has all this to do with the subject of the Mark of the Beast. For one thing, it shows that the technology needed to implement the Mark is in place today. Technology-wise, the Mark could be put into effect quite rapidly. Whether or not any of these technologies will be used is unknown.

As intriguing as a discussion of the mark of the beast technology may be, it does not attain its true significance until we put that piece of the puzzle with other pieces of the prophetic scenario as found in God's Word. So, let's dive into what the Bible has to says about the Mark of the Beast. We will look at what it is and what it is NOT.

Revelation 13:16-18 NIV

16 He [The False Prophet] 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.

As I stated earlier, this verse, or at least the concept of the mark of the beast, has been often quoted or described by those who have no idea what it means. It has become the stuff of legend and science fiction.

What this verse basically says is that at some point in time, someone will put into effect a system of personal identification, without which a person will be cut off from any and all commercial transactions. Those without the mark of the beast will not be able to buy food or services, or any other item. Neither will they be able to sell their products and services, whatever they may be.

In our last several lessons, we have learned that the Bible has a great deal to say about the programs of the Antichrist and his 1st lieutenant, the False Prophet. We saw, in Revelation 13, the Antichrist's rise onto the world scene in some detail.

Specifically, we saw that when this beast rises onto the world scene, he will be seen as one coming in peace, and seeming to have the answers to great questions. But we also saw that early in his career, he will blaspheme the God of heaven. That won't bother those on earth much, since immediately after the Rapture of the Church, none on earth will have the mind of Christ, that Christians do today.

Revelation 13:5-6 NIV

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.

When the Antichrist speaks to the world community among his words, he will stress his hatred of God and all those who believe on Him.

You cannot accidentally take the Mark of the Beast Those who know about the Mark of the Beast - even those who are not a Christian, know there are dire consequences associated with taking the Mark.

A couple of years ago, an Air Force captain, stationed in Hawaii, refused to accept a government-mandated identification tag, for fear he would be taking the "Mark of the Beast." We can give the good captain an A+ for dedication to his Lord and his desire to serve Him, even if it meant the loss of his military career. But we must give him a D- on a proper understanding of the prophetic Scriptures.

I believe the Bible is quite clear that a person cannot take the mark of the beast accidentally. Every person who does allow themselves to accept the Mark will know exactly what they are deciding to do.

What frightens believers who are fearful of accidentally taking the Mark of the Beast, is not what is found in this Passage in Revelation 13, but what is said about it in the next chapter.

Revelation 14:9-11 NIV

9 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, 10 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. 11 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."


These verses teach us that taking the Mark of the Beast is irreversible. Anyone who takes the mark will incur the wrath of God in the lake of fire. In other words, those who accept the mark of the beast will be eternally damned. This is what is so frightening to people.

I want to state here, that since the Mark of the Beast will be implemented beginning at the mid-point of the 7-year Tribulation, and since all Christians will be raptured prior to the beginning of that 7-year period, none of you Christians need fear of ever taking such a mark during your lifetime on earth. The only people who should be concerned are those who miss the Rapture and are left behind to go through the Tribulation.


The words we just read, should tell us that acceptance of the Mark is more than just an economic issue. The spiritual consequence of acceptance of the Mark (being eternally lost) tells me the most important aspect is also spiritual and that spiritual principal is twice referred to in the verses we just read. Let's look at them again.

In both verses 9 and 11, taking the Mark of the Beast is linked to worshiping the beast or his image. Let's see what it says in verse 9.

If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand....

Note carefully that worship of the beast precedes the acceptance of the Mark. It is stated the same way in verse 11. The mark of the beast is a sign, on the forehead or the right hand, indicating that the followers of the Antichrist agree with his opinion about the God of Heaven.

As the antichrist speaks blasphemies against the one true God, his supporters will join in the chorus of railings and profanities toward their Creator. It is this action - combined with their attempts to create the "kingdom of man," in which God has no part, - that constitutes an eternal, spiritual decision.

It is crucial to understand that the decision to accept the mark of the beast requires some form of a pledge of allegiance to the antichrist. It is not just so a person can or cannot buy or sell. It is a spiritual decision that has only secondary economic benefits. The Mark of the Beast is obtained only by those who sell their soul to the beast and the devil who gives him power.

The mark of the beast will be a "symbol" of allegiance and worship of the Antichrist. And it is a rejection of a holy God. To receive the Mark of the Beast, you must first worship the beast.

Look at the following verses.

Revelation 14:9

"if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark…."

Revelation 14:11

"….who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark….."

Revelation 16:2

"….which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."

Revelation 19:20

"…them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image….."

Revelation 20:4

"…which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark……"

Only ONE verse - Rev. 13:17 - connects "buying and selling" with the mark. But there are many verses that connect the mark to worship. While it is true that no one might buy or sell without the Mark, that is not the primary reason for receiving the mark. That "no man might buy or sell" is the consequence of NOT receiving the mark, not the reason for receiving it.

Satan still, as he always has, desires what belongs only to God - WORSHIP. Satan want to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV

4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

If we focus on just technology - the biochip, bar code, tattoo, etc., we are focusing only on the economic part of this issue - the buying and selling. And when we do, we set ourselves up for not fully understanding the issue of the Mark. Some sort of technology - biochip, tattoo, implant, etc. - will most likely be used to implement the issuance of the Mark of the Beast. I don't think there is any doubt about that. But the technology used is not, in and of itself, the mark of the beast.


One might ponder the question that with the Church gone, who is going to tell those on earth about God? Those on earth during this time of deciding which way to choose, whether it be the one true God, or Satan and his allies are given ample information with which to make their decision.


1. The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists

2. The Two Witnesses

3. The 3 Angels of Revelation 14

144,000 Evangelists

We find this group first mentioned in Revelation 7:1-8. They are Jewish evangelists, comprised of 12,000 from each tribe of Israel. We are not told how these 144,000 come to know Christ as their savior. Some have speculated that each of them will have some experience like Paul on the road to Damascus. Revelation 14:4 tells us they are unmarried virgins.

Back in Chapter 7, we are told they are given God's mark in their foreheads. In verse 3, they are called "the servants of our God." Although Satan and the Antichrist and their followers hate them, they are unable to extinguish them. With the seal of God upon them, the 144,000 are shielded from death during the first 3½ years. These evangelists will take the message of the gospel of the kingdom throughout the whole earth during the first 3½ years of the 7-year Tribulation.

Matthew 24:14 (NIV), says

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I believe the fulfillment of this prophecy will occur during the ministry of the 144,000 and the 3 angels of Revelation 14. The description and ministry of the 144,000 is mentioned first in Revelation 7:1-8. The following verse says this:

Revelation 7:9 NIV

9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

The last 9 verses of Chapter 7 describes this multitude of people who have accepted Christ during the Tribulation. This has led some commentators to conclude that since the description of this group follows on the heals of the 144,000, that this countless group are the converts of the 144,000. Others have speculated that since John later describes an army of 200,000,000 (Rev. 9:16), then this "great multitude that no man could number," must be greater is size than the 200 million.

So, the first way in which God has provided the people of earth a chance to accept Christ, will be through the ministry of the 144,000 evangelists.

The Two Witnesses

These are two of the most colorful characters in the End Times. In Revelation, they arrive on the scene very quietly. But their ministry will be anything but quiet. When John receives his revelation, they are just describe as "My two witness."

Revelation 11:3 NIV

3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."

These two, dressed in sackcloth, have a powerful prophetic ministry. They dispense astonishing miracles.

Revelation 11:5-6 NIV

5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.
6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

One would not want to harm these witnesses. God supernaturally protects them by giving them awesome powers. Death will come to anyone who even tries to harm them. The Antichrist and his follower can do nothing to these two witnesses until their ministry is completed. Their ministry will last 1,260 days, or 3½ years. At the completion of their ministry, we are told:

Revelation 11:7-13 NIV

7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.
8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.
10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.
12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.
13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The event of the death of these two witnesses will be televised to the whole world. People will dance in the streets. They will even send gifts to each other because of the death of these troublemakers. But they celebrate too quickly. After 3½ days they will be resurrected in the sight of all who are watching, and they will be taken up to heaven, while their enemies watch. Undoubtedly, this too will be televised to the whole world.

Did you notice the last phrase we just read. Survivors of the great earthquake will give glory to God. Among other things, this will be a loving gesture by God Almighty, not only to resurrect and take to heaven these two prophets, but also to make known His existence and power around the world.

So, the second way that God will try to get people to follow him, will be through the ministry of the 2 witnesses.

The Three Angels

In Revelation 14, we see God's grace once again extended to all the people of the earth. God send three angels, each with a message for the people of earth. It says, beginning with verse 6, that the first angel, flying in mid-air….....

6. …... had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to every nation, tribe, language and people.
7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."

The first angel preaches the everlasting gospel to all people.

The second angel announces the fall of Babylon, the false church, showing that to put their trust in it is futile.

Revelation 14:8 NIV

8 A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."

The third angel brings a message of warning. He warns people not to worship the beast and accept the mark of the beast.

Revelation 14:9-10 NIV

9 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, 10 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.

This is quite possibly the strongest, most severe warning God gives anywhere in the Bible. Those who receive the mark of the beast will suffer the wrath of God, which is poured out without measure. The phrase "without measure" indicates that there will be no mercy mixed with this judgment. Previous to this time, God's judgments have always been tempered with mercy. Men and women living at this time will have an enormous decision to make.

Look closely at these angels.

Notice firstly, that these angels are flying in mid-air - where all can see and hear their message.

Secondly, they are said to speak with a loud voice. Again, this indicates they want everyone to hear their message.

Thirdly, their message is to everyone who lives on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people.

Fourthly, their message is very clear. There is absolutely no doubt to what they are saying. You don't have to read into their words any hidden message. Their message is very clear.

The earthly rewards for a person taking the Mark of the Beast are:

1. The person can buy and sell during the second part of the Tribulation.

2. The person will not be persecuted, ridiculed, beaten, or put in prison for following Jesus.

3. The person will not have to flee to keep from being beheaded.

But, according to the messages of these 3 angels, they will experience:

1. Judgment which is coming to all those who refuse the "everlasting gospel."

2. They will be let down by the false world church, because it will fall.

3. They will drink of the wine of God's fury, a fury that is at full strength - that is, the undiluted wrath of God.

4. They will be tormented with the fire and brimstone of the Lake of Fire.

So we see that God gives every person on earth several chances during the Tribulation to accept Christ as their Lord. God really is not willing that any should perish, but come to repentance.

To accept the Mark of the Beast is a spiritual decision. To receive the Mark of the Beast, one must reject the message of the "everlasting gospel." It will be a conscious decision to follow the Antichrist instead of Christ. Spiritual allegiance will be demanded by the Antichrist, before one will be allowed to receive the Mark. What I see here very much reminds me of what we read in Romans 1.

Romans 1:21-24 NIV

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man ……
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts……

In verse 28, it adds:

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved (reprobate) mind, ……

Those who accept the Mark of the Beast will do so, having been told that accepting it will establish forever their eternal destination in the Lake of Fire.

What is the Mark?

Will it be a literal mark on one's forehead or right hand? Or is it a figurative or spiritual mark? If it is literal, will it be visible or invisible? Will it actually be the number 666, or something different? What does 666 mean? What does the phrase, "the name of the beast" mean? How is it connected to the Mark? What does the phrase, "the number of his name" mean?

Let's try to answer these and other questions.


Let's once again read Revelation 13:16-18. NIV

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.

This passage provides five key clues as to the interpretation of the Mark of the Beast.

1. The name of the beast

2. The number representing his name

3. The number of the beast

4. The number of a man

5. The number is 666.

When these five clues are followed through their logical progression, especially what we are told in verse 17, the number or mark of the Beast is the number of a man who is the Antichrist or final world ruler. We will study more about "the number of his name." later.

Every time the word "mark" appears here and elsewhere in the book of Revelation, it is from the Greek word CHARAGMA [KHAR-ag-ma]. Using Strong's Concordance, we find the definition of this Greek word to be:

o a scratch, a stamp, an impression, something etched.

That sure sounds pretty literal to me.


The old-line Adventists believe worshiping on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast. To them the Mark of the Beast cannot then be literal. Some of their younger advocates are not as strong in that belief. For these Adventist, they have to first put forth an argument for the Mark of the Beast not being literal. Once they establish that point, they seek to establish that Sunday worship is the Mark. That means that over a billion Christians - Catholic, Orthodox, most protestants are in grave danger. That leaves about 6 million Adventists, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Jews who haven't taken the Mark of the Beast.

No, I don't believe that worshiping on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast.

Personally, I believe the Mark of the Beast is literal. The fact that we are given specific locations in the body where it is to be applied, seems to make it literal. If the Mark of the Beast is allegorical or figurative, it makes no sense to specify a location.

Among those who believe the Mark is a literal mark, there are three main ideas as to what that mark might be.

1. The mark is actually the number 666.

2. The mark consists of a single mark that includes both the number of his name (666) and his name.

3. The mark will not be the number "666," but something that represents his number and name: like a barcode or an implanted chip.

That's a good segue to discussing whether or not the mark is also visible.

The Mark - Visible or Invisible

The fact that the mark is literal doesn't require it to be visible. It could be visible, like a tattoo or a barcode stamp, or something like the branding of cattle. On the other hand, it could be a microchip implanted beneath the skin. If so, that would make it not visible. Certainly it would not be easily visible, with the chip the size of a grain of rice.

I am no computer techie, but I do enjoy playing with computers. I subscribe to a couple of computer magazines. Listen to a quote from one of them.

Paul Somerson, in PC Computing, Oct. 1999.

How'd you like to avoid waiting in lines for the rest of your life? Breeze through everywhere like you owned the place. Watch lights snap on, doors open automatically, money pop out of ATMs as you approach. Never have to show an ID, buy a ticket, carry keys, remember a password. You'd leave stores loaded with packages and waltz right past the cashiers. You wouldn't have to carry a wallet, ever. Family and friends could find you instantly in a crowd. There's only one catch - you'd need to have a tiny little chip implanted in your body. No big deal….."

CNN conducted a poll on January 14, 1999, and asked this question:

Would you consider having microchips implanted in your body?

Here's the surprising results of the CNN poll - at least they are surprising to me.

YES 47% 4,663 votes

NO 53% 5,329 votes

Total Votes 9,992 votes

Bill Cross wanted to try his hand at setting up a website. For his first project, Bill decided "a spoof website of the company peddling the mark of the beast. His web site was called Global Monetary, and the web site was advertising "become an ID chip member and receive $250!" Not wanting anyone to panic, Bill admittedly laced the web site "with enough clues so that anyone who scrutinized it would know it wasn't for real and would therefore not panic." Bill was surprised - "On the first full day of operation, the site had more than 4,200 distinct user session, each averaging 6 minutes. E-mails began pouring in from hysterical Christians. But he also got e-mails from privacy enthusiasts and from the media world requesting interviews.." Realizing that things were getting "out of hand," after just four days, Bill pulled the plug on Global Monetary. Bill also made this alarming statement. "I realized that I was getting another kind of visitor to the site: People who actually wanted to receive the mark of the beast just to get in on the IPO (Initial Public Offering) when Global Monetary would start selling their shares on the Stock Market. I was totally blind-sided by that. I never expected that to happen….."

I think that for security reasons the United States, and probably the rest of the world, is headed towards a national identification of some sort. And I also believe that for the same reasons we are headed for a cashless society. All bills and purchases will be transacted through some electronic means.

If that is indeed where we are headed, then I think that we are headed towards the use of something like and implantable chip. This chip would have an enormous amount of information about you in its memory.

I believe that if the Antichrist and the False Prophet are going to be able to keep those who do NOT have the Mark of the Beast from selling and buying, something like an implanted chip will be needed. But even then, the chip or national identification card is not, in and of itself, the Mark of the Beast.

Back to the topic at hand. Is the Mark of the Beast visible? I tend to think that the Mark will be visible. I am not sure, however, that I have much proof for that.

Matthew 24:9-10 NIV

9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.

I know that this verse is probably talking primarily to the Jews, but I think this is what will happen to all who do not take the beast. Betrayal will become a common occurrence during the last half of the Tribulation. It will not be safe hiding out with a friend or brother, especially if they have taken the mark. Hatred will abound.

Matthew 10:21 NIV

21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

For this kind of betrayal to occur, it would almost require the Mark of the Beast to be visible. If not, how would they know you had or had not received the mark unless you told them. (See also: Mark 13:12 and Luke 21:16)

The opinions of prophecy writers concerning the Mark of the Beast have evolved greatly with technology improvements. In the late 19th and early 20th century, most of those who believed the Mark of the Beast would be literal, believed the Mark would be tattooed on the recipient's hand or forehead.

Oliver Green, The Revelation (Page 350) - 1963

"I believe there will be three sixes tattooed on foreheads and right hands…..indeed I do."

Clarence Larkin, Dispensational Truths (Page 124) - 1918

"The Mark will be branded or burnt on. It will probably be the number of the beast or 666."

The popular 1973 Christian movie, A Thief In The Night, went slightly farther, showing the mark as a tattoo depicting a computer readout of the number 666.

That seemed to be the agreed-upon method for the Mark of the Beast until 1974, when a strange new mark began appearing on products you and I buy. It was called the UPC (Universal Product Code) also known as the bar code. It didn't take long for this new technology to be heralded as the mark of the beast by some avid prophecy believers. Christian writers wrote about the 3 hidden numbers on every bar code. These hidden numbers on every bar code are the only digit in the code that have nothing to do with the product itself. What are the 3 hidden numbers? You guessed it! 6 6 6.

For a moment, let's examine how they came up with this idea.

Firstly, every number in a barcode has two lines (or bars) representing that number. Depending on the number, the width of the spaces and bars vary. The five numbers on the left are the Manufacturer's Code. For instance, I know that Kellogg = 3 8 0 0 0.

The five numbers on the right equal a product code. For instance: Kellogg 13.5 ounce box of Rice Krispies has a code = 38000 90530. And the Kellogg 16 ounce box of Mini-Wheats has a product code = 38000 02720. You will notice that the bar code never has the price included in it. The price information is in the stores own computer system.

There are always two smaller numbers in each bar code, which are located at the far left and far right. The number on the left is the System Character. For most of the products we buy the number is almost always "0". "0" is called the "standard UPC number."

But if you use coupons to get a rebate, this number is usually a "5," the standard System Character for coupons, unless you are COSTCO, which elects to be different. It uses a number "4," which throws out the normal bar code in order to use one of their own.

The small number on the far right is called a "Check Digit". That is a code that makes sure the scanner at the checkout counter has read the number correctly.

There are 3 pairs of lines (bars) that we haven't addressed as yet. They are called "Guard Bars." One at the far left, one at far right, and one in the center. They also look exactly alike. They are also like only one of the numbers. Yes, they look like the bars for the number 6.

Technically, from a computer's perspective, the number "666" is NOT in the UPC barcode. But from a human visual perspective - YES, there is an appearance of 666 being there.

Through some investigation, I learned who was the creator of the Barcode. George Joseph Laurer. I searched the internet. using his name, and came up with his own web site. George Laurer worked for IBM in 1971, and was given the task of designing the best code and symbol suitable for the grocery industry. In 1973, Mr. Laurer's UPC barcode entered the world, and the rest is history.

On his personal web sight, he has a section for questions about the barcode. He has divided these questions into 7 different categories. One category for questions is labeled: "666 and the Bible book, "The Revelation". He has been asked several question on whether the number 666 is place in the barcode for a reason. He says, "yes, they do RESEMBLE the code for a 6. He continues, "there is nothing sinister about this nor does it have anything to do with the Bible's mark of the beast. It is simply a coincidence like the fact that my first, middle, and last name all have 6 letters. There is also no connection with an international money code either."

The 3 guard bars are very similar to the number 6, but in a technical sense they are not the same.

Since the creation of the barcodes, computers have played an increasing role in prophecy writers scenarios. In the late 80's and early 90's, computer technology made some leaps and bounds. As a result, some prophecy writers needed to update their scenarios concerning the Mark. In particular, there have been two advancements in technology.

o The Smart Card

o The implantable microchip.

Smart cards are similar to Credit Cards, but have an imbedded computer chip that can store and manipulate information. Microchip implants are currently used more on animals than people but could easily be implemented with people. Such a chip can be tied to a GPS (Global Positioning System) satellite, and thereby, you would be able to track the location of anyone.

The LoJack Corporation, based in Dedham, Mass., markets a positioning devices that has helped track down 30,000 stolen cars. Paul McMahon, a spokesman for the company said: "people frequently ask about using LoJacks device for children and elderly relatives, especially for people with disorienting illnesses."

Time Magazine, April 27, 1998, pp. 50, 51

A single electronic card may replace everything in your wallet, including....

…your cash,
…you credit cards,
…you ATM card,
…your ID cards,
…your insurance,
…and your life.

The future: One card, or one chip, with your life on it.

Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said about bio-chipping of humans: "It is inevitable. Why? Because there is a level of concern, some based on fact, some based in fear, about the loss of children, about kids being stolen in custody disputes, about terrorism, about kidnapping, that leads people to be frantic about wanting to know where other people they care about are."

Even though I am reluctant to say the biochip is THE mark of the beast, I do believe that the biochip could be the method utilized to control the buying and selling.

The Number of His Name

Now, what about the connection between the Mark's number and the name of the Antichrist? Let's look again at the Scripture.

Revelation 13:16-18 NIV

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

Verse 17 tells us that the Mark is either the name of the beast, or the number of his name. So we know there is some connection between the Mark and the Antichrist's name. Then, in verse 18, God through John seems to challenge his readers. He says "If anyone has insight, let him calculate [or compute] the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

To compute a number from a name, one must devise a system of ascribing numeric values to the letters of the alphabet. This procedure is known as Gematria.

It is interesting to note that there are only two written languages in the world today that do not have a number system separate from the alphabet. They are Greek and Hebrew. We do know that some ancient, but now extinct, languages also used gematria. From archaeological discoveries, we know that ancient Sumeria, which was located where southern Iraq is today, used a sexagesimal system of numerics. That's a number system that uses 60 as its base, not 10 like our is. Their alphabet also was not like ours, since they used writing known as cuneiform. But we do use the number 60 as our base for something else in our daily life. What is it? Time!

Let me show you the Greek numbering system:

The Hebrew numbering system is very similar.

But what happens if the Antichrist has a name that isn't in Hebrew or Greek? What if it is English? Or German?

When you hear someone state that a person's name equals 666, the numbering system most often used is an English derivative.

Back in the 70's, some writers were touting the idea that Henry Kissinger might be the Antichrist, with his "shuttle diplomacy," in trying to gain peace in the Middle East. Those that carried this view about Kissinger used the following alpha/numeric system. This Alpha/numeric system is based on multiplying 6 time each letters position in the English alphabet.

For instance, a=6, b=12, c=18, ….. z=156.

And, indeed, when applied to Kissinger, the sum of the values in his last name is 666.

Using this numbering system, here are some examples that total 666.

Lucifer + hades
Devil + sheol
Devil + dragon
Mark of the beast
People + sin
Santa Claus
US of America
New York

Using the same numbering system, we have two people in our class whose names add up to 666. We also have one of our associate pastors whose last name totals 666.

I want this to show the futility of trying to come up with who the Antichrist is by using these kinds of computations. Prophecy believers have developed scenarios for the mark of the beast for almost 2,000 years. Exactly what that mark is and how it will be implemented is still not fully known.

As we have seen, the technology is certainly in place for fulfilling Revelation 13:16-18. The fact that the world is headed towards a global economy, with a cashless society, is on its way - soon.

Everyday, Bible prophecy affirms continuously that the God of heaven is the One True God. No one but God would dare stake His reputation on foretelling the future. No other world religion includes prophecies in its sacred writings. Yet the one true God has precisely and unmistakably shown us the exact condition of the world just prior to the return of Christ.

New Life Church Website
Questions, comments & suggestions to John Hoole

Last Updated: Wednesday September 07 2011
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