1 – Introduction
2 – How in the World will the World Ever Accept Being “Marked”?
3 – From the Ancient Point of View
4 – “Mark” Counterfeits “Seal”
5 – Modern Secular Worship Service
6 – Surveillance and Persecution
7 – What’s in a Name?
8 – Ancient Business Model and Today’s
9 – Birth of the Barcode
10 – Re-calibrating Revelation 13:17-18
11 – The Riddle of 666
12 – Symbolic Significance of the “Number”
13 – 666: A Key Sign of the Times
14 – Conclusion
2 – How in the World will the World Ever Accept Being “Marked”?
New customs have a funny way of becoming accepted over a period of time. At first, they are considered outlandish; only fringe elements of the population adopt them. As time goes on, people get used to the new fad, and the shock effect wears off. Eventually, what was once deemed outrageous becomes the new normal.
The use of implanted devices in the skin (microchips) will likely follow the same pattern. How this may happen is well explained in these news article excerpts:
. . .Microchips will become progressively smaller, less invasive, and easier to deploy. Thus, any realistic barrier to the wholesale “chipping” of Western citizens is not technological but cultural. It relies upon the visceral reaction against the prospect of being personally marked as one component in a massive human inventory.
Today we might strongly hold such beliefs, but sensibilities can, and probably will, change. How this remarkable attitudinal transformation is likely to occur is clear to anyone who has paid attention to privacy issues over the past quarter-century. There will be no 3 A.M. knock on the door by storm troopers come to force implants into our bodies. The process will be more subtle, couched in the unassailable language of progress and social betterment. . .
. . .The first widespread use of human implanting will occur in nations at the periphery of the Western world. They will familiarize a global audience with the technology and habituate them to the idea that chipping represents a potential future. . .
. . .The actual process of “chipping” for many individuals will simply involve activating certain functions of their existing chip. Any prospect of removing the chip will become increasingly untenable, as having a chip will be a precondition for engaging in the main dynamics of modern life, such as shopping, voting, and driving. . .
In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade. . .
(“A Generation Is All They Need” by Kevin Haggerty, The Toronto Star, December 10, 2006).
Although older people might recoil at the notion of sticking gizmos inside themselves, younger ones tend to like the idea. In the first generation there’s been a radical change about surgery and altering your body. The resistance to having tattoos and wearing body rings is dropping. Altering your appearance through surgery is no longer a cause for amazement.
The main problem most scholars agree, will be the tradeoff between lost privacy and enhanced convenience.
At least initially, such chips would be voluntary. But things that are voluntary today have a way of becoming compulsory tomorrow.”
(“In Future, Tiny Chip May Get Under Skin” by Jon Van, Chicago Tribune, May 7, 1996)
In the old days, to show respect in social situations, the commonly accepted custom was to bow, even fall down before the respected individual. So showing one’s worship of a deity – by falling down or bowing before it – was a simple matter, just an extension of what people were already accustomed to doing. Nowadays, people are getting accustomed to receiving chip implants, which in future will make it easier for them to show their “worship of the beast”; it will be an extension of something they have become used to. At present however, if the False Prophet tried to impose the “mark” as a sign of worship, few would go for it, simply because skin implants are still foreign to most people.
But in the future, as the articles above point out, cultural norms can change. Over time the initial feeling of revulsion at having something stuck under the skin gives way to familiarity and acceptance of the new custom. In a way this is a necessary process. A person’s refusal to receive this “mark” must be a genuine decision not to “worship the beast”. Right now, people would consider receiving the “mark” to be too much of an imposition on their rights, an invasion of their privacy and their physical body. But refusing the “mark” for these reasons is not the same as refusing it because one refuses to worship the Antichrist. So it looks like the practice of using microchips has to become more of a normal, accepted part of the cultural landscape before the “mark of the beast”, which will be known as a sign of one’s allegiance to the Antichrist, can be introduced.
In the meantime, it is advisable to avoid using microchips if possible. It is better to learn not to depend on them. Then when the time comes that the “mark of the beast” is introduced, for those who, with “a good conscience toward God”, decide to refuse it, it won’t be as difficult if they have already learned to live without implanted devices. (1Peter 3:21)
Following is a prophetic message that offers some wise counsel and reassurance about how to deal with the coming “mark of the beast”:
(David Berg speaking from Beyond:) Now, the Lord has very clearly said that those who know and love Him should not take the Mark of the Beast. If the Antichrist or some Antichrist-linked government comes along and “causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16), that’s when you’ll have to obey God rather than man and say, “No thanks!”
But today’s microchips aren’t the Mark of the Beast. They may well be forerunners, but so far the Lord hasn’t revealed exactly what the Mark of the Beast is and how it will work. I’ve often wondered if it was a microchip and would be used to implement his cashless society, in which all financial transactions are electronic, with your chip being your little electronic wallet—as well as giving the Enemy some sort of control over you, and a symbol of you according him some form of worship. . .
Just as the Lord makes it very clear what the consequences are for taking the Mark, when the time comes and the Mark comes along, He’ll make it very clear what the Mark is! You won’t have any doubt, and taking the Mark isn’t something that those who know the Lord will do accidentally or inadvertently.
In the meantime, I still wouldn’t advise you or your children being microchipped if you can possibly help it. We’re to be in the world, not of it, and certainly not have it implanted under our skin! It could not only destroy what privacy you have, and possibly be used to locate you or track you, but it could also be unhealthy for you. The Lord made your body to be His temple, His dwelling place, and He made it to reject foreign objects. Scientists and doctors have overcome that to some extent, but there are still times when they can’t. So having a microchip implanted could make you sick, just as having the Mark will cause sores in those who receive it (Revelation 16:2).
If you are faced with some sort of situation in which a microchip is mandatory, the first thing to do is ask the Lord what to do, and He’ll probably have some good advice on how to get out of it or get around it! If it turns out that you can’t for some reason, maybe He wants you to move, or maybe He’ll explain some alternative, or maybe He’ll even reassure you that this particular chip isn’t a harmful one and that He’ll keep you from any problems. The Lord has the solutions and the answers to every complex question, and He can guide you if you’ll ask Him! You can trust Him to do so.
The Lord can keep His children from problems with microchips, and He can keep you despite the Mark of the Beast being imposed on the world someday. You’ll have the Mark of God, the seal of God (Revelation 7), and if necessary, you can “flee into the wilderness” (Revelation 12:14) of the underdeveloped world and find refuge in low-tech cultures where the Mark of the Beast hasn’t made any inroads yet!
(From publication of The Family International – 21 April 2007. Used by permission. )