The Mark of the Beast

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55 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    Just to be on the safe side, I plan to refuse the insertion of any kind of identity chip if one comes my way. I can see a day when, for “convenience sake” people will have a chip inserted in their hands in lieu of a credit card or cell phone. You can’t buy and sell without one…. You may be right, Michael, but I shall refuse, just in case.

  2. Michael says:


    I use the analogy of being a Mac user.
    Nefarious people often send me email laced with Windows viruses.
    They have no effect on me…I stack them up and delete them.
    I have an operating system safe from such attacks.
    God’s elect are inoculated from the worship of the beast no matter what they allow to be planted or implanted upon them.

  3. Em ... again says:

    “Read carefully…the technology is utterly irrelevant.
    The “mark” will signify that you have made a volitional choice to worship the beast.
    Without the promise to worship the beast and deny the one true and living God the technology is meaningless.” this post is grounding and worth digesting – thank you

    unless technology skips over it and it well could do that, Xenia’s comment is one that we all will have to deal with eventually (found this link some time back) but is it the Beast at work? well, it probably is as the antichrist has his hand in all the commerce of this world, does he not? (it is what makes so many of the Christian charities-so-called worrisome – IMV) … what he may be doing is feinting, drawing the Church off balance until our message is lost in crying “wolf” too many times ? dunno

  4. Xenia says:

    Even if I am immune to worshiping the Beast I still think it’s a good idea not to accept any kind of chip because it will make it easier for him to track me down. Common sense.

    I used to think Christians were immune from following beasts but this election has me starting to wonder….

  5. Em ... again says:

    BTW – i’m with Xenia on those implanted chips 🙂

    i won’t even bill pay or bank on-line … ahh, but i have been known to use my credit card … and, according to a smart software guru, there is evidence that my Mac has been hit by the Chinese – i may be typing on a slave Mac? don’t think so, think we caught it… hope i’m not contagious anyway … i hope, i hope, i hope

  6. Michael says:


    Point well taken on your first point and amen on your second…

  7. everstudy says:

    I remember when ATM cards were the Mark of the Beast because you had the PIN memorized (on the forehead) and put your code in with your fingers (the right hand). I know a few people that refused to use one for several years.

  8. Michael says:

    Bar codes were of the devil as well…by those who didn’t have to do a store inventory before they existed. 🙂

  9. Em ... again says:

    right now, in a world dependent upon internet commerce i’m less worried about THAT mark than i am about being a mark 🙂

  10. Josh the Baptist says:

    Aren’t the warnings about the mark enough to know that it will be pretty deceptive? Obviously if a guy with horns and a pitch fork, says “bow down and worship me, no one will”.
    But if it is tied to commerce, food, and financial stability…everyone will follow.

    Of course, I believe the church will be raptured before that too.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    When the Mark of the Beast becomes a “something” – then the devil has already won.
    The mark of the beast is an admonition to obey the first commandment.

    So before technology, what was it?

    But going back to the other thread, I always want to ask my dispy / rapture theology friends -” are you Bible believing Christians?” – because it doesn’t sound like it when you speak of such things. 😉

  12. Michael says:


    I think the scriptures are very clear that we’re talking about a volitional choice to offer worship to the beast.

    In the first century, people would have faced economic and social deprivation for refusing it as well.

  13. Em ... again says:

    #10- amen … we flatter ourselves, if we think we’re not vulnerable to “common sense and practicality” perhaps that is why after we’ve repented, received Christ, we still pray for forgiveness … focus, Em … focus on Christ

  14. Michael says:

    “So before technology, what was it?”

    A mark on the hand, probably in ink, that would allow you participation in the marketplace.

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I think the scriptures are very clear that we’re talking about a volitional choice to offer worship to the beast.”

    Then why the forehead and right hand if it is “very clear”?

    PS – I don’t know what the Mark of the Beast is.If I have to face it, I hope it is as easily recognizable as you say, though the Scriptures seem to warn otherwise.

  16. Em ... again says:

    MLD. i am a Bible believing Christian for whom the Rapturing out of the Church makes all the sense in the world from a perspective of Bible interpretation – it’s your interpretation that can’t make the event fit – don’t worry about it, you’ll still ascend at the proper time 🙂

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    “The mark of the beast is an admonition to obey the first commandment.”

    MLD – I’ve heard you boast numerous times that you break all 10 commandments, every single day. Are you saying you have taken the mark of the beast?

  18. Steve Wright says:

    Well written. There is no accidental taking the mark, and there certainly is no taking the mark apart from allegiance to the beast.

    The videos I am seeing of journalists getting chip implanted in order to carry on commerce are fascinating. Not to mention all the shares and comments of how cool it is.. shows how easily this technology will be accepted. To never have to worry about your wallet/purse, about cash, checks or cards…

    And the non-financial advantages are absolutely amazing. Imagine a world where no child could be kidnapped, taken into the sex trade by evil men…where no elderly person (or child) could ever wander away and get lost….no bitter divorce case could have one parent take the child away…where no medical emergency would ever be frustrated from a lack of knowledge about allergies, preconditions, medicines being used…..where no criminal could ever skip out on probabtion….the list of advantages is endless.

    The world will embrace it all…easily

  19. Michael says:


    How much clearer can it be than the ruling power demanding worship in exchange for the right to participate in commerce?
    This wasn’t confusing or mysterious at all in the first century…

  20. Steve Wright says:

    If one sees Revelation as prophetic (after the first 3 chapters) then there is no valid question “What was the mark before technology?”

  21. Josh the Baptist says:

    “This wasn’t confusing or mysterious at all in the first century…”

    Yes it was. There have always been competing interpretations (and levels of acceptance) of the book of Revelation. The First century had no unified front on these things. In fact the book itself probably wasn’t written until the start of the second century.

  22. Em ... again says:

    it is rational to see that the sensors now in use can scan hands and eyes (and who knows what else down the line – brains?) … so IMV this enforces Michael’s point … we will have to volitionally participate in antichrist plan to sustain order and fairness, in an overcrowded, stressed chaotic world …
    scary thing for me is that is, that that is close to describing today’s world … but he won’t be a Donald or a Hillary that channels us into condemnation; whoever it is will be more like Bernie (no i’m not saying it IS Bernie – i’m not even sure he’ll survive physically up to November) – oh, also, there’s no reason to think that it couldn’t be a Bedouin or a Persian or an Indian or even a – gasp – Jew … i doubt that America will be THE big kid on the block – could be wrong – dunno

  23. Michael says:


    The analogy would have been very familiar to those alive at the time…they would have instantly understood the parallel between what they were experiencing and what was coming.

  24. Josh the Baptist says:

    Who understood it Michael? The first that I see mention the mark is Irenaeus in the 2nd Century. He only speculated three different Roman leaders who might be the beast.

    The most unified thought from the church that I can find in writing doesn’t occur until the 12th century when the mark is placed on the Papacy.

    Is there history that I am missing somewhere?

  25. Steve Wright says:

    To Michael’s point, it was Domitian (81-96) who I believe history records as the first emperor who ordered the pinch of incense test. I do not believe he would usually kill those who refused but they would face persecution, including economic issues.

    Later, half a century later, circa Polycarp, it was a test of allegiance that would lead to martyrdom almost immediately. The economic issue being moot.

    Since I hold to the approx. 95 AD date for Revelation, I think the Domitian connection would be strong with the original readers, again, in trying to imagine what the prophecy one day would look like.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If one sees Revelation as prophetic (after the first 3 chapters) then there is no valid question “What was the mark before technology?”

    If one sees Revelation as Gospel (all the way through) then there is a valid question “What was the mark before technology?”

  27. Xenia says:

    How much clearer can it be than the ruling power demanding worship in exchange for the right to participate in commerce?<<<<

    We do know that people had to offer the pinch of incense to Cesar or risk the consequences, which included the inability to buy or sell (or live.) But did these people receive some kind of physical mark on their head or hands? I have never heard this before and find it fascinating. I've read a lot of histories of the early Church and never came upon this information. I would be interested in reading some original source material about this.

    Even if this did happen in the first century (and I am not questioning that it did), I believe that the things that happened in the first century foreshadow the events of the Last Days so it will all happen again globally. I know that those who did offer the pinch of incense to Caesar were eventually received back into the Church (there was controversy about it, though). I was always taught that once a person received the Mark (future), there was no turning back.

    I do not believe in the Rapture, so I believe it is very possible that I may be here when Anti-Christ shows up. I don't believe in the doctrine of Eternal Security, so I believe I need to be vigilant. So, no chips for me.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ll opt-out of that question by saying that I do not know what the mark is. May be technology, could be something else. There is no early church witness that shows consensus on the interpretation. We can speculate what they probably thought, but the passage is anything but “clear”.

  29. Dan from georgia says:

    As an aside to the debate here, I have a coworker who is a prophecy wonk/lemming who won’t even allow their cat to be chipped! Funny she still uses a computer and smart phone and all other kinds of goods that have the evil UPC code on them. Yes there are businesses here in GA that won’t chip pets precisely because of this fear of the mark.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    28 was in repy to MLD’s 26.

  31. Xenia says:

    Dan, I recently adopted a rabbit from the SPCA and there was a bit of a delay while they micro-chipped her. I almost yelled “Don’t let ’em do it to you, Bunny!”

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve never taken the free flu shot they give around here. Not necessarily for the mark of the beasts – more government conspiracy craziness, I guess.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    I take the flu shot every year…but I pay money for it.

    (You get what you pay for, Josh. 🙂 )

  34. filbertz says:

    there are a number of beasts who leave their marks along the trails I hike.

  35. EricL says:

    Funny how we focus on the “mark” these days, when in earlier times I think it was more focused on the “name”. I also think it’s more fun naming names instead of attacking technology.

    Has anyone heard if they are building any large statues in honor of Hillary of Donald?

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    Interestingly the pretribbers envisioned the chip technology before it was reasonable. So, they get some kudos for creative anticipation.

    Michael is EXACTLY correct and irrefutable. There can be no allegiance to the beast that is unconscious. Worship is volitional and no allegiance can be given to the beast via the Cosby potion. He has no spiritual date rape dope to coerce our compliance.

    Let me go further, even tortured assent would not be true assent.

    I am SHOCKED beyond words at Xenia’s response to this issue. You cannot be coerced to worship. It comes from the heart.

    Double Down Dread

  37. EricL says:

    Hillary OR Donald. (I can’t even get my lousy jokes right in print)

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think people will be just as bored with anti christ as they generally are about Jesus Christ

  39. Xenia says:

    Dread, plenty of Christians offered the pinch of incense to Caesar back in the day. If we are going to say this passage in Revelation refers to that first century event, then plenty of Christians failed the test. We can say they didn’t “really” worship Caesar, that it was just a token to stay out of hot water, but if that’s the case, then we can’t be saying things about the need for “heartfelt worship” only.

    First Century: The claim is, the offering of the pinch = taking the mark of the Beast. Yet as I said, plenty of Christians, in a moment of fear and weakness, did offer the pinch – or take the mark. It was not heartfelt and many returned to the Church.

    Now: The claim is, no one will take the mark unless they have a heartfelt desire to worship the beast and no one will do it unless they desire to worship the beast.

    Why are there two standards for the two events?

    No, I will never have heartfelt worship for the beast but I could see myself, out of fear and cowardice, doing as some first century Christians did.

  40. Pastor Al says:

    It’s likely metaphorical, archetypal and analogical vs. literal….just like much in the bible.

  41. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, FWIW, your questions disappear if a different hermeneutic for the passage is applied.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Why are there two standards for the two events?”

    If only there were different dispensations where God interacted differently with people at different times… if only.

  43. Em ... again says:

    i find it a ponder that i started out my years as a Christian not believing in a rapturing out of the Church, rather that we held the ground until Christ’s return … and some here were caught up in the Late Great Planet flurry (i fault no one for that as there is much of it’s foundation that is built on truth IMHO), which excitement i missed out on and, yet, now i see so plainly that the most logical sequence for the end (before our Lord returns – what happens then is another schism among His flock) is a removal of the Church, a pouring out of wrath (God’s grace DOES have a limit) and, after the housecleaning our Lord will return and reign here for a thousand (literal?) years etc. THEN comes a new heaven and a new earth … just sayin … again

  44. Babylon's Dread says:

    The antichrist spirit is powerfully ruling in America right now…

    Our government is overtly antichrist and if you doubt that go do your background on common core.

    Our culture is overtly antichrist, the PC intimidation is evidence for anyone. This happened very quickly by just twisting a few things in the public mind.

    Our economic system is increasingly antichrist

    For a long time I have eschewed all the interest in the Antichrist because we are so blind to the spirit of antichrist we could never hope to identify and resist any particular antichrist figure.

    The Church in the Bible knew there is only one way to deal with him make that two first comes endurance which means our blood. Second comes wisdom and that means thinking the thoughts of God rather than the world.

    A computer chip is a complete smokescreen
    People who eat from the devils kitchen will choke on naive ideas like a computer chip.

  45. Em ... again says:

    #38-bored? … hmmm… course, folks, for the most part, won’t know who it is they’re dealing with… ? … my bet is that they’ll be all atwitter … again …

  46. Em ... again says:

    #44- BD: “Our economic system is increasingly antichrist

    For a long time I have eschewed all the interest in the Antichrist because we are so blind to the spirit of antichrist we could never hope to identify and resist any particular antichrist figure.

    The Church in the Bible knew there is only one way to deal with him make that two first comes endurance which means our blood. Second comes wisdom and that means thinking the thoughts of God rather than the world.”

    a seriously correct ponder … IMHO …
    course, it could still involve those micro-chips 🙂

  47. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Dodgers’ hitters have been acting like they have been deluded by anti christ. 🙂

  48. Josh the Baptist says:

    Dread, you #44 is more confusing than the passage itself.

    If our economic system is anti-christ (not denying that), wouldn’t that mean that we all have taken the mark of the beast already by participating. Our culture certainly worships money.

  49. Mr Jesperson says:

    At times like this I am glad for my A-millennialist leanings. I note the symbolism that is everywhere in prophetic literature. Taking things too literally tends towards confusion. I agree with Michael’s point and point out that throughout history in many places Christians faced a choice between compromising truth or excepting the severe consequences which were normally economic in nature. This still happens today. Bribery is immoral, yet try to go overseas to any third-world country and build something without paying the devil his due. Jesus said despise Mammon or despise Me. We all have that choice. Revelation just put that same identical choice inside an apocalyptic style of literature for effect. The Mark is here and it is ancient in my opinion. Are we serving Mammon or Jesus?

  50. Em ... again says:

    for those who see a pattern of persecution of the Church down through our history as the fulfillment of prophesy and the ‘end times’ as the whole sum of time from the incarnation of Christ up to His return i’d have to say you are right and yet, you are wrong…
    looking closely at what is prophesied, the pattern seems to cycle and build to a point where the antichrist’s plan to have the Church exterminated is in place
    however, since i believe that to be the pattern and the culmination, i also believe we are gone by then – that Rapture thing and
    IMHO, if this fallen world doesn’t get the benefit of 1,000 years of our Lord’s dictatorship – a display of a perfect rulership? – well … that will disappoint me … and surprise me 🙂

  51. Pastor Al says:

    Each generation since Revelation was written after-the-fact of 71 AD can point to “The END IS NEAR!”

    It’s part of the Human Cycle.

    The “church” is as Anti-Christ as the Political/Economic System.

  52. Pastor Al says:

    When only 3% (on average) of Money collected “for Jesus” by the “church” (according to studies) goes to actually help the poor and orphan and widow in need….it is the church that is very Anti-Christ.

    At least today’s corrupt socialist System feeds the poor….though it creates the perverse incentive of “Don’t feed the bears!”

  53. Pastor Al says:

    But, facts and data will not persuade this crowd. Move along, nothing to see. Drink the kook-aid deeply.

  54. I don’t disagree that this is not (to me, anyway) a fulfillment of Revelation, but. . . I note that the section regarding “the mark” is one that details the powers granted to the beast, and they speak specifically of powers that are exercised over people by the beast alone.
    Rev 13:12-18 is a list of the various powers given to the beast. Verse 16 itself describes the action (in the third person singular, not plural) of the beast “causing, making” a people to receive a mark. The word is not listed as active verb (“receive”) but is subjunctive, denoting a passive action received, not performed by personal volition or choice (since the verb is dependent on a verb of action, compulsion, forcing, etc.)
    So, it appears to me that the reception of a mark, be it by force or not, desired or not, is compelled upon all people but a powerful ruler, and is not solely a volitional choice to be made–unless a person is deciding to die by starvation, etc. We tend to assume the people will enjoy the personal freedoms they do today, esp. in our country, and will always have the freedom to choose not to receive such marks, brands, identifications, and we cannot envision a future where people are actually force-branded by their oppressors, but recent history (Nationalist Socialism) contradicts this idea. This is why I do not see our present experience as being a fulfillment of Revelation–we have freedoms and power of choice that does not seem to exist for the culture of that era. Am I missing something?
    I’m looking at the verses in NAS, NAU, and NLB, and Bibleworks Greek translation, btw. Great point–but I don’t see it as clearly as you have in the text. Blessings, Ken

  55. Michael says:


    Considering the historical context there is no doubt that persecution follows the volitional choice.
    Still, history says that it was a choice, indeed.
    Considering the judgments that are declared on those who choose to receive it, it is clearly an act of worship…in my opinion.

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