Characters and Themes – Here a Mark, There a Mark

22Apr11

Revelation 13:16  Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Second only to the beast himself in sheer intrigue and terror is this “mark” this is associated with his name or number. And like the beast, the mark is also second in misinterpretation and misapplication of the text. More than just the unjustified forcing of the imagery into some future apocalyptic even(ignoring the near related events of the first century), the conjecture and flat out science fiction related to this passage is prolific.

Below are just a few of the ideas that have been passed off as Biblical exegesis and prophetic prognostication.

  • Microchip implanted under the skin of the hand or forehead

This has been popularized by several modern prophecy experts. The Lalonde brothers, Peter and Paul, who are noted film producers in the prophetic fiction world, have even slightly reworded the passage for it to state “in” the hand of forehead rather than “on.”

  • Credit Cards

A popular culprit of the 70’s and 80’s it is believed that VISA actually combines three different language representation of the number six, making three sixes, or 6-6-6. Of cause we saw earlier that the number of the beast is not three separate sixes, but six hundred and sixty-six. The real issue arose with the belief of a future “cashless society” that is supposedly a part of the Antichrist’s or the Beast’s plan. But there is no mention of a cashless society, simply one that would not allow a person to sell without this “mark.”

  • The Cashless Society

As mentioned above many Dispensationalist argue that this passage depicts a soon coming cashless society. But the passage makes no such statement. So, if Credit Cards were the first step toward a cashless society the argument continues that it is too easy to lose a credit card, so some physical or electronic marking would be safer and permanent.

  • Smart Cards

This continues the themes from above of this move into a cashless society, but adds the government control and “big brother” fear associated with a card that links all of our personal information together in a government controlled data bank. You can’t hide from beast if he knows where you are at all times!

  • Computer Programs

This was all the rage in the 90’s and up until today. The belief is that there are certain computer programs that have an operating system incorporating the 666 of the Beast. One popular “urban legend” dating back at least to the 70’s was some mega computer in Belgium that contained all the financial and vital data of every human being on earth. It’s supposed operating system started with 666 and was nicknamed the “Beast.” Imagine the size of a such computer from the 70’s.

  • Social Security Checks

I remember in the early 80’s an urban legend floating around in which a person received a Social Security check in which imprinted on the back was a warning not to cash the check unless recipient had mark on hand or forehead. A supposed follow up letter sent to the recipient asking them not to cash check until some future date – some time in the mid-80’s.

  • UPC Code

Also from the 70’s and 80’s comes the fear surrounding the UPC code on products. I recall in the Christian Bookstore industry there was this great fear of transferring over to the UPC Code system as this was somehow connected to the Mark of the Beast. This may have been fall out from the movie “Thief in the Night” in which product codes were tied to the mark.

The proponents of fear and hyper prognosticators seem to never run out of imaginative ideas or extreme prognostication to determine just what the Mark is going to be. But perhaps the question should not be what is the mark going to, but rather what “was” the mark of the Beast.

Since we clearly showed that the Beast was related to the first century Roman Empire and this included the 6th emperor of Rome, Nero, as the personal expression of the beast, it would seem fitting to also study as to what could have been the mark associated with this beast. This could be related to the nation, the person or both. We will endeavour to unlock this persistent mystery in the following post.

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One Response to “Characters and Themes – Here a Mark, There a Mark”

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.


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