On the Watch

When I first read about the “mark of the beast” some 45 years ago, I was intensely curious and have since that time continued to study and investigate the scriptures to learn all I could about eschatology, that is, end times.  Now, I’ve never stood on my roof anticipating the rapture or told anyone to do so, but I am witnessing, very clearly, the events and spirit of increasing deception the Bible warned would be evident to believers if they would watch.

One of those may have just happened.

Back to the mark of the beast.  Let’s do a little review – the book of Revelation 13 tells us about a devotee to the Antichrist (referred to as the “beast”) known as the False Prophet.  It says, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.  He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” Rev 13:14-18

Some years ago, a company came out with a chip that is embedded under the skin and can transmit information to a computing device.  Many of us thought that perhaps this was the mark of the beast or a precursor of it.  It used NFC (Near Field Communication). But there is a small problem with this – the definition of the word “mark” in scripture is “a stamp, an imprinted mark” or “the mark branded upon horses”.  The closest thing we can associate with this is a tattoo of some sort.  That is, it is indeed a mark on top of the skin, not something under it.

So this mark upon the skin will allow the followers of the beast who have believed the False Prophet to buy and sell – like using a credit card with a chip or just a magnetic strip.  Of course almost all stores now have computing/cashiering devices that conduct transactions in this manner.  But is there a tie-in with this number 666?  Perhaps…

If we do a search in scriptures for this number, we find in 1 Kings 10:14 “The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold…”  In fact, it is the only mention of this number apart from the verse in Rev 13.   Clearly, the number is associated with gold.

So does tattooing, gold and buying and selling come together?  Maybe so.  Here’s an article I just recently read:


Microsoft and MIT Turn Temporary Tattoos Into Touchpads

By David Murphy August 13, 2016 06:59pm EST

The temporary tattoos allow you to interact with connected devices—turning your wrist into a touchpad for your smartphone, for example.

Temporary tattoos are more than just a fun activity to try down at the beach boardwalk, or some novel way to test out a real tattoo before you go under the needle. If some PhD students have their way, they'll soon be a fashionable way to control your smartphone.

That's not a typo. A new project from Microsoft Research and the Media Lab over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology combines embedded sensors and gold leaf—a connective element—to create interactive temporary tattoos. And these DuoSkin tattoos aren't just input-only. While you could use one of these a tattoos to theoretically control the volume on your smartphone, they could also be used as an output device. In other words, tiny components in the temporary tattoo (like LEDs) could change in some fashion based on a stimulus, like your body temperature. The tattoo could also store data and transmit information when queried by other devices (like an NFC chip of-sorts).

Could this represent the “mark of the beast”?  Maybe so.  In any event, for the first time we have a mark upon the skin, made with gold, that will enable the wearer to transact business – to buy or sell.  It is clearly still speculative to assert that this is or will be the “mark” but it does appear to be a sobering reminder of the days in which we live.

And this reminder is especially sobering because of the warning tied to it.  Revelation 14 says, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.””

Let’s be on the watch!