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The mark of the beast
- Jacob Ninan
Over the years many people have tried to identify the Antichrist ahead of time, and failed. On the other hand many others have been trying to understand what the mark of the Antichrist is and what the number 666 means (Re.13:11-18). Many years ago when computers were just being developed there were stories written about some huge computer 'somewhere in Europe' which would control all the financial transactions of the world. One computer even had the name '666'! These stories warned Christians that these computers would be used by the Antichrist to control all their money transactions. Then came the credit cards, and these story makers had another bonanza in their hands to write about. And now comes the turn of bio-chips that can be placed under the skin on our right hand or head - just as the Bible foretells! These bio-chips can contain personal information as well as all data related to our money. One warning which I received tells us not to allow these chips to be placed on our bodies at any cost, because we will fall into the hands of the Antichrist!
With the use of all the technical jargon about memory chips and how they can be used, about which the authors themselves get muddled with regards to accuracy, general Christian readers are 'impressed' and start believing straightaway that they now have a clue to the Antichrist and his operations. But I believe that this approach is totally misleading, because it misses the main point concerning the Antichrist and gets locked on to peripheral issues.
What is anti-Christian about money transactions? Does it then make any difference whether these transactions are made orally, on paper or electronically? It is not the medium of the transaction that makes it righteous or unrighteous but what it is for. Does it make any difference whether a smart chip is placed on a card or under the skin? Is it sinful to place a chip under the skin? Would it have been all right if instead of the hand and the head the chip was placed on our leg? Can't we see that we are missing the whole point by focussing on the hand and the head?
The passage in Revelation is about the Antichrist, and the prophet of the Antichrist trying to get everyone to worship the Antichrist. His anger is towards those who refuse to worship the Antichrist. He tries to kill them. Another thing he does is to try to prevent such people from being able to buy or sell anything (Re.13:15-17). The point here is about worshipping the Antichrist. If we refuse to worship him, we will find it difficult to buy or sell anything, including food. (I say 'difficult' as against 'impossible' because this is only the Antichrist's plan. We don't know yet how God will take care of His people at that time!)
Now, what we need to do is to learn how to avoid worshipping the Antichrist by action or thought (hand and head). Then God will be with us. We cannot avoid the Antichrist just by keeping away from things like bio-chips!