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By Dan Carlson
Prairie Ponderings 

The Mark of the Beast


October 20, 2021 | View PDF

“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, 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.” Revelation 13:16-17

Christians have been looking for signs of the “End Times” ever since Christ ascended to heaven, but, as a pastor, I’m seeing increased discussions about the subject in recent months. Astute believers are noting things happening in the world now that seem to correspond to events prophesied by Jesus, the apostles, and scripture nearly 2,000 years ago.

One of the prophecies has to do with the scripture verses above – the mark of the beast, an antichrist figure prominent in the book of Revelation.

The prophecy tells us of a future time when people who do not accept the mark of the beast on the hand or forehead will be essentially banned from participation in society. Those without the mark will be unable to purchase or sell anything. For this to be true, there would have to be a global system of control over every person’s finances by a central authority, a system that monitored, approved and rejected all purchases.

Such control was impossible prior to the digital age. Those unable to use credit could use cash. Even today, cash is used to circumvent regulations and get around electronic transactions that can be monitored. But if the powers that be ever leave the cash system and go to digital currencies, as many are now advocating, then it truly will be possible to keep someone from buying or selling anything anywhere.

Some have expressed concern about vaccine mandates and the so-called “vaccine passport,” without which access to goods and services can be denied. Some stores, businesses and venues deny entry to anyone unable to provide proof of vaccination. There are those concerned that the vaccine card could be the mark of the beast.

I assure you, it is not. It is, however, a clear example of a proof of concept to show us how the mark of the beast may work in the future.

Scripture is clear that the mark of the beast will not be something you can get accidentally. When the time comes, you will choose whether or not to take the mark. To take it is to align oneself with the world system of the antichrist, which will stand in opposition to the Church and Christ. Those who receive the mark will ultimately suffer greatly for doing so, but those who do not will suffer in the short term by being unable to provide for themselves and their families.

Indeed, there are many signs of the End Times occurring now. A great pandemic, wars and rumors of wars, increasing violence between people, big natural disasters, increasing animal attacks, great deceptions and people falling away from the Church – these are all predicted, but do they mean we’re on the cusp of the apocalypse? Maybe.

The Bible tells us no one knows the day nor hour of Jesus Christ’s return. If anyone gives you such information, you know they’re a fraud.

What the Bible does give us is signposts to look for, and there do seem to be several popping up. But it’s helpful to remind ourselves that the End Times began the moment Jesus ascended.

From that time forward, history’s clock has been counting down to Judgement Day, and each passing day brings us closer to it. We believers are told not to worry or be fearful. We’re simply told to watch and be ready. Let those with eyes to see and ears to hear take note and conduct themselves accordingly.


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