Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Mark of the Beast

A few weeks ago, I stopped at McDonald’s after spending part of the afternoon passing out gospel tracts. Because the cashier line was long, I used a self-serve kiosk to pay for my food. I was a bit surprised when noticing the order number on my receipt was 666. Just about everyone knows that number is associated with the Antichrist as mentioned in Revelation 13…

16 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, 
17 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.
18 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.

While many Bible prophecy followers believe the mark will be a microchip, it could also be a tattoo. Until a generation ago, tattoos in Western countries were mostly seen on military men. Nowadays, both men and women from all walks of life have them. It’s possible the mark could be a bar code or some other symbol permanently stamped on people’s hands and foreheads. As a “pre-trib” believer, I don’t expect to be around when the actual Mark of the Beast becomes mandatory. 

Some Christians have tried “pinning the tail on the Antichrist.” During World War II, many were convinced Adolf Hitler was the Antichrist especially since Germans used money called “marks.” When Ronald Wilson Reagan was president, some suggested he was the Antichrist since his first, middle, and last names all had six letters each. Others have claimed King Juan Carlos of Spain (who’s no longer in power) or Barack Obama will be the Antichrist. The identity of the Antichrist won’t be revealed until he signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27).

There used to be a well-known highway numbered 666 located near the Four Corners section of the southwestern United States. Route 666 was often referred to as “Devil's Highway.” That highway has since been renumbered 491 mainly because people kept stealing road signs numbered 666.

During the early 1990s, I was in a Toastmasters group that met at a hospital. People using the parking lot needed to enter the code “6606” to exit an automated gate. Occasionally someone would jokingly say, “Don’t forget the zero.” 

One shouldn’t be worried if they receive a piece of paper that happens to bear the number 666. The mark of the beast indicates worship of the Antichrist only if stamped on someone’s right hand or forehead. If I was issued a phone number or license plate with three consecutive sixes, I’d probably request a change. Either way, my faith in God is greater than any number.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” - 2 Timothy 1:7

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