There is a wave of fear and unease enveloping the world right now. Not merely because folks are afraid of getting sick from the coronavirus, but because everything is coming unraveled around them. Sports, events, camps, and conferences are getting canceled. The economy is getting hammered. Businesses are being closed. Public and private assemblies of any significant size are being banned. The world seems to be melting down, and men have no idea whether they have to face the unfolding crisis for a few more weeks, a few more months, or a year. They have no idea whether their community is going to be somehow spared or slammed like Italy. Folks are unsettled and worried … even afraid.
But the real troubles that Christians face are being exacerbated by prophetic speculation that is making the rounds, especially on social media. Some of this stuff is so farfetched that it borders on theological quackery.
Fear-mongerers are stoking fears that the current crisis will introduce mandatory implanted chips and cashless society for the whole world, that the mark of the beast is just around the corner, and that folks are going to ignorantly take the mark to their eternal peril, completely unaware that some seemingly innocuous bit of technology is the mark. But these hapless folks are told that they could be saved from accidentally taking the mark of the beast if they would only read and trust Joe Smokeblower’s Prophetic Prognostications. He will keep them up to date on the 101 cutting-edge technologies that could be used to sneakily give them the mark unawares.
Folks, don’t be unsettled by these rumors. Though the current crisis is undoubtedly promoting and hastening the implementation of a cashless world, it is unlikely that we will find ourselves in a cashless society when the dust of the current crisis settles, much less discover that the antichrist and the mark of the beast have surreptitiously materialized in the fog of the crisis. And your family, friends, and acquaintances are not going to be tricked or duped into taking the mark of the beast, completely oblivious that it is the mark.
No one is going to accidentally or ignorantly take the mark of the beast. If you read Revelation 13, men are already worshiping the antichrist when the false prophet arrives on the scene and introduces the image and the mark of the beast. So there is ZERO reason to worry about the mark of the beast at the current time. There is ZERO reason to worry about it until men are bowing to a world dictator, the false prophet is calling down fire from heaven on international news, and men are bowing to an image of the beast that has come to life. When we see these things, then and only then, will the mark be required of men. Any mark prior to that time is not the mark of the beast.
Moreover, the mark will not be administered through a pretend vaccination that is actually a stealthy chip implant, the chip being the mark of the beast. Nor will the mark be an overtly administered chip implant for medical purposes. Nor will it be anything similar. The mark is not covert. It is not secret. It is not given under the cover of a sophisticated conspiracy. I hope no one misunderstands what I am saying here and accuses me of not believing that the mark will involve an implantable computer chip with RFID technology. I do believe it will involve this technology, or this kind of technology at any rate. I am simply saying that the mark of the beast is more than mere technology and that it will be taken willingly, not ignorantly.
The mark is an intelligent, public profession of identification with the antichrist. It will be similar to taking the Nazi swastika or being a card-carrying communist in the old Soviet Union. Men will be proud to take the mark. They will take it because they will really believe that the antichrist is the super-man, the god of all human gods. They will believe his platform—political, religious, economic, environmental, educational. They will think that he is the world’s best hope for a bright future. They will gladly bow to him because they already bow to self (the altar of Worthy Self) and to the spirit of the world. They are not changing masters. They are not switching from neutral to committed. They are simply publicly ratifying what has already been true in their heart for a long time.
On top of this, men will choose this madcap course of worshipping the antichrist and taking his mark despite an explosion of light in the world that exposes their insanity and wickedness. Like cockroaches scurrying from cover when the light goes on, they will turn their backs on the miracle-filled ministry of the two prophets, the Spirit-annointed ministry of the 144,000 witnesses, and the Spirit-authenticated ministry of millions of Jews around the world who will preach the gospel with the same signs that were given to the church at Pentecost. And they will close their eyes to the many prophecies that have already been fulfilled up to that point. They will be sinning against light that is equally as bright, if not brighter, than the light that men witnessed in the ministry of Christ and his apostles. Like the Pharisees, they will be rejecting light so bright that it is utterly wicked madness to reject it. They will be guilty of the unforgiveable sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit. The truth is, by the time these men take the mark of the beast, they will have already crossed the line in their hearts. They will have already seared their conscience by willfully turning away from light they knew was light. The mark of the beast is the capstone on their career of rebellious unbelief, not the doorway that leads to it.
So, in closing, though the stage is obviously being set in this world for the last act—for things like the seventieth week, the antichrist, the mark of the beast, and the rapture of the church—the curtain has not yet risen for the last act, and it is most likely a little ways off yet. This is not the end of the world … yet. The mark of the beast is not mere months away … yet.
Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.
Lee W. Brainard
*Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash