We received the following question: "When the false prophet attempts to brand every living person with his mark, how will he do that? The logistics are staggering! In the third world countries - especially with the incredibly high birth rate that must be around 600,000 a year and with little to no documentation on these births - it seems impossible. The production of 6 billion devices to implant in every human seems net to impossible. Implanting or tattooing something on 6 billion people seems impossible also. Doesn't the mark have to be a spiritual a confession a cultural thing?"
REPLY: The Scriptures in question can be found in Rev. 13:16-17. Quoting we read, "And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or on their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
First it should be pointed out that it is not the "mark of the false prophet," even though he does initiate it through the living image as can be seen by reading verse 15-16, but rather it is the "mark of the beast " called Anti-Christ.
The false prophet's mission is to direct worship to the Anti-Christ, not himself. Also he derives all his authority from the beastly Anti-Christ. This can be verified by reading verse 3,4,8,12 & 14-17 in Rev. 13.
The conclusive proof text can be found in Rev. 19:20 where the "mark" of the beastly Anti-Christ and his "image" are described as separate from the false prophet. The "mark" is clearly associated with the first beast of Rev. 13 in Rev. 19:20.
Concerning the "mark" itself; for it to only be symbolic, instead of a literal mark, would be superfluous to the text. The mark must be visible in order for it to accomplish its intended purpose of identifying and controlling the purchasing and selling of the world's populace.
This is proven by the Greek word "charagma" used throughout Revelation in reference to this "mark." The word literally means an "engraving or etching." A tongue-in-cheek "Heil Anti-Christ" will accomplish very little towards fulfilling the goal of Satan, the Beast and the False Prophet for obtaining tangible global control.
Lastly, in regard to how it will be accomplished, we must admit we have been reluctant to endorse the new implants as the "mark," but have shared and followed the developments in this area because it shows the prophesied course of marking and tracking individuals in these last days.
We have not discounted its usage in the future world of the Anti-Christ under special circumstances. Our reservation about the implant fulfilling the global role of the "mark" arises in 4 areas: time, cost, aversion and language.
First as pointed out in the question, the logistics of preparing billions of syringes with implants and then injecting the world'' population would seem to detract greatly from the little time the Anti-Christ will have to pursue this venture during the final 3 ½ years of the tribulation.
We must also consider all of the apocalyptic distractions he will be dealing with.
Secondly, it was reported in the 1988 "American Medical News" that the total cost of an implant under the skin for just one individual was several hundred dollars. Even though we can assume the cost has been reduced, we can still foresee an astronomical expenditure for such an undertaking.
Thirdly is the tremendous aversion many people have for hypodermic needles although we are sure that having one's head cut off will serve as a powerful inducement for people to overcome this phobia (Rev. 20:4).
Then lastly, the literal Greek word for "where" the "mark" is to be placed is the word "epi," which is our word "upon." The implants are designed to be implanted under the skin while the "mark" is supposed t go "upon" the right hand or "upon" the forehead. An implant just under the skin in the forehead against the bone would seem vastly unacceptable and a cumbersome undertaking.
So how then might this mark be administered?
It should be noted that a quarter of the earth'' approx. 6 billion people will be killed before the "mark" is instituted according to Rev. 6:8. This fact, along with the removal of the Christians at the Rapture, will produce a significant reduction in the global population. The total population will continue to be dramatically eradicated after the Anti-Christ begins his marking campaign. (See Rapture Watch Message "Hell on Earth"). The remaining population can be efficiently and swiftly marked upon the skin with laser tattoos in an extremely economical manner.
An ideal permanent identification mark has already been developed. Keep in mind that this information we are about to share concerns technology developed and put in use over 25 years ago.
The following is quoted from an interview from "God's Latter Rain" in May of 1976 with the developer of permanent freeze and laser beam marking. His name is Keith Farrell. He was engaged by the United States Department of Agriculture to teach and study at Washington Stoats University in Pullman, Washington. He was a researcher and lecturer on Physiology - Pharmacology at the college of Veterinary Medicine and his dream was for "Universal Animal Identification." The article titled the 'Mark' is Ready, opens with these statements: "Can you imagine 6,000 dairy cattle being marked each week with computer compatible symbols that can be detected by an electronic scanner and fed into a computer Can you fashion in mind a completely unalterable mark that would be capable of individually identifying every animal in the world with the idea that these marks should be a permanent part of the animals Can you visualize the capability of ruby red laser marking, at machine gun speeds, every fish from every hatchery throughout the world, with a different mark for each hatchery, ;and thereby revolutionize the fishing industry? Technology is presently available to achieve this." Dr. Farrell sated, "If we could individualize the animal, we could easily have one overall computer program This would then make the identification of a particular animal available within seven seconds to any law enforcement officer in any of the United States and Canada as well I am assured techniques could be forthcoming to establish programs of individual identification of people."
Not only does this satisfy the language of Rev. 13:16 that requires that the "mark" be upon the skin, but also another interesting point of the Greek language. The words "to receive a mark" in verse 16, according to Greek Scholar A.T. Robertson literally means "that they give themselves a mark."
It could realistically be understood in our day of Automatic Teller machines and laser technology how little supervised laser tattoo terminals could be globally distributed and made available 24 hours a day.
For those who think the United States is immune from such draconian ventures, we share the following: Back in the July 24, 1998 issue of The Pastor's Weekly Briefing" it was reported in an article titled, "CLINTON ORDER AND NATIONAL ID RAISE CONCERNS" - " A Clinton executive order and two proposed national ID cards have created growing concern among many Americans, although most do not even know they exist. On May 14, President Clinton signed a new executive order (EO#13083) analysts say the new order "effectively revokes the 10th Amendment and arrogates to the President broad new powers tantamount to those of a totalitarian dictatorship." The order gives the federal government authority to force almost anything deemed "necessary" and effectively prevents Congress from interceding Analysts are reporting the EO#13083 will also be used to implement the creation of a national ID card."
Jesus Christ could come for His Church at any time. If you have not put your faith in Him for the forgiveness of your sins you will be left behind. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed on the cross so that all who believe in Him will receive eternal life. Don't delay. These are the last days and the Church will be leaving for Heaven very soon.