And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. Revelation 13:15-18 NASB
As I observe some of the bigger events happening in our world, I can’t help but think how much people have changed in the United States. We used to be fairly well educated and young people could think critically to some degree. In general, people were anchored in faith traditions and morals, but today- emotionalism and self-gratification rule the day. We are “fickle and foolish”. That’s not to say we are dumb, just reckless and too dependent upon our feelings. When I came to Christ in 1980 there were those preachers warning about the “end times”, the likes of Hal Lindsey (author of Late Great Planet Earth), etc. They referred to John’s vision recorded in the book of Revelation. They predicted a time when no one could buy or sell (or arguably, go into an establishment / store / restaurant), without some mark.
I thought, how would the masses of people be persuaded to take suck a mark? By deception for sure… but also incentive and penalty. The incentive, financial gain or debt forgiveness. The penalty, restricted movement. So, here comes a worldwide health crisis and virus. All of a sudden people are not allowed to go certain places or open their businesses. If only there was a way to tell who had this disease (and others) so that everyone was “safe”? Whalahhh! HR Bill 6666. I’m not making this up. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6666/text “COVID–19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act”. Introduced by a so-called minister in Congress. Clever! It authorizes $100 million in grants and what will likely come out of it (should it ever be passed), is something akin to the microdot technology Bill Gates wants to put under everyone’s skin for just the sort of ‘health purposes’, that would deceive the masses. Well, are we living out the days predicted in John’s revelation? You decide. You just can’t make this stuff up. As a side note, the word “count” or “calculate” could easily be translated “vote”.
Am I alert, sober and watchful so as not to be deceived? Am I willing to stand alone against the mark of the beast when it comes?
God, as this Sunday begins- how important it is for me and others to be grounded in Your word. May this be a day of wonderful worship as we proclaim the name of Jesus, take communion, and experience online fellowship. Please provide and protect people in this season, especially Shirley Lewis and other older adults exposed to the virus. May the love of Christians meet the needs of the world in such a dramatic way, people reject the half-baked solutions of governments.