One of the most mysterious segments of prophetic scripture are the verses telling us about the Mark of the Beast. We read about it in Revelation 13:11-18. The Second Beast is the false prophet. It’s actually the false prophet who causes all to have the mark, or be excluded from the economy. The mark is an identification of allegiance to and worship of the Beast. The penalty for not taking it is that no man may buy or sell. But the reason to take it is to worship the antichrist. Here is the passage.
The Second Beast
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16Also 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, 17so 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. 18This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
Part of being entranced by the verses is the fact that there are so many questions that arise from reading them. How does one person cause all on earth to receive a mark? How will they know if someone doesn’t take the mark? If someone gos to buy something without the mark, what will happen? How long will it take until someone in authority comes to grab the person who doesn’t have the mark? Most interesting of all, much of this buying and selling and grabbing and beheading has to do with technology.
Prior to today’s technology, such massive, global tracking and marking would never have been possible. I’m only 54 years old and I clearly remember when bar codes were invented and came into ubiquitous use. Never mind laptops, internet, and now quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, bitcoin and its ilk, iris scanning, robotics, and nanotechnology. It’s dizzying. It reminds me of the prophecy in Daniel 12:4,
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
As a rabbit trail for just a moment, the Lord sends an angel to fly at mid-heaven and warn the people of the world NOT to take the mark. See below:
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-1)
The mark of the beast is definitely a mark of worship and allegiance to the antichrist, which means the person has declared for satan. That’s why taking it incurs so much wrath. But back to the technology of today. Managing the buying and selling of all peoples in earth via this mark is just an astounding concept to me. There is no such thing as privacy any more, tracking and hacking are things the youth of today are used to, though I’ll never get used to it. There are undoubtedly many different kinds of technologies that will merge into the one that will allow the mark of the beast to be implemented and global economic tracking to such a specific degree occur. But consider this, I’ll run it past you…
It’s from Extremetech, published last March:
Facebook owns the world’s largest photo library, and it now has the technology to match almost all the faces within it. Yes, even the ones you don’t tag. Facebook announced last week that it has developed a program called “DeepFace,” which researchers say can determine whether two photographed faces are of the same person with 97.25 percent accuracy. According to Facebook, humans put to the same test answer correctly 97.53 percent of the time — only a quarter of a percent better than Facebook’s software. The takeaway: Facebook has essentially caught up to humans when it comes to remembering a face.
It would also be irresponsible if we didn’t mention the true power of facial recognition, which Facebook is surely investigating: Tracking your face across the entirety of the web, and in real life, as you move from shop to shop, producing some very lucrative behavioral tracking data indeed.
As we move from shop to shop? 97% accuracy?
“we’ve been able to detect faces in images for about 2 decades,” LeCun says. Even the puny computers in cheap consumer cameras have long been able to detect and focus on faces.But “identifying a face is a much harder problem than detecting it,” LeCun says. Your face uniquely identifies you. But unlike your fingerprints, it is constantly changing. Just smile and your face is transformed. The corners of your eyes wrinkle, your nostrils flare, and your teeth show. Throw your head back with laughter and the apparent shape of your face contorts. Even when you wear the same expression, your hair varies from photo to photo, all the more so after a visit to the hairdresser. And yet most people can spot you effortlessly in a series of photos, even if they’ve seen you in just one.In terms of perceiving the world around us, facial recognition may be “the single most impressive thing that the human brain can do,” says Erik Learned-Miller, a computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. By contrast, computers struggle with what researchers call the problem of A-PIE: aging, pose, illumination, and expression. These sources of noise drown out the subtle differences that distinguish one person’s face from another.
Thanks to an approach called deep learning, computers are gaining ground fast.
Now, I am not saying that Facebook is the Mark of the Beast, for heaven’s sake don’t misunderstand. However, I’m intrigued that all along as we watch technology grow to an excessively intrusive point in our lives, that quietly, unassumingly, Facebook has amassed the data and know-how to put into place a large part of the puzzle that may become part of the technology involved with the Mark of the Beast.
I’m one of the last generation to have grown up technology-free. I played outside after school, roaming the neighborhood on my book, coming home when the streetlights turned on. I’m one of a generation who loves the internet but remember a time when I read books and went skating and built snowmen and played hopscotch- outside. I remember.
Reading that Facebook has amassed the world’s largest facial recognition data dropped the penny. Facebook has my birthdate, photo, locations where I’ve lived, friends, employment, education…in short, an online profile. And I gave it to them.
It is an amazing, dizzying time, this new millnnium. Meanwhile, knowledge is increasing and technology is rapidly heading to its ultimate destination. I feel like Thumbelina on a leaf going down the rapids. But the leaf is really the hand of Jesus and I’m safe and secure. I’m not worried or scared or depressed. I’m amazed. Every day we make technological advances that enhance the lives of humanity but one day will be turned to evil use by the antichrist and false prophet. Amazing, stunning time. I want to see what happens next. Hopefully the Lord’s return to collect His Bride in the rapture!
Because, you see, we will be raptured before any of this comes to pass. We won’t have to worry about the mark of the beast, the false prophet, the antichrist, being excluded from the economy, starvation, or beheading. He will rescue us from the wrath to come, (1 Thess 1:10) and spare us His indignation poured out. (Isaiah 26:20). If you have repented of your sins, and confessed to Jesus as Lord and Savior, and know He is resurrected and reigning from heaven, soon to return as the Bible says, you are saved. (Romans 10:9). We rest securely in His arms and seek to become weak in the flesh so the Spirit will use us strongly. (2 Cor 12:9-10).
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go check my Facebook status…