The Mark of the Beast, Pt. 2

Scripture: Revelation 13:18
This is a continued part of a series on the mark of the beast. Discussion focuses on just what is the mark of the beast. Is it a number? Is it something stamped on people's foreheads? What does the Bible say about this mark?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts, Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry, as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned, because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi friends, and welcome again to Bible Talk. I'm John Bradshaw, with me Gary Gibbs. This is where we talk about the Bible issues that affect you today, right where you are. Hi, Gary, good to have you here.

Gary: Good to be here, John. And we are going to talk about a very interesting, very exciting topic that I would venture to say most all of our listeners have heard something about at one time.

John: We are continuing our discussion today on the subject of the mark of the beast. And last time you posed a very interesting question. A question many people have had. A statement many people have made. Isn't the mark of the best 666? Now you are going to tell me what you were doing coming up with an idea like that.

Gary: Well, 666, obviously, everybody knows that is the mark of the beast.

John: Now wait a minute.

Gary: In fact, John, I called a pastor the other day, and listen to this. I called the pastor and do you know what his phone number was? His phone number was like 576-7666. I said, "Pastor, if that were my phone number I would change that number." And he chuckled and said, "No I like that number, everybody remembers it." In fact, the telephone company told him that no one would ever take that number, because it had 666 in it. So he was able to get it quite easily.

John: I want to tell you something I heard quite recently too. There was a little Bible college in Kentucky and they ended up going to the telephone company and demanding that their telephone number be changed, because the telephone number had 666 in it. Listen, I think we need to understand that 666 isn't bad luck. It isn't an omen. It's the number of the beast for sure, but if your license plate ends with three sixes or you live at 666th street. You are in good shape, it's OK, don't worry, you are not cursed, nothing to worry about.

Gary: I would still feel a little uncomfortable with that address. But let me ask you, surely all the pastors, everybody that teaches on this, these movies, these are bible scholars, John. They can't be wrong about 666 being stamped in the forehead.

John: Well there was scholars in Jesus' day, who I venture to suggest knew more about the scriptures than most scholars today, and they were dead wrong about an awful lot, particularly about Jesus and who the Messiah was. The Bible says that 666 is the number of the beast. I'm going to read to you from Revelation 13:18. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: it is the number of a man and his number is 600 threescore, or 60, 666. It's the number of the beast and we ought to have that plane and clear in our minds.

Gary: Well it sounds like you do. But if you go back to verse 17, isn't the mark the same thing as the number of his name? Let me read the text.

John: Now, I want you to read it accurately.

Gary: I'll read it out of the King James Bible. That's what most people read. And that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark or the name of the best or the number of his name. Same thing isn't it?

John: OK, it's three things right there. One, the mark. Two, the name. Three, the number of his name. Three different things. Now 666, I'm going to ask you something right here. Would 666 be the mark, would it be the name or would it be the number?

Gary: Well, the Bible says in verse 18 it's the number.

John: Clearly, it's the number, and it isn't the mark. And we need to nail that down clearly.

Gary: In fact, as I look at the text here, there is a little two letter word that makes a significant difference to the way... according to how you read this. It says a mark or the name.

John: Oh, "or", I was thinking of the "in." Cause it says you are going to get it in not on. No one is going to stencil it on your head. And you're right it's one or the other or the other. That's what you were going to say, right?

Gary: That's right. It's one or the other of the three.

John: Now you're making sense.

Gary: OK. Now that kind of summarizes what we looked at last time. Let me ask you something else, let's go deeper into this topic. What about this buying or selling. Because, obviously, we've got to be right on that, even if we might not agree what the 666 is. We have to be right, the Bible is really clear. It says, "No man might buy or sell except he has this mark, the name, or the number of his name. So let's talk about that buying or selling. Obviously, there has to be some kind of control of everybody's economic situation of their buying or selling. If I go to the grocery store, I have to have some sort of ID or something that verifies whether I can buy or sell.

John: Wait a minute. I'm going to beat you to the draw here. Before you come up with scheme from left field, let me kind of lay out here where the Bible is going with this. I want to ask you a question. Your bank manager, before you come up with a harebrained idea about everyone going to get a silicon chip in their head or in their hand or whatever.

Gary: I didn't think that was too harebrained.

John: Well, OK. Your bank manager, I'm willing to wager that... If I were a betting man and I'm not, but let me just use that phrase. I'd be willing to wager, were I a wagering man, that your bank manager would be able prevent you from buying and selling with a click of a mouse on her computer, or his computer. And should she or he to do that, your bank manager, your credit cards: frozen, your hole in the wall machine card: can't use that. Your checks are going to bounce or they aren't going to go through. Your pay which is nine times out of ten direct credit to you bank account, that's frozen.

How much buying or selling could you do here, now, without your little chip without your barcode and your tattoo and all of that . How much buying or selling could you do, should your bank manager wish to make life difficult for you.

Gary: Well, I would have to preplan like Saddam Hussein did. If I had my billion dollars in cash, I'd be OK.

John: But let's say you didn't have your billion in cash. See, here's something we need to know. We think of this prohibition against buying and selling as being way off in the future and not until we get a little special this or that or a chip or a something. And let's talk more about that, but not until that takes place. But in all honesty, friend, the bank manager or whoever controls your finances or assets could really, to all intents and purposes, stop you from buying and selling right now.

Gary: That's because our economic system is so electronic now. A lot of money passes through the electronic wires and never changes hands. But, you know, there are people, John, who deal strictly in cash. I know people who don't have a social security number, they don't have a bank account and they deal strictly in cash. And these are legitimate people they're just fearful people. Is that an approach to take, so that the bank manager doesn't cut me off? Should I avoid all this electronic gadgetry so that I can't be tracked, so I won't be able to be blocked from buying and selling one day?

John: I wonder if I can be unambiguous in my answer to your question. No. Now I'm not saying that if someone deals only in cash that's wrong. Knock yourself out. If that's what you want to do, that's fine. But must you do that? No. Absolutely not. Let's now consider the way the world is now being wired. Now we already live in an electronic age where most of our buying and selling is done electronically. But there has been talk about cashless societies, smart cards. You were telling me something about a smart card. You saw one.

Gary: I saw one and it happened while flying on a plane and I was reading an article in a news magazine. Now the smart card is being tested in various areas across the U.S. and this particular area it was referring to was in the Pacific Northwest where it has all of your bank information, everything in this little chip on this card about the size of your driver's license. In fact, it looks like a driver's license. And you can go into the burger store, wherever you are going to buy your fast food and you can buy your food right off of that card. It acts like a debit card but it has a whole lot more information. It might even have your fingerprint or thumbprint on it.

It prevents fraud. Guy sitting across the aisle from me noticed I was reading that article on the smart card and he said hey have you ever seen one of those? He said I've got one right here. And he pulled it out. He was in the military. They're using them in the military nowadays, too.

And so, what they're moving towards is where you actually go on this store and once that store has your information from your smart card filed on their hard drive you just walk up and put your thumbprint on a pad and you can buy whatever you want with your thumbprint.

John: Yeah, they're doing that. Let's try to see into the future and all the best a Bible scholar can do here is guess.

Gary: OK. Why is that?

John: Because the Bible doesn't say anything about smart cards. The Bible doesn't say anything about thumbprints. The Bible doesn't say anything about a national I.D. card.

Gary: But it does say you can't buy or sell.

John: Right. The mechanism to prevent you or to enable you to buy and sell, we don't know what that is.

Gary: OK, so that's where we're guessing.

John: That's all speculation but I've already said you don't need to wait for some special thing to come up down the line. Already we are at the time when basically you could be prevented from buying and selling. Now, should we be scared of technology?

Gary: I'm glad you raised that question because I know people who are. They'll avoid all that technology because they don't want to be limited in the buying and selling should they be here when that happens.

John: Two things you're forgetting. Now again with deference and respect to those people, if you only want to do cash, that's fine with me. In fact, if I were a merchant I would rather have your cash than your credit card. Then I'm not paying commission on my purchases or my sales. See, it's better for me. But the point is this: you don't need to fear technology. Number one, God will provide for His faithful children. Am I not right?

Gary: Oh, he always does. He promises to.

John: OK, so whatever happens God is going to provide for you and here's what we need to understand. Whether it's a chip, whether it's your checking account, whether it's an I.D. card, whether it's a silicon something or other, these things are not the mark of the beast merely a mechanism to coerce you to receive the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast would be a separate issue. Then it is said that if you don't take it we'll prevent you from buying and selling. Maybe this wired economy, this cashless society, this whatever it might be, is the mechanism used to coerce a person to move over to the place where they'll take the mark of the beast.

Two different things: one is economic coercion. The other is the mark of the beast. Do you remember any other examples in your lifetime of this happening?

Gary: I don't know that I do.

John: Now, come on, of course you do. Try exporting something to Cuba or importing something from Cuba. Can't do it, economic sanctions. During Apartheid same thing with South Africa, economic sanctions. You couldn't buy from South Africa. You could import from the Republic of South Africa. Saddam Hussein, until recently, economic sanctions.

Gary: And the sanctions are designed to pressure people into a certain type of action.

John: To change their behavior.

Gary: And so that's what we're looking at here.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: A certain amount. Oh, and an individual the level instead of necessarily a national level or international level.

John: 100 percent right. Whatever the mechanism is and if someone pretends to you that they know, they don't know, because the Bible doesn't say what the mechanism is. It just says you won't be able to buy and sell.

Gary: And what I would like to know is what is the mark of the beast and this is the fastest 15 minutes in the world is during this time, John. I know our people listening to us, they want to know what the mark of the beast is, too. What about our Bible study guides? They really need to get those in order to understand what this topic is.

John: Next time on Bible Talk we'll go into the mark of the beast a little bit more, but like you said this is radio's fastest 15 minutes. We just don't have time today, particularly with the clock ticking faster to get into all that right now. Friend, you got to get hold of this Bible study information. You got to get the telephone number. Email us. That is a perfectly good way of going about it, very quick. No problem. You can call any time or email any time day or night. You got to get in touch and get this Bible study information dealing with the subject of the mark of the beast. We'll get it right to you.

Gary: And John I think that it's important that we do study this out because we live in a day and age obviously when the technology is here to stop us from buying and selling. You go back 50 years, everybody dealt basically in cash and checks and you didn't really have the technology we have today. So that tells me, doesn't it tell you, we're living in the last days.

John: We're living in a time when this Bible prophesy can be fulfilled, ladies and gentlemen and will be fulfilled. God said to us in Revelation that if you've got ears to hear this then you need to know it and understand it. He'll guide us all in our understanding of this subject. Thanks for joining us this time. We're going to talk more about the mark of the beast next time. Join us right here at Bible Talk. [music]

Announcer: If you'd like more information on what we have been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide that we would love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject, including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, informative Bible study guide simply call, write or email and ask for BT128, "Antichrist is Alive Today." The toll free number is 866-BIBLESAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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