Microchip Implants: The Mark of the Beast?

BBC news recently told of a man who “causes a stir whenever he pays for something in a shop or restaurant.” Instead of forking over the cash, swiping a credit card, or waving his smartphone over the digital payment device, he simply places his left hand near the reader, and, Voila! “He is able to pay using his hand,” said the article, “because back in 2019 he had a contactless payment microchip injected under his skin.”

A microchip placed under the skin that helps you pay? How easy could it be! And that’s just the start. In some places, the chip unlocks your front door, your office door, your computer, as well as gets you on the subway or the train. And, as the technology advances, a mere flick of your wrist could get you through various security checkpoints as well.

Talk about convenience!

Or—is this just another step toward Big Brother controlling our lives? Even worse, as some fear, could these implants be what the book of Revelation warns about: the infamous mark of the beast, which it says will be placed on the “foreheads or on their hands” (Revelation 20:4) of all those who worship the beast and its image?

Is this something you need to worry about?


“Captain Cyborg”

Implanting microchips in humans, however futuristic sounding, isn’t anything new. The first one was implanted into a British scientist, Kevin Warwick, back in 1998, for which he was given the moniker “Captain Cyborg.” For years now, thousands of Swedes have been unlocking computers, car doors, and even turning on coffee machines with a mere wave of their palm—all because of a microchip they willingly had imbedded in their hands.

In 2017, about 100 employees at Three Square Market, a vending-solution company located in Wisconsin, voluntarily received microchip implants as well. However, more than a simple scan-to-function process like most chips are now, the chips and readers in Three Square Market’s office were part of a multi-stage feedback system. What does that mean? Well, your chip could grant you access to your computer, but only if it had already unlocked your front door for that day. That is, they’re being used to enhance security, as well as for convenience. And that’s, still, only the beginning.


Medical Potential?

So far, such microchips are relatively limited in function: Instead of pulling out your phone or credit card to pay for fries, you simply swipe your hand over the reader. Nice, but hardly epochal. However, the technology can, potentially, do much more. These chips could turn out to be helpful in certain medical emergencies. An article in the Washington Post explained what could happen if a chip contained a person’s medical history: “If a patient were unconscious or suffered from memory loss, for example, those records could prove invaluable for emergency-room doctors who might be unfamiliar with the person’s prescribed medications or history of illness.”

Or, suppose someone were struggling with a dangerous illness? A chip monitoring your vital signs could let the doctor know what has been going on in your body before you arrived at your appointment. And though the thought of your movements being tracked might be unnerving, for people with dementia, who have been known to wander off into dangerous situations, a microchip implanted in the hand that monitored their movements could be helpful. And a chip in a child who had been kidnapped, or who was merely lost, could make the difference between life and death.

This radio-frequency-identification (RFID) is already used in pets, “and RFID ear tags are used to register almost all farm and ranch livestock with the U.S. National Animal Identification System. … If you’ve checked luggage on a Delta Airlines flight, you can thank RFID luggage tags for the fact that your bag arrived at the same destination you did. And you probably already have a personal RFID chip that goes everywhere with you—it’s in your credit card.”


Big Brother Watching

But, still, a chip implant in your body? Suppose it gets hacked? Suppose your data gets stolen? Suppose they are used to listen in on your conversations? And suppose they can be used to track your every move?

Who hasn’t been hacked? Who hasn’t been part of a data breach? Many of your smart devices can already listen in on conversations. And if you live in a developed society, and especially if you are using any one of the 30 billion connected devices in the world, you are easily tracked now. Unless “off-grid” (good luck hiding from satellites), you might as well forget about privacy. However much we love the speed and the convenience of “The Internet of Things,” it all comes with a price.

Nevertheless, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of a microchip implant in their body. It does carry a creepy, futuristic “Big Brother is watching” vibe, though over time people might just get used to it—as we are used to now knowing that on many city streets or in stores or restaurants, cameras are watching our every move.

What about the biblical teaching that warns believers about the mark of the beast on their hands or foreheads? “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand” (Revelation 14:9), or “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). Could these chips be part of that?

Though one cannot be too dogmatic about some of the rather cryptic symbols in the book of Revelation, and perhaps something like these chips could play a role in last-day events, especially as part of a larger scheme of persecution, the issue surrounding the mark of the beast and end-time events goes much deeper than a mere piece of technology. To learn more about what the Bible says about these important issues, go to our Study Guide: “The Mark of the Beast.” 

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
Comments

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.