Gary: This is Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, answers to your questions in Contending for the Faith, and in Understanding the Scriptures, Dave and Tom will resume their conversation on God’s salvation.
Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from www.mercola.com, January 24, 2006, with the headline: “Is the Verichip the Mark of the Beast? Within a few years a service will be available worldwide that will allow consumers to pay for merchandise using a microchip embedded beneath their skin. The Verichip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is Applied Digital’s new subdermal chip that could someday replace the use of all credit and debit cards. Instead of standing in long check-out lines, customers could make purchases by scanning themselves with special readers.
Although the Verichip holds the possibility of added convenience, there are already problems on the horizon. The most obvious one is the squeamishness of potential users, as customers will have the Verichip buried in their skin, which means elective surgery. Also, Applied Digital is attracting attention from some fundamentalist Christians who believe the buried chip relates to the biblical mark of the beast. It is said that Satan will some day force people to receive a mark on their foreheads or hands in order to purchase of sell goods. Applied Digital officials say such concern is unfounded, because people have a say in whether they want to have the chip surgically implanted.”
Tom: The idea of this has been around for a while, but now, in fact, they’re using this. And I don’t even think the surgery aspect is a problem; they have a way to just inject it, again, in the hand or in the forehead, and supposedly this is the optimal place for these things.
Now, I think whoever wrote this article got it wrong with regard to what Christians believe. But we always seem to have a rise of fear that comes over people. We’ll get letters, you know, “Should I do this? Should I do that? The bar code on my can of soup is 666. Should I eat this soup?” I mean, it gets a little bit outrageous! So, what’s the deal? Should Christians, true believers, be concerned about taking the mark of the beast right now?
Dave: Well, I don’t think you need to be concerned about taking the mark of the beast right now, because the beast isn’t here. And when that mark is taken, it will signify a submission to him, worship of him, and it will be in conjunction with an image of the beast (that is the Antichrist) that he will put in the temple that he will allow to be rebuilt. In fact, he will cause it to be rebuilt, and the Jews will think he’s on their side. But in fact, he’s rebuilding it—having it rebuilt for his own promotion as “God.”
But, Tom, they say such fears are unfounded, because they’ll have a say in whether they want to have the chip surgically implanted. Well, under the Antichrist, you don’t have much choice. Those who refuse will pay for it with their lives. You don’t take his mark, you cannot buy or sell. Now, that’s an amazing prophecy, because that was given more than 1,900 years ago. Who ever imagined in that day 1,900 years ago that with a number a man could control all banking and commerce everywhere in the world, and could keep track of everybody, and so forth. And of course, you know, this isn’t even talking about GPS, Global Positioning Satellites. We’ve got a sky full of GPS satellites up there now, and they know exactly where you are, what you’re doing, and so forth. They can follow you, they can track you. So this chip would also enable the Antichrist to track you down. You couldn’t hide, in other words; there’s no way to hide.
But I would not have anything like that embedded in me right now, even though the Antichrist is not here, because it very well could be the device that he would use.
Now, I’m expecting to leave in the Rapture before the Antichrist shows up, and I think that’s very clear. You know what prevents him from being revealed in his time. What prevents him is the presence of the church here, and the Holy Spirit within the church, and we will have to be removed and that presence of the Holy Spirit will have to be removed—although the Holy Spirit will still be here, because God is omnipresent, but not in the form of indwelling those who are members of the church, the body of Christ, okay?
So, Tom, it’s been around for a long time. I think this is probably what will happen. Now, the Greek experts tell me that it doesn’t say “on the forehead or hand,” but it literally means in the forehead or hand. I don’t know whether that’s important. But that the Bible foretold this kind of control and through a number is rather remarkable.
Tom: But, Dave, as you indicated, believers should not be concerned about this. We can be aware of it and say, “Hey, prophecy has indicated what’s going to take place, and technology is filling the bill, as it were.”
Dave: Right. Tom, you know the world we live in, it’s continually more intrusive. They know everything about you. You use a credit card—well, unless you want to carry cash everywhere. And of course this mark will make sense, because you don’t have to carry cash, and you can’t lose your credit card. They can’t counterfeit it or steal it from you. So this is surefire identification of the individual, so it’s pretty hard to argue against. But I don’t want to give Uncle Sam or “Big Brother,” or anyone anywhere the wherewithal to make further inroads into my privacy. I don’t think it’s wise. Not that we have anything to hide, but I think we do have some right to some privacy, although of course that’s a big thing in the news right now. I would be in favor of Bush listening in on conversations of terrorists, and I think it’s absurd these people who say, “Oh my, that’s terrible! They’re invading our privacy!” Well, if you don’t have anything to hide on your phone conversations…but the fact is that there are people out there who are determined to destroy us, and I think they ought to be run down, and I think we ought to find out where they are and I think we ought to use every means we can. Now, the Antichrist will seem to be doing this for good purposes, but ultimately it will be evil, because he’s going to demand the worship of the entire world.