Even as a very young Christian, I learned about the mark of the Beast.
Revelation 13 (KJV)
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Specifically, the mark is inextricably linked with buying and selling. It is also associated with each individual who carries the mark in their body. Last time I looked around, there was not even a semblance of some kind of marking stations anywhere. So how could this be, and what exactly is the mark of the beast?
I run a host of servers that provide secure mail, web, and other important communications for my medical practice and personal use. Each server has what is called a domain name. So the domain name for A Mere Christian is www.amerechristian.com. The security associated with that domain comes from a digital device known as a certificate.
A certificate is nothing more than a cryptography tool that is designed to stream data between users like you and servers like www.amerechristian.com. It scrambles the communication so that as conversations flying over the internet can’t be read.
While this is meant to thwart the bad guys who want to do bad things like steal from people, now the good guys say they are also hampered by this encryption. They claim that they need to be able to see all these communications to get the bad guys, and keep all the good people safe. You may think at first this is far-fetched, until you read this article that was published just as I started writing this one. Here’s a short excerpt with the link to the article that was published on MIT’s web site.
White House and Department of Homeland Security Want a Way Around Encryption
by Tom Simonite, April 22, 2015.
The secretary for homeland security and the president’s cybersecurity advisor echo the NSA and FBI’s concerns about encryption.
The White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials support arguments by the nation’s law enforcement and intelligence leaders that encryption technology should be restricted or modified to make it easier for the government to access private data.
Speaking at the world’s largest computer security event, the RSA conference, Jeh Johnson—the U.S. secretary for Homeland Security—said that strong encryption was hampering law enforcement and that workarounds were needed. At the same event, President Obama’s cybersecurity coӧrdinator said that the White House was looking into what methods could be required in encryption technology to give law enforcement and other agencies a way in.
While this is disturbing, the question that comes to mind is exactly the one voiced by the fictional character Carla Dean (Regina King), the on-screen wife of Clayton Dean (Will Smith), in Enemy of the State; “Who is going to be the monitors, of the monitors…” Who will watch those who watching out for us to make sure they don’t take advantage of us as well?
With this in mind, fast forward to today’s economics. Who would have thought that the bulk of our financial transactions would now be digital. Not too far hence, it will be completely digital, no doubt, and the convenience and necesisty of it will be bought hook, line, and sinker by a throng of masses who clammer for greater security in a digital fontrier. But wait…that day is already here! I mean do many people carry cash much anymore?
So how does this relate to digital certificates, you ask? All secure communications, be it financial, or otherwise, must be encrypted, or it can, and will, be intercepted. It seems that no entity is safe, not even the White House which was recently hacked and exploited.
The way certificates work, is that there are two parts. One is the private key, and the other is the public key. Together these can create an encrypted digital stream. These keys also must have what is called a CA, or Certifying Authority, certificate from which they are created. That CA is an entity which verifies the owner of the certificate it is issuing to them.
The CA’s own public certificate must be included with those two certificate files. You don’t realize it but a whole host of these CA certificates are included with every web browser. You just don’t see them because they are preinstalled.
What if some high ranking government entity became a sort of top-level CA authority for all the other existing CAs. In other words, what if all the CA certificates that were issued, were required by law to function only with one master CA certificate? The entity that controlled that CA, could then control the entire world’s flow of money and communications.
Now scripture says that the mark of the beast is 666. This catches my eye, because in the world of Unix, each file has permissions settings consisting of a triplet of digits. Each digit has a meaning. The first digit are the file owner’s read, write, and executer permissions. The second digit are the group’s read, write, and execute permissions, and the third digit signifies those permissions for everyone else. Whether 666 will have similar meaning to these Unix permissions, it should be striking not what the numbers are, but the fact that they indeed are numbers.
Twenty years ago, this would have been wild and way out. Now suddenly, Its a real possibility I think. And it makes perfect, practical sense. I have always wondered how you would wrangle masses and masses of people into accepting the mark of the beast! I mean wouldn’t they avoid it like the plague when they saw the sign above the marking station “Mark of the Beast! Get Yours Soon?” I am not only convinced that the answer to that is ‘no,’ but suspect that we will barking at the powers that be for this very solution!
That solution then would likely be either a chip physically inserted into us with these cryptographic certificates associated with the single master CA certificate of that one entity. Cash is no longer vulnerable. Near field communications between the implanted chip make purchasing a breezel. This is what happens with Apple Pay now!
The certainty of what God says in Revelation now becomes readily apparent. For economic and safety reasons it will be necessary at some point for everyone to take the mark of the beast. Refusal to take the mark means that a person will not survive. Taking the mark means that you no longer have control of your finances or communications. Everything that must be bought will be bought electronically. Every communication will have to have the chip present for it to get sent electronically. And the control of the entire worlds certificates is in the hands of one entity.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954, chapter 2.
One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them.