by Tad Lindley
The Bible tells of a time when men will not be able to buy or sell without accepting a mark in their body. And 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, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)
It might seem farfetched. After all, we are American. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are used to being able to go down to the store and spend our money as we please, but there is coming a day when this will no longer be the case.
Before I tell you about my first brush with the mark of the beast, let me explain briefly who the beast is and what the mark is. The beast is either the antichrist or the one world government of the antichrist. John saw a beast coming out of the sea. We know from the Book of Daniel, that the beast represents either a king (7:17) or a kingdom (7:23).
The mark will be something that is either in the skin as in an ID chip or a tattoo. Driver’s licenses, passports, and social security cards can be counterfeited. Credit card and ATM card information can be copied and duplicates made. If the identification were in the forehead or the right hand, the only way to pass yourself off as another person would be to have their forehead grafted onto your skull, or their hand sewn onto your body.
The reason people will love the mark of the beast
The Islamist terrorist that hijacked the airplanes on September 11 would never have been able to pass themselves off as somebody else if this type of ID were standard. Nobody could ever use your credit card information illegally again. Cash would become obsolete. There would be no more mugging. To buy or sell things, you would simply swipe your hand or forehead. People will want the mark, because it will mean security.
My first brush with it
The United States Passport is not the mark of the beast, but in response to threats from terrorists, you now need a passport to get into the United States. Even if you were born here and have never broken a law, if you go to Canada or Mexico, you cannot re-enter the United States without a passport.
We had applied for our passports well in advance of our trip to Mexico. Then about five days before we were to leave, we received a letter from the State Department indicating that the pictures we submitted were not acceptable. I checked the government website to see if we could still travel. Yes, regulations were in place permitting people who had applied for a passport to come back into the United States. Unbeknownst to me, within the next few days, a requirement would be put in place requiring us to carry some additional paperwork. When we walked up to the Alaska Airlines ticket counter 61 minutes prior to departure time, we expected to sail through.
The first thing the ticket agent asked for was our passports. We did not have them of course, but we had verification that we had applied. Unfortunately it was not the documentation that the State Department had required in their statement released a few days earlier.
“There’s no way I can get you on this flight. You’ll have to get a hotel here in LA at your own expense and I will see if I can get you on tomorrow’s flight. Meanwhile I will go into the back office and look into your passport situation”.
We were completely shut out. There was absolutely nothing that we could do. Suddenly money was useless. “This is not right,” I thought to myself, “I am a US citizen. I should be free to come and go.” I thought about telling her that I was a preacher and that I had been school district teacher of the year, but it would have been wasted breath. She disappeared and we stood stoop-shouldered alongside our bags.
It’s who you know
Then I remembered. You see, I know somebody who is bigger than Alaska Airlines, bigger even than the United States government: Jesus. “I’m going to pray”, I thought, but then doubt crowded in, “if you pray in front of the kids and it doesn’t happen, it’s going to damage their faith.” I figured that it is the Lord’s responsibility to make himself look good.
“Kids, let’s pray.” My wife had stepped aside for something. “Jesus, we’ve got a lot invested in this trip and we’d sure like to get on the plane today. Amen”.
The ticket agent came back out. Twenty minutes to departure. I asked for a manager (I had not even considered getting on the plane in spite of my prayer.) I was going to ask the manager if they would pay for the hotel for us. Instead the Lord told me to ask him if there was any chance we could get on the flight. He turned to the agent and said, “Try it”.
The Lord held the plane and we got on. Even our bags made it. There is nobody like Jesus.
When the mark of the beast comes, it will not just be whether you can get on a plane or not. Without the mark, we will not be able to get groceries, buy stove oil, pay the electric bill, or get medical attention. It will be a time where our faith will be tried beyond belief, but Jesus can and will deliver.
In the midst of complete powerlessness, we turned to the great God of heaven and earth and he heard our prayer.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.