“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: 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.” (Revelation 13:16, 17)
Most of us have heard about the mark of the beast, and have been expecting some worldwide power to cause everyone to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. Recently we read the astonishing news of a new law, called the Intelligence Reform Bill, signed into law by President Bush on December 17, 2004, and a new bill, called the Real ID Act (it has passed the House, and is currently on its way to the Senate). In light of this new legislation, many are fearing that the time for end-time Bible prophecy to be fulfilled is nearer than we had thought. Indeed, many of the Bible’s end-time prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes. Could a new nationally and internationally standardized biometric identification system be a tool used to enforce the mark of the beast?
Let’s look at a few points in the new legislation.
The Intelligence Reform Bill
This bill was signed into law on December 17, and “Requires DHS to develop a system to use biometric data to track people entering and exiting the United States.” (“Key provisions: U.S. intelligence reform bill,” CNN, December 8, 2004, online at: www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/12/08/intelligence.key.facts.)
This legislation became law after the United Nations urged the world community to implement “a worldwide, standardized system of identity confirmation” using biometrics. (A bulletin released on May 28, 2003 by The International Civil Aviation Organization—a specialized agency of the United Nations. Online at: www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/2003/pio200309.htm.)
Biometrics is a means of identifying a person by biological features unique to an individual, using advanced computerized recognition techniques.… Facial recognition was selected as the globally interoperable biometric for machine-assisted identity confirmation with MRTDs [Machine Readable Travel Documents]. In a comprehensive analysis of various available biometrics, the face rated highest in terms of compatibility with key operational considerations, followed by fingers and eyes.… States will have the option of using one or two secondary biometrics to supplement facial recognition for personal identification.… More than 100 Member States have issued to date some 700 million MRTDs and the numbers are increasing rapidly. (Ibid.)
The use of passports embedded with biometric identification technology to track people was summarized in a recent CNN article.
A controversy is brewing over a U.S. State Department decision to put identification chips [Radio Frequency Identification—RFID] inside all new passport covers, a program scheduled to start by late 2005.… The passport chips will hold… from 64 kilobytes to eventually 514 kilobytes, as much as the first personal computers. They will hold the same information as a paper passport plus a digitized photo and face template for the still-unproven facial recognition software, which also is supposed to identify you from a distance, unnoticed.
The fact that passport data can be read unencrypted, with no physical contact, from up to 30 feet away, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, upsets privacy advocates…
The State Department says it doesn’t want to encrypt that data because the system will be too expensive for poorer nations to implement. It says it is still working on a way to block the free range broadcast of unencrypted personal information, and for now at least, the readers are too big for criminals to carry around. (“Passport chips raise privacy concerns,” CNN, January 6, 2005, online at: www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/01/06/passports—emphasis supplied.)
The use of biometric facial recognition technology to track people’s movements has alarmed privacy groups. Commenting on the new passports, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a White Paper (an authoritative report on a major issue) with the following information:
The passports contain two notable features. First, they contain a biometric, specifically, face recognition. Face recognition is not only among the least reliable biometrics currently available, but unlike others such as fingerprints, it is one that can be used from a distance to track individuals without their knowledge or consent.
Second, the passports will contain RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. RFID tags are tiny computer chips that, when they receive a radio signal from an RFID reader, use the energy of that signal to broadcast the data that they store. This technology is rapidly becoming familiar to Americans through such applications as toll-booth speed passes, building entry key cards, and other contactless applications.
The data stored in these radio chips will include all the printed information that is on a U.S. passport, including: 1) name 2) date of birth 3) place of birth (a key to identity theft) 4) a digital photograph and a digital face recognition template.
RFID chips raise many serious privacy and security issues, especially when placed in identification documents.…
Ultimately, widespread adoption of RFID-enabled identity documents would create the potential for the constant, real-time tracking of individuals.” (An ACLU White Paper, November 26, 2004, online at: www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=17078&c=130—emphasis supplied.)
This may not be a concern to many of the people living in the United States who do not travel internationally, and therefore do not need a passport. However, this international standard of using RFID chips and biometric data for identification is in the process of becoming a requirement for state issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. Some states already require biometric identification for obtaining driver’s licenses.
The US State Department soon will begin issuing passports with radio frequency identification, or RFID, chips embedded in them, and Virginia may become the first state to glue RFID tags into all its driver’s licenses. (“US National ID cards on the way?” ZDNet, February 15, 2005, online at: www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/0,2000061744,39181189,00.htm.)
The New York Times published an article detailing some major concerns with the RFID system.
“I think it means we’re going to end up with a police state, essentially, by allowing the secretary of homeland security to designate the sensitive areas and allowing this integrating screening system,” said Marv Johnson, the legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. If the requirement to show the identification card can be applied to any mode of transportation, he said, that could eventually include subways or highways, and the result would be “to require you to have some national ID card, essentially, in order to go from point A to point B.” (“Congress Close to Establishing Rules for Driver’s Licenses, The New York Times, October 11, 2004, online at: www.nytimes.com/2004/10/11/politics/11identity.html?ex=1255147200&en=e92e51cb9a7fe19e&ei=5090&partner=rssuser land.)
There is a strong push by the federal government to require states to include this biometric ID system in their driver’s licenses.
The Real ID Act
This bill has passed the House and is currently headed for the Senate. The bill does not require states to update their driver’s licenses, but they do use some strong incentives to make it happen.
“Supporters claim it is not a national ID because it is voluntary,” Ron Paul of Texas, one of the eight Republicans to object to the measure, said during the floor debate this week. “However, any state that opts out will automatically make nonpersons out of its citizens. They will not be able to fly or to take a train.”
Paul warned that the legislation, called the Real ID Act, gives unfettered authority to the Department of Homeland Security to design state ID cards and driver’s licenses. Among the possibilities: biometric information such as retinal scans, fingerprints, DNA data and RFID tracking technology.…
The legislation approved by the House last Thursday follows a related measure President Bush signed into law in December. That law gives the Transportation Department two years to devise standard rules for state licenses, requires information to be stored in ‘machine-readable’ format, and says noncompliant ID cards won’t be accepted by federal agencies. (ZDNet, loc. cit.)
Even More Startling
The thought of carrying a document, whether a driver’s license or a passport, that contains RFID microchips is troubling. Yet, there is something even more startling. Referring to RFID microchips, one reporter states,
The chip, smaller than the width of a human hair and holding only 64K of memory, also has enough room to store biometric data, including digital fingerprints, photos and iris scans… The chips, known as radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, are similar to the ones used to track livestock, identify lost pets and speed toll payments through E-Z Pass systems. Wal-Mart Stores and other major retailers are beginning to use them on merchandise, and the Food and Drug Administration just gave hospitals the okay to inject them into their patients. (“U.S. moves closer to e-passports,” October 25, 2004, online at: news.com.com/2100-1012-5425314.html.)
That’s right! Doctors are implanting these tracking devices under people’s skin. The makers of these injectable RFID chips have also manufactured injectable GPS devices that can be tracked by satellite. (adsx.com/news/2003/051303.html)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the practice of injecting humans with tracking devices for medical purposes, according to a Florida company that makes the devices.… The computer chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, are designed to be injected into the fatty tissue of the arm. Using a special scanner, doctors and other hospital staff can fetch information from the chips, such as the patient’s identity, their blood type and the details of their condition, in order to speed treatment.… In Mexico, more than 1,000 patients have been implanted with VeriChips.… The tags, which are inserted with a syringe, have been used to track pets and livestock for years, the company said. (“FDA approves injecting ID chips in patients,” October 13, 2004, online at: news.com.com/FDAapprovesinjectingIDchipsinpatients/2100-7337_3-5408223.html—photo taken from the same source.Used with permission from CNET Networks, Inc. Copyright 200__. All rights reserved.)
These implanted chips can be used as tracking devices as well as a means to purchase goods and services.
Applied Digital Solutions of Palm Beach, Fla., is hoping that Americans can be persuaded to implant RFID chips under their skin to identify themselves when going to a cash machine or in place of using a credit card. The surgical procedure, which is performed with local anesthetic, embeds a 12-by-2.1mm [1/2 by 1/16 inch] RFID tag in the flesh of a human arm.… RFID tags are miniscule microchips, which some manufacturers have managed to shrink to half the size of a grain of sand. (“Chip implant gets cash under your skin,” November 25, 2003, online at: news.com.com/Chipimplantgetscashunderyourskin/2100-1041_3-5111637.html.)
Already most grocery stores have incorporated some sort of discount shopping card system. The discounts on sale items that used to be available to all are now only available to the holders of special cards. Some grocery stores are making it easier on their customers by allowing them to use their fingerprints as combination credit cards and discount cards. What used to be avoided, is common place today. The trend is going toward further invasion of privacy. Facial recognition biometrics, as used in the new passports, has already gained a foothold in grocery stores.
Though fingerprint scanners have an early lead in the nascent biometrics market, facial recognition—identification based on unique characteristics of the face—may be the long-term winner. The technology is best suited for environments where cameras already exist, such as ATMs, airports, and other secure areas.…
The most high-profile acceptance of facial recognition among corporations is in a new generation of check-cashing machines. InnoVentry Corp., for instance, has incorporated Visionic’s technology in check-cashing kiosks in Las Vegas casinos as well as in Kroger grocery stores and Wal-Marts.… Facial recognition is also penetrating law-enforcement markets. Viisage’s programs are being used to match surveillance images or even photo-realistic composite photos with images stored in criminal databases to identify lawbreakers. (“About Face,” June 12, 2001, online at: www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,96264,00.asp.)
RFID tags have become very cheap, and are starting to be used in products that we buy everyday, including clothing, food packaging, and just about everything else you can think of, and the proliferation of these tags is growing each day. (For a short report on this, see www.technologyreview.com/articles/garfinkel1002.asp.)
With the advent of all these high-tech surveillance and tracking systems, it is easy to see how a world power, such as the one mentioned in Revelation 13, could enforce its agenda to prohibit certain people from buying or selling.
The Mark of the Beast
The Bible uses some of the strongest language to warn us against receiving the mark of the beast. (See Revelation 14:9-11.) Yet, many people are unclear regarding what the mark of the beast really is. It is very hard to avoid receiving the mark of the beast if we do not know what it is. Some people have thought it was the Social Security Numbers issued to all citizens starting in 1937. Others think it is a tattoo of 666 on a person’s right hand or his forehead. In this computer age, many people think that it is a microchip (possibly an RFID chip) placed under the skin. The list goes on and on. With all these varied ideas about the mark of the beast, how can we know for sure what the mark of the beast is, and how to avoid it?
Fortunately, the Bible does not leave us in the dark on such an important issue as this. First we must identify the beast so that we can understand its mark. In the first seven verses of Revelation 13, John records a vision where he saw a beast rise up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. This beast has some amazing similarities to the fourth beast of Daniel chapter seven. Please notice some of these similarities:
|1st Beast of
|4th Beast of
There can be little doubt that God gave John a vision of the same beast that He showed to Daniel. The identity of this beast is clearly revealed in the book of Daniel. The angel that spoke with Daniel said, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” (Daniel 7:23) Beasts in Bible prophecy symbolize kingdoms or world powers. Even though this fourth kingdom is not mentioned by name, the preceding three kingdoms are, which makes it very easy to know the kingdom represented by the fourth beast.
Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, and 11 are parallel prophecies of kingdoms that ruled the world, with chapters 8 and 11 excluding Babylon since its rule was either at an end or nearing its end. In Daniel chapter two, the first kingdom is clearly identified as Babylon. (Verse 38) In chapter 8, the second and third kingdoms are mentioned by name—Media-Persia (Verse 20) and Greece (Verse 21). A brief study of history reveals that Rome overthrew Greece to rule the world. There can be little doubt that Rome is symbolized by the fourth beast of Daniel seven. Nearly all Bible commentators agree with this assessment.
Rome underwent changes in its structure and government, the most significant of which was its change from pagan Rome to papal Rome during the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries after Christ. Many of the prophecies of this world power were fulfilled during the papal dominance of the Dark Ages. Millions of Christians were killed during this time in some of the most gruesome ways imaginable. Truly this power made “war with the saints.” (Revelation 13:7; Daniel 7:21)
The prophecies of Daniel leave Rome as the final world power, existing all the way until Christ comes to take His kingdom.
The Lamb-like Beast
When we come to the book of Revelation we find the Roman kingdom still exercising its power, but another beast is mentioned that cooperates with the Roman kingdom to dominate the world. Right after John saw the Roman beast, he says, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11) All of the other beasts of Daniel 7, as well as the first beast of Revelation 13 came up out of the sea, but this one comes up out of the earth. An angel told John, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” (Revelation 17:15) The sea from which the other beasts arose represent many nations and people. The second beast of Revelation 13 comes up out of the earth, meaning that it arises in part of the world that has relatively few inhabitants or nations. It arises near the close of papal dominance, near the end of the 42 prophetic months or 1260 years, which ended in 1798.
Note: It was prophesied that when papal Rome came to power it would root up three kingdoms. (Daniel 7:8) The last of these was the Ostrogoths who were defeated in 538 AD. After dominating the world throughout the Dark Ages, in 1798, exactly 1260 years later, the French General Berthier took the pope prisoner, ending worldwide papal dominance.
Just as prophesied, a world power that fits John’s description was beginning to rise at this time. The United States of America gained its independence in 1776, and began as a lamb, striving for peace and safety. The American Constitution is still one of the greatest in the world. But, the prophecy continues… “he spake as a dragon.” Can you see it, friends? The United States has already begun speaking as a dragon. It has become the bully of the world. Yet, there is more to come.
John saw that this second beast “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.” (Revelation 13:12) We can see that the United States will exercise all the power the papacy exercised, and cause people to worship the first beast, or the papacy. Let us not overlook the fact that there is a greater power at work above the papacy. The Bible says about papacy, “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2) The dragon mentioned here is referring to the dragon spoken of just a few verses earlier, “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9) Satan is working behind the scenes. He is the one who gave the authority to the papacy. When people worship the papacy, they are actually worshiping Satan himself, for the Bible says, “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God.” (1 Corinthians 10:20)
Let’s continue reading in Revelation 13.
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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.” (Revelation 13:13, 14) We can expect to see many miracles performed, but they will be used to deceive people into making an image to the first beast.
An image is a likeness of the original. The most notable and damning characteristic of the first beast was the union of church and state. The pope was the head of the church, but he was also the head of the state. Essentially the church ruled the state, and we have to but look at the history of the Dark Ages for the frightening results of this unholy union. About 2 million people were tortured and killed during pagan Rome’s rule, but that number was multiplied to 50-150 million during papal Rome’s rule. According to the Bible we can expect the United States to duplicate this unholy union of church and state.
John continues, “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. 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: 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. 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.” (Revelation 13:15-18)
Identifying the Beast
The beast, whose mark we are to avoid, is the first beast, or the Roman Catholic institution, called the papacy. The United States will be instrumental in causing the people of the world to receive the mark of the beast. Notice that the whole issue of the mark of the beast is about worship. The United States will cause people on the earth to worship the beast (verse 12), and to worship the image of the beast (verse 15). There is a very important fact to learn from this. Please don’t miss it. The implementation of the mark of the beast will revolve around worship. Nobody will receive the mark of the beast unless they “worship the beast.” (verse 12) It is a sin to worship anything or anyone other than God. Jesus said, “It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8) The first commandment states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Those who obey the United States when they urge the whole world to worship the beast will be breaking God’s commandments. Nobody will receive the mark of the beast unless they worship the beast or his image. Worship will be the key issue.
His number is 666 (Revelation 13:18)
The Pope has been given the title, “Vicar of the Son of God.” In the Latin (which is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church), this is written as, “VICARIUS FILII DEI.” Most of us learned in school that letters are used to represent numbers, in “Roman Numerals.” When we evaluate the title of the Pope, using Roman numerals, we come up with the exact number 666, as demonstrated in the following figure.
God warned us, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” (Revelation 14:9, 10) This is a serious warning. For God to punish those who receive the mark of the beast, it has to involve breaking one of God’s commandments. Think about this. If receiving the mark of the beast only involved a man receiving a tattoo, or a microchip under the skin, that alone could not be enough reason for God to cast him into the lake of fire. There has to be something more to it than that, because a person could be pinned down and forced to receive a tattoo or a microchip. God would not cast a person into the lake of fire for having this done to him. There is something more that must not be overlooked and, according to the Bible, it involves worship and the breaking of at least one of God’s commandments.
God’s Ten Commandments
Let’s take a moment to examine God’s Ten Commandments. The first four deal with our relationship and worship of God, while the last six deal with our relationship toward other people. The mark of the beast, then, must involve breaking one of the first four commandments, which are summarized as follows: 1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2) Thou shalt not bow down to graven images. 3) Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:3-11) If you obey all of these commandments, you will not, and cannot, receive the mark of the beast. Even if someone pinned you down and forced you to receive a microchip under your skin, if you have not broken any of these commandments, you have not received the mark of the beast. I pray that you realize this important point.
Look again at the four commandments listed above, and ask yourself, which of these would the United States most likely compel people to break. It has to be one of them, for these are the only ones that deal with worship.
Many years ago the king of Babylon set up a great image in the plain of Dura, and commanded all his subjects gathered there to bow down and worship the image or else they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:1-11) The king was compelling people to break the second commandment. Three faithful followers of God refused to bow down, and they were thrown into the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:12-23) The Son of God came down and performed a miracle to keep the fire from harming them. (Daniel 3:24-27) By this God demonstrated that the state has no right whatsoever to require its subjects to worship. This is something that belongs only to God. Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17) There is a clear distinction between what we owe to God and what we owe to our fellow man. It is a sin to render to man those things which belong solely to God, specifically our worship. Likewise it is a sin for man to require worship from man. God demonstrated this fact for all time when He saved His three faithful servants out of the fiery furnace.
God again demonstrated this fact when He saved Daniel out of the lions’ den. In this case the king passed a law that no man could ask a petition of anyone but the king for thirty days, or he would be cast into a den of lions. (Read Daniel chapter 6.) The king was requiring people to break the first commandment by putting himself above God. Daniel was caught praying to God and he was cast into the lions’ den. God overruled by sending His angel to shut the mouth of the lions.
Here we have two examples of earthly governments passing laws related to worship. One violated the second commandment, the other violated the first. In both cases God demonstrated that His people are innocent if they disobey a law of the land related to worship.
Do you think the United States would set up a literal image and command all the people of the world to bow down and worship it? Not likely! This would not go over well in a predominately Christian nation like the US. For the government to be successful in getting people to violate one of God’s commandments they need to get the people behind them. They need to make it appear as if what they are asking is a good thing. Do you think the US would ask people to worship the president as God? Again, this is unlikely. However, they may ask people to worship a false god, which is generally thought, by Christians, to be the genuine, such as the Trinity. But doing this openly would find much resistance among Jews and Muslims, as well as some Christians, and it would be difficult to implement because what a person believes about God’s identity is hard for other people to see. Do you think they would ask people to take God’s name in vain? Certainly not! This only leaves one commandment, the fourth commandment, which deals with the Sabbath. This, logically, is the easiest and most likely of the commandments for the US to cause all the people in the world to violate, as we will see in a moment.
Remember, to receive the mark of the beast you must violate one of the first four commandments. This is the only way it would deal with worship, and be a sin. In the book of Revelation we are given a warning against receiving the mark of the beast (14:9-11), and in connection with this warning we are given three specific instructions to help us avoid receiving the mark. We are told, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Revelation 14:7) In explaining how to avoid receiving the mark of the beast we are told to worship Him who made heaven and earth. Again we can see the emphasis is on worship, and a portion of the fourth commandment is quoted here, giving us a clue that the mark of the beast has something to do with the fourth commandment.
Let us examine the Sabbath commandment and see if this could be used as a means to institute the mark of the beast. The commandment says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORDmade heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11) The commandment prohibits us from doing any work on the seventh day. This prohibition includes buying and selling on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:16, 17)
Many financial transactions today are done without the use of physical money. More and more people are using plastic cards to make purchases, or they write checks. It is an oddity to see people in a grocery store using cash to make purchases. Some stores and businesses will not even accept cash. Just try to buy a brand new car with cash, and see what happens. We are heading toward a cashless society.
We have heard stories of people’s credit cards being revoked, and their bank accounts frozen. To many people this would be devastating, especially if we had a totally cashless society. If all transactions were done by computers, a person’s ability to buy and sell could be taken away very easily. If RFID chips, or biometric identification, are used in place of cash, it would be very difficult for someone to buy or sell unless they fit in with the program. Those controlling the computers would have the ability to prohibit certain people from buying or selling.
It would be very easy for the US to use the Sabbath commandment as a means to cause people to worship the beast and receive its mark. For example, the US could require a person’s ID, that enables them to buy and sell, to be renewed each week by participating in a work program on Sabbath, or some other activity that violates the Sabbath. Yet, how could they openly require people to violate the Sabbath commandment in a world where many people are “Christians,” and the beast itself is a “Christian” power. The answer is simple when we realize that the majority of Christianity violates the Sabbath commandment every weak without thinking anything of it. Satan knew about the mark of the beast many years ago, and he has been planning his attack for a long time. He has succeeded in convincing most of the world that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Christian Sabbath because Christ was raised from the dead on that day, even though there is not a single Bible text that tells us that the Sabbath was changed from the seventh day of the week to the first.
The Beast Tried to
Change the Law (Daniel 7:25)
History teaches us that there was a change, but it occurred after the Bible was written, at a time when paganism was beginning to be merged with Christianity by the papacy. The early Christians kept the seventh day Sabbath for many years after Christ died. The day after His death, His disciples “rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” (Luke 23:56) They were evidently oblivious of any change. The Roman Emperor Constantine enacted the first Sunday law for its citizens in 321 AD, stating:
Let all the judges and town people, and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun: but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty, attend to the business of agriculture; because it often happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by Heaven. (Encyclopedia Britannica, article Sunday)
This Sunday law was strictly and completely a religious law, and could only be a religious law. Even though this Sunday law was enacted by a pagan emperor to benefit pagan sun worshipers, Sunday observance as a religious holiday was adopted by many Christians.
Notice what one historian has to say about this:
“Centuries of the Christian era passed away before the Sunday was observed by the Christian church as a Sabbath. History does not furnish us with a single proof or indication that it was at any time so observed previous to the Sabbatical edict of Constantine in A.D. 321.” (Sir Wm. Domville, Examination of the Six Texts, page 291 as quoted in History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week, page 344, by John N. Andrews, Steam Press 1873)
A prominent Catholic Catechism boldly admits:
Q. Which is the Sabbath day?
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
A. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic church, in the counsel of Laodicea (336 A.D.) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. (The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, Second Edition, by Peter Geirman, page 50)
Not only is the Catholic Church bold enough to admit that they attempted to change the Sabbath to Sunday, but they claim that it is the mark of their authority. “Sunday is the mark of our authority. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of the fact.” (The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, September 1, 1923—emphasis supplied) “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” (Thomas, H.F., Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath.—emphasis supplied) “The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” (Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213)
There can be no doubt that Sunday observance is a mark of the beast, a mark of the authority of the Roman Catholic papacy, and it is easy to see how Sunday legislation could be used to enforce the mark of the beast.
The Trinity Connection
The papacy instituted Sunday observance in honor of the god they worship. The Catholic Church claims, “[Sunday] is a day dedicated by the Apostles to the honor of the most holy Trinity,…” (Douay Catechism, page 143) Those who pay homage to the papacy by keeping Sunday are doing so “in honor of the most holy Trinity.” (Ibid.) Observance of a holy day is a manner in which people worship God—it is the how of worship, not the who. Sunday observance was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church in honor of their god, the Trinity. The Trinity is who is worshiped through Sunday observance.
The Trinity doctrine was not always part of the religion of God’s people. On page 11 of the book, Handbook for Today’s Catholic, we read,
The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church… The Church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries of clarification, decided to state the doctrine in this way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons,—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…
The rise of the Trinity doctrine was predicted in the Bible many years before the fourth century. Speaking of the rise of the papacy, the angel Gabriel told Daniel, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:36, 37)
This description of the papacy is almost identical to Paul’s description in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. Notice, Gabriel said that when the papacy comes to power it will disregard the God of his fathers. In other words, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Peter, Paul, and the other apostles, would be disregarded by the papacy. Gabriel continued, “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.” (Daniel 11:38, 39)
Just as prophesied in the Bible, when the papacy came to power, the “God of [their] fathers” was disregarded, and a “strange god” emerged whom their “fathers knew not.” This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter when Satan inspired the papacy to invent and adopt the Trinity doctrine in the fourth century.
Notice what God says about those who worship strange gods. “They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deuteronomy 32:16, 17) When people worship the strange god of the papacy, Satan gets what he so desperately desires—worship.
So we can see that the institution of the mark of the beast is a vehicle that enables Satan to receive worship. This he does by forcing people to honor a false day of worship, bringing honor to a false god (the Trinity).
A Push for Sunday Observance
Today, there is a large movement pushing for more Sunday laws. Even today, in the United States, we have many Sunday laws on the books—called blue laws. Have you ever wondered why many businesses are closed or have shorter hours of operation, on Sunday? In many cases it is not because of choice, but because laws restrict their businesses on Sunday. In most states it is illegal to buy or sell alcohol until noon on Sunday. In the state of Indiana it is illegal to buy or sell a car on Sunday. There are many other such Sunday laws in effect all over the country. All of these Sunday laws are religious laws, and are in direct violation of the First Amendment to our Constitution which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
According to the Bible, Sunday is one of the “six working days.” (Ezekiel 46:1) God said, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.” (Exodus 20:9) Honoring one day of the week above another is strictly religious in nature, directly relating to our worship of God. There can be no other reason for honoring a day of the week than that of worship. Seeing that Sunday observance can only relate to worship, the government has no right to regulate what I may or may not do on Sunday, if it is lawful any other day of the week. Yet, this is precisely what the government sought to do in the time of Constantine, and it was used to persecute God’s people, and it is what the so-called “Christian Coalition” is seeking to do again.
The mark of the beast crisis will revolve around worship and the government legislation of worship. It is certain that the governments of this world will pass a universal law regarding worship. They will most likely follow the example of Constantine and enforce religious observance of Sunday.
Please do not get me wrong, those who have ignorantly, or even knowingly, kept the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath have not yet received the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be mandated by the government. Until that happens, nobody could receive the mark of the beast.
The mark is not a tattoo or microchip
Let me make something very clear. The mark of the beast is not a physical tattoo or RFID tag or any other microchip. Microchips may be used to keep people from buying and selling, but they, themselves, are not the mark of the beast. Today, there are hundreds of people who have already, willingly allowed microchips to be implanted under their skin. These people have not received the mark of the beast. It is not a sin to have a microchip in your identification card or even placed under your skin. That alone can not possibly be the mark of the beast because it does not involve worship, nor the breaking of God’s commandments. For anyone to receive the mark of the beast they must worship contrary to God’s law, and violate one of God’s commandments regarding worship.
I pray that none of you reading this paper will receive the mark of the beast. Obey God’s commandments, “worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24), and you will not receive the mark of the beast. You will go through difficulties and “shall be hated of all men… but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)