Edging closer to Revelation 13?

Revelation 13:16-18

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

From Breitbart:

A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gaming and even spy operations, according to a US study published Thursday.

The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES), was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is described in the journal Science.

“It’s a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology,” said co-author John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to the user.”

The patch could be used instead of bulky electrodes to monitor brain, heart and muscle tissue activity and when placed on the throat it allowed users to operate a voice-activated video game with better than 90 percent accuracy.

“This type of device might provide utility for those who suffer from certain diseases of the larynx,” said Rogers. “It could also form the basis of a sub-vocal communication capability, suitable for covert or other uses.”

The wireless device is nearly weightless and requires so little power it can fuel itself with miniature solar collectors or by picking up stray or transmitted electromagnetic radiation, the study said.

Less than 50-microns thick — slightly thinner than a human hair — the devices are able to adhere to the skin without glue or sticky material.

“Forces called van der Waals interactions dominate the adhesion at the molecular level, so the electronic tattoos adhere to the skin without any glues and stay in place for hours,” said the study.

Northwestern University engineer Yonggang Huang said the patch was “as soft as the human skin.”

Rogers and Huang have been working together on the technology for the past six years. They have already designed flexible electronics for hemispherical camera sensors and are now focused on adding battery power and other energy options.

The devices might find future uses in patients with sleep apnea, babies who need neonatal care and for making electronic bandages to help skin heal from wounds and burns.

24 thoughts on “Edging closer to Revelation 13?

  1. Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? I was just having a conversation with a professing believer at work about how we will not be able to pay our mortgages, electric bills, buy food, gas, or anything once this new ‘system’ is implemented; it looks like it may be sooner than we think. When it does unfold, we will truly know what it means to live by faith…

    I strongly oppose the a-mil view concerning eschatology, but I refuse to be so prideful as to think my view is the only correct one. Instead, I try to avoid any confrontation concerning this secondary matter and believe we all should choose our words carefully and speak out of love, remembering God sees the motive behind the words.


  2. Do you really think this is a physical thing, or is it speaking metaphorically about a man’s thoughts and actions?


  3. You know, we always seem to think that what is written in the word of God is always distant future.
    As though we will never see anything that it speaks of come to pass in our time. We will. Things can only escalate as man opposes God more and more.

    And guess Who’s going to win?

    Fact is, when the word of God says, look up, our redemption draws nigh, we need to.


  4. As an self-professed anti-Dispensationalist Covenant Theology/Ammillennialist, I take completely disagree with the concept that Revelation 13:16-18 is dealing with a literal mark on the body of people. I understand where this doctrine originates and I used to vehemently agree with it. However, I now find that the literal interpretation is not the correct interpretation and that we need to view the entire book of Revelation not as a list of here is what will happen to you in the future in some sequential chronological order, but instead that Revelation is apocalyptic language in the same vain as the Old Testament Prophets like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others. The book of Revelation is not a chronological view of the end of the world, but several views of good vs. evil and the life to come in the resurrection and being found in glory with Christ in the new Jerusalem.

    So, simply put these “marks” are the mark of our mindset and the mark of our life in relation to Satan or Christ.

    a. We either are marked by sin and behavior, interests, lifestyle, etc.. the mark of the beast – evil, Satan, those still in Adam, dead in the trespasses.

    b. Or, we are marked by love, faith, good deeds, etc….the mark of Christ – those who are found in Christ.

    So, this little electronic mark is meaningless.

    In addition, the mark described as “666” can easily be explained to reference Nero Caesar. I’m not sure I believe this, but it is interesting. The Greek letters (χξϛ) represent number like Roman numerals for example: I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI…The Hebrew also uses numbers…so this was a very common thing, and if you take the Greek 666 translated in Aramaic (which also uses letters for numbers), it does spell Nero Caesar in Aramaic, which was distinctly Jewish in the time of Roman occupation. Buuuuuuut, who knows. There are plenty of holes in this theory as well.. It certainly does put a question to the whole literal FUTURE view if we can demonstrate that John may have been talking about someone during his time period.


  5. I stand with you, abg, as an anti-Dispensationalist, Covenant Theology/Ammillennialist. I do think that 666 is merely the number of man, as opposed to 7 being the perfect number that reflects God. Three 7s for the Trinity, three 6s for man who thinks himself God.


  6. Manfred, I think you are right. the 666=Nero makes my head hurt and there seems to be very little evidence of that. However, there is tons of Biblical basis for the idea of 7 being perfect and 6 being incomplete.


  7. It’s refreshing to read these comments from you atg and Manfred. I’m swamped by Dispy Israel-ocentric eschatology and my soul is grieved practically every time I hear a sermon or read a polemic on the topic from that perspective. It’s one of the areas where I strongly take exception with J-Mac and many likeminded brothers in his camp, whom I otherwise deeply respect and appreciate.

    Yet eschatology, like ecclesiology, is a secondary matter which we, as believers, should not allow to become grounds for divisiveness and bitterness.

    In Christ,


  8. It is clearly a deception and sheer folly to think that epidermal electronics is for the sick, the infirm, the elderly. Large companies, including Stanley Works have been actively selling HID’s (human implantable devices for years. Epidermal Electronics is designed for Everyone! FDA approved Human Implantable Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID or HID) were first made by VeriChip Corporation. VeriChip Corporation. VeriChip corporation merged with Steel Vault Corporation in 2009 to form Positive ID corporation. Positive ID corporation acquired several other corporations and changed its name to XMARK. XMARK was sold to Stanley Works, Steel Vault Corporation, and Easy Check Medical Diagnostics, LLC. Stanley Works has worked very had to conceal and and to deceive people by coming out with a product called the H.I.D.(High Intensity Discharge) Flashlight and has flooded (spammed) the internet with ads (http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-HID0109-HID-Spotlight/dp/B001U04MEY) so that nobody can find information about their Positive ID RFID systems and even downplay their clandestine RFID activities on their website (http://www.positiveidcorp.com/products.html#sid).

    Rev 16 tells us that with Global Warming and the thinning polar icecap(http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/), the kings of the East will be making their way across the recently dried up Euphrates. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/world/middleeast/14euphrates.html). The Kings of the East own a large portion of the U.S. dept. (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/tic/Documents/mfh.txt), The united States Federal Reserve basicly prints Treasury Bills and Money without any capital backing (ie there is no gold standard to say that $100 U.S. dollars is valued as a certain weight in gold boulion. The paper is worthless. The U.S. is on the brink and the Chinese will want something to replace their worthless treasury bills. China has a one child per family rule. The preferred child is male. China’s little generals have grown up. 100,000,000 Eastern soldiers is not a dream, a fantasy, a possibility, but a reality. Remember, Revelations isn’t about despair it’s about the promise and the hope for that promise to believers in Christ Jesus.


  9. CD, Katy, You know, I would argue that you have to believe in God’s Sovereignty and Election to believe in Ammillennialism. Some one who believes in free will can’t accept the big ticket items like Israel is a for shadowing of the children of God (the church). I don’t think that IF you believe in election you have to believe ammil, but I don’t see any free will folks who could stomach Ammil. Just a interesting thought I have been thinking lately.

    Gordon Jenkins,

    You said:

    “Rev 16 tells us that with Global Warming and the thinning polar icecap the kings of the East will be making their way across the recently dried up Euphrates. The Kings of the East own a large portion of the U.S. dept.”

    My question is: ah, wha? Where do you find global warming, thinning polar icecaps, China, US debt in these passages?


  10. O.K. some loose ends. I’ll try to fix those holes. Global Warming, thinning polar ice caps and a dried up Euphrates River are tied to God causing the earth to be scorched, even if it is by way of precession of the equinoxes or some other mechanism that I do claim to know.

    China and India can produce the requisite armies, wheras, some 100 years ago this would not even be possible or perhaps even thinkable. Today, well things are starting to line up with the Word, but even 20 years ago, the technology, economics, climatology, etc. were not as nearly aligned as the events are today. There are still a lot of things that need to happen, but the really exciting thing is that a lot of things prophesied are now feasible, and were not at any time in man’s history.

    The U.S. Debt is a concern because it concerns a problem of non-payment (a default). The U.S. is currently the most powerful nation on earth in terms of military hardware. The U.S. existence as a world power is therefore contingent upon its ability to pay its armed services personnel. When the debt interest obligations become greater than its ability to pay, it will cease payments to its service personnel and cease to be a power of any world concern. China does not have such issues. It’s a pay as you go kind of affair. It buys what it can afford and doesn’t live off its proverbial credit cards.

    China will obviously want to collect on what it is owed. If God arranges it so that Israel ends up hholding the purse strings by way of its bankers, then China would like to march to Israel, since it can’t march as easily across the Pacific, it pretty much has to go West.

    Why I don’t get is the absence of mention of the Tigris River.


  11. There appears to be some editing problems here. In first paragraph I do NOT claim to know the ways of God. His ways are beyond my comprehension.

    The Tigris river would probably need to be crossed somewhere to get to the Euphrates from the East, because both rivers run mostly parallel to each other. To cross at Shatt-Al-Arab in the south might be considered the Euphrates if the Tigris is loosely considered to be a tributary of the Euphrates. To cross in the North would be another possibility if coming down from the North between the Tigris and Euphrates, then at no time would it be ncessary to cross the Tigris to camp at the Euphrates. Rivers do change course over time, in that case it would be impossible to tell what would happen.

    The wearable epidermal electronics is not the end of this progression and evolution of technology. either. The next phase is the nano-electronics or spintronics phase whereby the electronics is injected into the skin as a permanent tattoo, rather than a wearable and removable tattoo. This is necessary because a removable tattoo can be removed/stolen/swapped etc. This electronics must contain identity/health/banking information/drivers permits etc. and must be 1 tattoo per person (1 to 1 relationship in database terminology). Why is this important? World debt will make paper transactions (cash) pointless and useless. Debit Cards and credit cards and personal identification numbers can be stolen, systems can be hacked and crashed. Identity theft or lack of security is a selling point for the new system. Health and wander tracking for seniors and young people will be another selling point, just as it was with VeriChip/Xmark/PositiveID/Stanley Health Care Solutions for RFID. RFID received bad press that could not be contained for its carcinogenic properties. We have a more secure planet now since September 11, 2001. Authorities now have far more internet control capacities via search engine censoring/editing of newspapers etc. by way of Anti-Terror Laws (vis-a-vis The Patriot Act) that limit free speech and free expression, allow and encourage police intimidation, holding without charge/etc. Some places prevent persons from receiving payments without a bank account, such as in cases of social assistance payments (Quebec, Canada). In places where cheques were once issued, the requirement of bank cards takes away all notions of the anonymous transaction through cash (ie. privacy and freedom of choice) and adding insult by adding the requirement of new bank service charges for the theft of privacy.

    Nano technology is foreign to the human body and therefore a potential hazard.

    The Russian Federation and China are strongly in favour of a world backed currency to bring stability to world economies. Since physical currency will be easliy counterfeit, the need for electronic currency storage becomes obvious. Storing one’s finances on person is not new. Storing it electronically under the skin in nanotechnology is a new concept. China, being the largest foreign owner of U.S. treasury bills, means it has an invested interest in controlling how the United States conducts its business. If enough U.S. T-Bill owners want a world currency, they can dictate fiscal policy directly to Washington. If the U.S. goes world currency, by tradition, others will follow. The voting electorate is therefore completely irrelevant to U.S. fiscal policies, just as other countries around the world have discovered, it is the bankers who call the shots not the statesmen, elected or not. The legislators have to write laws that are dctated to them by the bankers who are both foreign and domestic.

    It’s complicated to be sure, but because it has been prophesied, it is essentially a done deal.

    This funny business about biblical legalism doesn’t matter in the end because the fullfillments will be so overwhelmingly from God, we really won’t understand or have the capacity to understand it all. All we can really know for sure is that it’s going to happen, and the prophesies of Revelations will be fulfilled from nanoscopic to macroscopic. Amen.


  12. Revelations has elements of inevitability, choice, and surrender. The sun rises and sets each day. That is inevitable in the short term. We can choose to ignore it or to accept it. Do we worship it because it is inevitable or do we marvel at it, once we become aware of it? We can choose to accept that it was a created thing. Do we then worship the created thing or do we worship the One who created it and all things, the One who has the capacity to do such marvelous things and so much more?

    The Book of Revelations also shows us inevitable things about mankind. The capacity and steady march to do great evil and to ignore and turn from any good thing of God. The march to epidermal electronics started long before you and I were born. Boolean algebra, the language of computers was born before us. Logic and reason were born thousands of years before Boole. Yet the march continued and continues. Computers were used in performing nuclear cross section calculations during World War II to build the atomic bombs that destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    We know the march of technology continues and is inevitable, just as astronomical events are inevitable like the rotation of the earth, its precessions and nutations and all began before we were born. Man’s greed is inevitable as we have witnessed collapses of major financial institutions due to speculations, and greed gone hysterical. We know that people will steal, cheat and swindle, while needing to feel secure and safe about what they have stolen and swindled.

    Jesus detested money. We find that he did not like to come into contact with it. His tax money was not on his person, it was in the mouth of a fish. Jesus knocked over tables of money changers in the temple at Jerusalem. By jesus’ example money is not such a clean thing. Therefore, choosing to have “money” bodily connected or even bodily injected, by way of a mark or tatto, would necessarily be a defilement of a body “temple” where Jesus says I am in the father and the Father is in me, I am in you and you are in me. The kingdom of God would be defiled by contamination of money. Therefore the contaminated bodies cannot be permitted into the Kingdom of God.

    The surrender comes either to surrender to the mark for commerce, or the surrender to Christ, acceptance of his redemption for us, by the refusal of the mark by permanent attachment or injection (refusing the bodily injection of money), regardless of the superficial number of 666.

    Why the kings of the East would be motivated to march a 100 million person army to the Euphrates will ultimately come down to the resource issue of money and a rejection that God, not man is the provider of everything and every quark of our existence.


  13. Gordon,

    I’ve read your responses and wanted to quote you here:

    “It’s complicated to be sure, but because it has been prophesied, it is essentially a done deal.”

    What was prophesied? I’m reading you reply and it sounds like conspiracy theory, world events, and the latest news report…however, I don’t see any of that in Rev 16 as you originally quoted.

    Can you please address where you get from Rev 16 any of what your reply mentions?

    Eschatology says a lot about how we read the Bible and the mechanics of our determining the context, meaning, and intention of what the original author wrote to the original hearers. I have great concerns about the conspiracy theory nature of what your are discussing and calling it the Word of God through prophesy, so its true and a done deal. Its only true and a done deal if we can thoughtfully examine the scriptures and find the intent of the original author (John in this case) within the overall context and style of the book. Revelation is not a chronological list of what will happen in history. It is apocalyptic language similar to the Old testament prophets and full of analogies, word pictures, metaphors, etc.


  14. In Revelation 16:2(NIV):
    “2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. ”


    Will that be cash or cancer?

    In Revelation 16:8,9 (NIV):
    ” 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. ”



    Starting to get a little warm in the troposphere or is it just me?

    In Revelation 16:12
    ” 12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. ”


    What Euphrates?


  15. Luke 17:26-27
    New International Version (NIV)

    ” 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. ”

    In the old covenant (the shadow of things to come), people went about their lives, ignoring God, and everything He said, but one listened, Noah. The one who didn’t ignore God, lived, but those who ignored God perished (Genesis chapters 6-9). In the new covenant, people turn from Christ and reject Him who has the power to redeem, they ignore the prophesies and grieve the Spirit. What hope is there for man if he rejects what God has presented in His Word? They refuse even the signs, everything. What’s the use? bring it on.


  16. If one accepts Aramaic and Hebrew primacy (original language of texts of faith) rather than modern American English, then we have a fresh and original perspective in which we may contend and defend. I neither read nor speak either Aramaic or Hebrew, so my views are distorted even at the very core, forgive my ignorance brothers and sisters in Yeshua.

    There is one contribution I wish to make, that is neither Aramaic, nor Hebrew. The Babylonian number system was based on the number 60. It was a sexagesimal number system. Today we have 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 360 degrees in a circle. Babylon is mentioned in the book of Revelation as is this trivial number, 666 in reference to the name or the number of the beast. The context seems important. Babylon is mentioned more than once in Revelations. Today, there is no such exact city of Babylon in the literal sense, so it is impossible to take Revelations as 100 percent literally.

    If it is helpful to know this, the shekel of Akkadia (loosely, Babylonia), in the Code of Hammurabi, was a unit weight measurement, equivalent to about 180 barley cereal grains (60×3 in the Babylonian system). The shekel coin represented stored value of grain. The stored value today is in the information in Smart cards and computers, in the future, this stored value could be stored in the skin on your right hand or in your forehead.

    I think some people could contend and defend even better when context is taken into account as much as possible in their positions.



  17. Gordon,

    Thanks for these responses. I just couldn’t disagree with you more. I used to attend Calvary Chapel church and they taught this sort of Eschatology and I left the church because of it. In response to your prophesy and weblinks I want to just quote one of my favorite eschatology teachers, Sam Storms, in his essay regarding the 7 Bowls since he does it so succinctly:

    “Clearly the imagery of seven “bowls” from which wrath is “poured out” into the earth is metaphorical of the execution of divine judgment. Thus it should come as no surprise to us if the actual content and effects of these judgments are metaphorical as well. The First Bowl (16:2) – This judgment is based on the Egyptian plague of “boils breaking out with sores” (Exod. 9:9-11; see the summary in Deut. 28:27,35). As Beale says, “the punishment matches the crime: those who receive an idolatrous mark will be chastised by being given a penal mark” (814). Are these “loathsome and malignant” sores physically literal, or do they represent some form of suffering similar to that in the fifth trumpet (9:4-6,10) where men are psychologically and emotionally tormented by something likened to the sting of a scorpion? Probably the latter. ” (this essay can be found at: http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/the-seven-bowls-part-i/ and part 2 here: http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/the-seven-bowls-part-ii/)

    The Bowls are metaphorical, therefore the judgements are metaphorical. This is the simple literary function and requirement of these passages and can’t be assigned to current events. As Storms points out the boils and sores reference OT passages for God’s judgement.

    For example you take this passage quoted in NIV above as you did:
    In Revelation 16:2(NIV): “2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. ”

    …and you assign these sores as Cash or Cancer. I can’t accept this or the others with all the weblinks and newspaper stories. I respectfully disagree and believe that these things are not prophesied as you describe. I think that due to the where you and I start as the basis of interpreting the book of Revelation (my metaphor/imagery verses your chronological assigning of world events to the judgements), the gap is insurmountable to find any place of agreement….it would require us to start at the very beginning of what the Book of Revelation is and talk about Biblical forms of literature, apocalyptic language of the OT, Biblical use of metaphors, etc…before we could ever get to Chapter 16 to discuss this difference. We’d never make it passed Chapter 1. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one I suppose.



  18. abidingthroughgrace,

    I read some of Dr. Storm’s information. Obviously I can’t comprehend even a fraction of what he wrote. I was confused by it. It sounded too much like a disguised condemnation of the Book of Revelations, chapter-by-chapter. I don’t recall mentioning dates or years to be classified and labelled as a chronologist. Chronos was an ancient Greek God ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronos). There is something I will repeat and clarify. The Book of Revelations will be fullfilled “from the nanoscopic to the microscopic”. This would imply fullfillment of the metaphorical and the physical both as well as spiritual levels as well. Thus, each person will experience his or her own revelations, as well as the global perspective. Each person who is a believer in Christ who does the Word, experiences the Word on his or her level with Christ. Everything that Christ did will follow each believer, healings and castings of demons, persecutions, while in the Spirit and abiding in Christ. In totallity, the Book of revalations will also be completed. (If you have heard of self-similarity and mandelbrot sets, then you know that what is true for those sets on a vast scale is also true on smaller scales, in 2 dimensions. But this is more like truth in 11 dimensions, incomprehensible to man). In that aspect, time ceases to exist for each person who is in the Spirit. There is no chronology for that person at that event. They can only pass through the gate into the Kingdom and Glory through this gate called Jesus. I see no need to put faith in a box by classifying it as an either or situation. I know I have been deceived before and will be again. I am trusting God to guide me back on the path again and again. I just gotta try not to give up like I almost did once before. Stay in the game so-to-speak.


  19. Gordon, you said:

    “I read some of Dr. Storm’s information. Obviously I can’t comprehend even a fraction of what he wrote. I was confused by it. It sounded too much like a disguised condemnation of the Book of Revelations, chapter-by-chapter.”

    That is a rotten assessment of Dr. Storm’s heart, his intent, and a series and historical interpretation of the Bible. As i mentioned before, you’d have to examine Sam Storm’s whole assessment of Revelation to see the bigger picture of the Ammillennial view and how significantly different it is than what you have been talking about. Calling his view (and my view) a condemnation of Revelation is the biggest insult I could imagine.

    I didn’t follow you on the “self-similarity and mandelbrot” stuff…and I’m not going to try. I am more concerned about this:
    “I know I have been deceived before and will be again. I am trusting God to guide me back on the path again and again. I just gotta try not to give up like I almost did once before. Stay in the game so-to-speak.”

    Tell me about this…what happened? What do you mean? This is the stuff that really matters.



  20. Brethren although its very obvious that the coming of Lord Jesus is not far of, we should not get carried away with literal interpretations of Revelations which was a message to all the Saints from the time of John to the second coming and Judgement. Saints have been persecuted before and denied access to buying and selling through ostracization and marks in the Bible are figurative not literal, the forehead meaning of the mind and the hand in work or action in the world. for example Ex 13:9 “And it [sabbath observance] shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead…” There is a mind of disinformation on those end time web sites who make literal interpretations of Revelations and not even observing the parallel visions of the same events from ascension to judgement told seven times over from higher and higher elevations. The first and second beasts will decieve the world and those that kill us will think they are doing God a favour, this means the marks in the hand and head and giving life to the image of the beast is believing in the false beast regiion and philosophy and making it come alive from this point of view by the mind and the actions. The second beast is likened to a lamb with horns so will be a Christlike figure who will pretend to be Jesus no doubt while the first beast seems to be a political figure, they will work signs and wonders to deceive the world, ie decieving the mind and hand in the world so much they think killing the Saints is doing God a favour.Taking the mark of the beast does not mean taking a literal mark but giving your mind, beliefs, heart and actions to the two beasts in worship and actions.
    Of course a microchip in the hand is to be refused and i am not saying go ahead and get one as i will refuse one myself.
    In Christ.


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