Once again stories of microchips being the sign of the beast are filling the internet causing some Christians to fear condemnation if they have this chip placed in their hand. Will this chip prevent Christians from being saved?
Hi, @tfloraditch, I have friends who have concerns about this as well. Personally, I think having a microchip in one’s hand does sound kind of creepy. I just don’t like it. However, until there is a clear allegiance to the world or some world leader associated with it, I would be cautious of interpreting it as the mark of the beast. For it to be the mark of the beast, the Bible makes it clear that it is imposed upon people. It isn’t optional for those who want to be able to eat and live, apparently. The mark is specifically used to brand people that have committed to worship the beast, whether out of an evil desire to do so or out of fear for their lives since the false prophet proclaiming the “beast’s” reign will be attempting to force worship one way or another. Whatever is used, in my understanding, it will be very specifically associated with the “beast” or the anti-Christ. Some take Revelation to be so symbolic that they think that there is no final anti-Christ person, and so the “mark of the beast” could be anything that marks a person as aligned with the world in allegiance. Whether or not the chip could be that for someone is, I think, too subjective to be able to clearly claim it as the prophesied “mark of the beast.”
I forgot to address this. How we answer this question will, again, largely depend on our interpretive approach to Revelation. I am of the belief that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation. Those who have to choose between their lives and receiving the mark should, in my estimation, by then clearly know what is going on, mostly due to the rapture. They will have to choose a side. So I do believe that if someone gets the “mark of the beast” that there is no going back after that. They will not be saved. Here is an article from Got Questions I found:
Let me know what you think.
I agree with @psalm151ls - the mark of the beast is something that one chooses to take out of allegiance to the antichrist during the coming Tribulation. I do not believe that any Christians alive today will face that trial because until the Rapture removes the Church, the antichrist will not be able to assume power - II Thessalonians 2:1-8.
So anyone today who has a liscence plate with three consecutive sixes, or a phone number, or a social security number or an account number of any kind - or a microchip for whatever reason anywhere in their body - or any of a number of things that tend to generate rumors about the mark of the beast - none of those things are what Revelation 13 is talking about.
Everyone who takes the mark of the beast (that is, of the antichrist) during the latter half of the Tribulation does so knowing full well that he is rejecting Jesus Christ in favor of the antichrist to provide for his needs.
Will it be a microchip in the hand or the forehead? That’s certainly one possibility - or a tattoo - or a government assigned accout number that one memorizes (in their forehead) or presents on a card (with their right hand) - or a retinal scanner and fingerprint reader - or any of a number of other theories that have been floated around in recent decades.
But what’s really interesting is that nowadays we can name multiple ways this prophecy could be fulfilled off the top of our heads. In former generations Christians really wrestled with how such a thing could be enacted worldwide. Many just passed it off as symbolic because it sounded too fantastic to be literal.
But while the Revelation does use many symbolisms, they’re generally either symbols borrowed from elsewhere in the Bible which are easy to interpret from their original context, or they’re symbols explained nearby in the Revelation itself. The mark of the beast does not fit that pattern, so I think that most Bible students are right to take it as an actual means of enforcement under a coming global dictatorship.
I hope this helps you with this question.
Ah, thank you, @jlyons. I thought about tagging you, so I’m glad you came on and added your knowledge and insight!
On the broader topic of where technology is headed; and the intersection with the book of Revelation; I found John Lennox’s talk on “Should We Fear Artificial Intelligence?” two years ago very interesting. He covers parts of Revelation in his talk; and mentions that particular passage at the 1:03 mark. It’s best to watch the whole thing for context of what he is saying… i have always found Lennox to be a careful and balanced thinker on topics he speaks on; and I really enjoyed his talk when I watched it. One of the messages I got from it was technology is a-moral; it is humans as moral creatures that use it for good or evil.
Thanks, @matthew.western! Lennox is always so insightful, and I am looking forward to watching this.
@matthew.western I flagged your post by mistake when I meant to bookmark it so I can come back later to watch Lennox’s talk. Is there a way to unflag? Sorry about that.
I do agree. A lot of what I saw feels like fear that we don’t need to live under. Sometimes it all sounds like we might lose our salvation on a technicality which just doesn’t seem like what God has to offer us.
Hello, @Alandis! You should be able to hover over where you originally flagged, and it should give you the option to unflag, I believe…
don’t worry about it at all, the moderators are very kind and will sort it out if it’s been accidentally flagged.
Happy Easter (It’s early on Resurrection Sunday here in Adelaide, SA as I type) He is Risen!
The short answer is no. In hermeneutics the science of interpretation of scripture there is a principle that says what was written must be understood within the worldview of the original author and audience. That said neither of those two parties would have any concept of a micro chip. That is a technology literally thousands of years into the future.
If that is the case then what could be the mark of the beast? I’d argue that it is an idiomatic motif of sorts. In that it is saying that the way that one thinks and lives their life shows who their allegiance is too God or the beast. There are many illusions to this in the Old Testament
Exodus 13: 9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your HAND and a reminder on your FOREHAND that this law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
Exodus 13:16 And it will be like a sign on your HAND and a symbol on your FOREHAND that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.”
Deuteronomy 6:6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your HANDS and bind them on your FOREHEADS.
Deuteronomy 11: 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your HANDS and bind them on your FOREHEADS.
Ezekiel 9:4 and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the FOREHEADS of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
@Apologistindetroit I get what you are saying about context of the author and audience, but does the book of revelation actually apply to that premise. The book of revelation is very different from all the other books and it is a futuristic viewpoint aka a prophecy, so I dont know if it has to be understood in the context of the biblical times.
Love to hear all your thoughts.
Hi Lindsay, this has brought up a question in my mind, and I’m wondering what your (and others’) thoughts are, in this context, of 2 Thessalonians 2:11?
For those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, the lawless one would cone after that, right (2 Thess. 2:9-10)?
It seems as though God will send a delusion upon them, maybe they will believe false explanations of the rapture, along with the lies of the son of destruction?
That’s a good point, @Danageze - God certainly showed John many things that he did not understand in his First Century frame of reference. And there were moments when he asked for them to be explained.
But that was an interesting cross reference that @Apologistindetroit brought up from Exodus and Deuteronomy. I’d never seen that before. Of course, Moses is writing almost as many centuries before John as we are after him, so I’m not sure the worldview in 1500 BC Egypt was the same as John’s in 100 AD Patmos. But I’ll grant that it’s certainly much closer than ours is. I’ll have to mull that new thought over a bit.
But it is also true that when God gives revelations of future events far beyond the culture and time of the prophet, his frame of reference probably won’t affect the vision as much as we would ordinarily expect.
Yes, @countryinked - that is correct. Once the church is gathered together with Christ (II Thessalonians 2:1), the restraining influence of the Spirit of Christ will no longer hinder the spirit of antichrist in this world. For the first time in the world’s long and tragic history, it will have no believers anywhere on the planet, and the world will go over the edge into a moral freefall - paving the way for the devil’s counterfeit to finally assume power (II Ths 2:3).
And those left behind will experience Satanic delusions that God will permit as a judgment on the followers of the antichrist and a trial for all of the “undecideds” (II Ths 2:9-12). Notice that the ones who are doomed to the devil’s delusions are those who had previously rejected the truth that they might be saved (v. 10) - and the reason they rejected it was because of their pleasure in unrighteousness (v. 12).
But many who had not previously heard the truth will be exposed to it during the Tribulation, and will turn from the lies, believe the gospel, and overcome many perils until the end.
I hope this addresses what you were wondering about.
Happy Resurrection Sunday to you as well, Matthew! He is risen indeed.
Yes, exactly what @jlyons said. To back that up in Revelation 6:9-11 (NASB) makes mention of those who will be killed during the Tribulation for making a choice for Christ crying out for justice from under the alter, and verse 11 it says, “…and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Again, in chapter 7, in speaking of a great multitude of people clothed in white robes, standing before the throne of God in worshipful praise, it verse 14 says, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Hello, @Apologistindetroit, there are several of us here who have studied hermeneutics at university level. That being said, the way we approach Scripture and prophecy is also to be taken into account. I second what @jlyons says here and am going to add that God, the one who inspired every word of Scripture, is outside of each author’s time and worldview. So the approach to the biblical text and even one’s use of hermeneutics is affected by the presuppositions one holds in regard to inspiration, Scripture, and prophecy. Hermeneutics is a good tool for interpretation, but it is not a completely objective science. For instance, your response on the matter is based upon the underlying assumption that God either could not or would not give John revelation from thousands of years into the future. That is an assumption that really has to be left at that: an assumption, because you can’t provide empirical proof that it is correct. Now, we could argue that nothing can really be empirically proven. So then we look at the evidence. Jesus was prophesied hundreds, even thousands of years before he came, and no one before he came really had a grasp on what he would be. They only had the law and the “If you obey, you will be blessed. If you don’t, you will be cursed” and so on. So to say that God wouldn’t or couldn’t give revelation of something to someone that they couldn’t yet understand in their frame of context, that was still hundreds or even thousands of years away, isn’t necessarily true.
I’ve had people offer the argument that we must not go beyond John’s world and what he understood in our interpretation simply because the content (language, symbolism, etc) were all from his world and culture. One thing we must factor in is accommodation. Accommodation is God’s condescending to use language we are able to understand in order to explain things that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to wrap our heads around in the moment of time in which He is giving us the revelation. So, just because the symbolism, the language, the allegory, and the rest of the material in Revelation can be understood through the lens of John’s worldview, that doesn’t by any means automatically count out the possibility that it is prophecy concerning something thousands of years from his time that he wouldn’t understand–because that is what accomodation does. Therefore, no one can say that the answer IS “yes” or “no” with %100 certainty, because anything we back that up with is necessarily based on assumptions underlying our approach to hermeneutics and, therefore, the text.
Thank you James and Lindsay for your responses.
But I think I framed my question poorly; I will try to clarify it.
What I quoted from Lindsay’s post essentially captured and highlighted the belief that, mostly due to the rapture, those left behind will be aware of the reality of things. This used to be my sort of final hope for my unrepentant family and friends — that when the rapture happened they’d say to themselves, “Whoa! Those crazy Christians were telling the truth!”, and maybe then they’d turn to Christ, the only, final hope.
Conversely, those who continued to follow the god of this world (who are already blinded by him), will know what they are choosing, as Lindsay implies in the section of her post I quoted.
My question, though, is, is this really so? My conviction based on 2 Thessalonians 2:11 is, “No”.
The effects of the rapture and/or the tribulation, in any order, will have no effect on them (especially any sort of clarifying or eye-opening effect), just as the gospel had no effect on them.
So, in a nutshell, my question is: will those who choose the mark of the beast, whatever that is, really have a clear idea of what they’re choosing, mostly because of the rapture, as Lindsay seemed to imply?
I’ve gone both ways on this in my own thoughts, but had pretty much settled on the belief that they would suffer delusion, not arrive at moral clarity.
Thank you for discussing this issue with me!
Yours in Christ,