Friday 23 September 2011

NFC Technology and the Mark of the Beast

Phylactery cases found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls finds at Qumran

There have been a few other websites recently that seem to be discerning that the implementation of NFC technology in cellphones could fulfil the prophecy of the mark of the Beast. This realisation seems to be coinciding with Google’s recent announcement of a “mobile wallet” which plans to incorporate every credit card normally carried about in your wallet into mobile handsets, thus eliminating the need for the cumbersome amount of plastic usually required (see here). If successful, this innovation will effectively spell the end for credit cards. An article in the Christian Post seems to be picking up on this potential for NFC technology (see here), which has also been highlighted by the popular American preacher Jack Van Impe. Yet the fact that these chips will not be embedded in the skin remains a major stumbling block for Christian Fundamentalists who have become so convinced that the mark of the Beast will be a permanent and irremovable device placed in the human body that it obscures any other possible fulfilment of this prophecy. They therefore seem to view this technology as a "foreshadowing" of the prophecy of the mark of the Beast rather than its actual fulfilment. 
Yet the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast was undoubtedly intended as a parody of the Jewish practice of wearing phylacteries.

Although it was originally instructed that phylacteries should be worn on the hand (see Deut 6:8), it eventually became customary to hide them from view on the upper arm in order to escape accusations of flamboyancy. It appears that some competitive Jews attempted to outdo each other with bigger and better tefillin even at the time of Jesus, leading to a sharp rebuke from the Lord:

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. (Matt 23:5-7)

The fact that the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast was based on the practice of temporarily wearing box-shaped devices on the hand or forehead makes it almost inescapable from comparing it with the modern use of WAP cellphones, which are now poised to replace credit cards as a form of commerce and further the cause of a "cashless society" (see my earlier post on this subject here). The phylactery wasn't a permanent mark - it was a symbol of the Jews love for God which was outwardly displayed during prayer services. In direct contrast, the mark of the Beast is symbolic of the godless inhabitants of the earth's love for themselves.
Instead of prayer, it is now customary to engage in exercises devoid of human or spiritual relationships. We now guiltlessly project our own ego into electronic devices whilst ignoring those people who are truly present in our lives. Our "friends" are now a few words on a souless device with no need to maintain a face-to-face personal relationship, and instead constitute a distraction from praising the Triune God. If the correct balance is not struck, we risk losing true family and friends to relationships with what are essentially inaminate objects.
Anyway, I digress... The fact is, while many are now waking up to the fact that mobile phones and NFC technology fulfill the prophecy of the mark of the Beast, they still do not grasp the full significance of this realisation.  They are still not aware that the letters www (which symbolise the world wide web and are the central dynamic of WAP and NFC technology) are the equivalent of six-six-six in the Hebrew language (see here), and that the original prophecy of the mark of the Beast foretold that it would be worn temporarily as a box-shaped device - not some permanent brand or tattoo displaying allegience to Satan. Instead, the Book of Revelation states that the inhabitants of the earth would be duped into recieving this device through deception (see for example Rev 19:20, which suggests that the people of the world would be unwittingly swindled into acceptting this reality, rather than openly embrace it).
It is not easy to disregard the various prophecies which suggest that this event would occur simultaneously with the end-time expulsion of Satan from heaven, and the turn of the millennium (see my earlier posts on "The Fall of Satan" and "The Year of the Dragon"), especially in light of the various heavenly signs that were predicted to accompany the fulfilment of this prophecy (see the post "Signs in the Sky").


Steven P. Cornett said...

Like many items in the Old Testament tradition, doesn't the Phylactery presage the sacrament of Confirmation.

In wearing the Phylactery, the Jew binds himself to God, and wears his seal of authority. In this way, he prays with the physical sign of his subservience to God.

In a similar way, Chrism is an interior mark or character on our soul that complete our attachment to Christ our God through the Holy Spirit, whose indwelling is signified by Chrism.

So while the initial version may be incorporated in the smartphone and tablet computer, further modifications may come with visual glasses (the forehead), and eventually with the internalization of the technology with a chip, perhaps containing DNA encoding transmitted through the emerging technology of RFID (which also incorporates Near Field Communication, and was the initial application).

The first use of RFID as a personal identifier was in Malaysian Passports in 1998.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Stephen,

I don't think that any Christians would ever readily accept RFID implants as a means of commerce. That's why I argue that we don't need to adhere to the microchip theory, which after all, has only been part of mainstream thought on the form of the mark of the Beast since the 1980's. Before then, it was generally accepted that the mark of the Beast would be an openly visible mark, rather than invisible, much in the way phylacteries are a way of publically acknowledging loyalty to God. And since the mark of the Beast is directly modelled on the practice of wearing phylacteries, a box shaped object seems to be the primary physical symbol.
I see what you mean about the annointing of chrism being an interior mark. But if you look at the original text, there is no indication at all that the mark would be invisible. In fact it is implicit that it would be an open and visible sign of rebellion. Before the 1980's it was thought that it would involve some form of tatooing, such as during the Holocaust. And since it is based on phylacteries, this mark is only worn temporarily.
But now that the mark of the Beast is thought of as some kind of invisible mircochip set to be implanted at some point in the future, Christians seem to miss the point about the mark being some sort of a visible sign, based on the box-shaped phylactery.
And besides, there is no need to implant someone with a microchip if the vast majority of the world's population already carry around something on their person that includes this technology. Most people are inseperable from their phones.

Anonymous said...

the bible says also that no one will get the mark accidently. that means that so many people just buy a phone and dont know the technology NFC and what it does but they still apperently have the mark.. in the bible they say you have a choice

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Anon,

When you look at the exact wording of the text in the Bible, you will find that it doesn't state anywhere about people having a choice. Instead it says that "ALL" will be DECEIVED into accepting the mark:
" the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it DECEIVES those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
(Rev 13:14)
"Also it causes ALL, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."
(Rev 13:16-17)
"And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he DECEIVED those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur."
(Rev 19:20)

I understand that this presents a problem as to how you could inadvertantly forfeit your soul by being tricked into accepting the mark of the Beast. I attempt to address this question at the post "RFID Implants vrs Cell Phones as the "Mark" of the Beast.
In a nutshell, I don't think that recieving the mark of the Beast automatically condemns your eternal soul to hell - especially if you have been tricked into receiving it. Forgiveness after all is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith.

imDriix said...

Hey I have a phone with NFC. Have i taken the mark of the beast? I belive in Christ and i love God. I hate satan and i dont want to take the mark of the beast. I'm a little affraid that NFC is the Mark of The beast and affraid because i have a mobile with NFC:( I love Jesus and God and I know that Jesus died for my sins. Please reply.

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi imdriix,

I don't think that anyone who unwittingly accepts the mark of the Beast will come to any harm. As a Catholic, I believe that the Church would have to officially identify this technology as the mark of the Beast before it would have any spiritual effects. People would have to know for certain what this technology actually is and chose willingly to accept it before their souls would be in serious jeopardy.
Also the Catholic Church teaches that all sin is forgiven in the sacrament of confession for those who are truly contrite.

Unknown said...

I just came across this article after doing to research into NFC and the Mark of the Beast.

I was very concerned by your post Emmett (2/8/13) as you said "I don't think that anyone who unwittingly accepts the mark of the Beast will come to any harm".

Please read Revelation 14:11 (KJV) - “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

Also I would encourage you all to check out the original text (or at the very least KJV) with regards to the mark itself. Revelation 13:16 clearly states that this mark will be IN not ON the right hand or forehead.
It is something that will have to be wilfully taken; I do not believe the tone of the scripture would imply that someone would be forcibly made to take the mark other than through freewill (or through no other choice. Scripture always supports scripture and I believe this is an echo of Daniel in the OT, he and everyone else would have to bow the knee to King Darius or be thrown to the lions (Daniel 6:7).

Emmett O'Regan said...

Hi Unknown,

I believe that Rev 14:11 is a prophecy of the point when people will actually become aware of the true nature of the mark of the Beast, when the Church formally identifies exactly what it is. It is only after this point, when people are actually consciously aware of (or at least have a good idea) of what it is they are accepting. If they chose to accept it after this point (as you say, when it becomes "something that will have to be willfully taken", then they would be faced with the fate described in Rev 14:11.
The actual original Greek text used by the Apostle John in this instance was "epi" - which means "on" or "upon" rather than "in". So it is something that is worn UPON the person, much like a phylactery - which of course is its original inspiration.
I agree that it is closely associated with the Book of Daniel, particularly the worship of Nebuchadnezzar's statue.

Unknown said...

Well, either way I do not see a Just God would allow one of His children to accidentally take the mark.

The really interesting point is whether the Church will be around when the mark is introduced.

Emmett O'Regan said...

That's why I argue that anyone who accidentally accepts the mark would bear no guilt. You would have to willingly embrace it for what it is before it would have any spiritual consequences. And in order to know exactly what the mark is, the Church would have to formally identify it.
Christ promised that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church:

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
(Matt 16:18)

Also, as I state in the other post, the idea that someone can be eternally lost by accepting the mark of the Beast is based on Protestant beliefs. The Catholic Church teaches that ANY sin can be forgiven through the sacrament of confession.

Unknown said...

The verse you quoted is of course the verse Roman Catholics use for Papal authority in the church, of course is out of context but that’s not the point, or is it? You say that the mark would have to be officially identified but who isn’t to say that the institution of the church (both RC and protestant) wouldn’t have been compromised in part by the time we reach these end times events? Scripture clearly points out that the true believer (not the church) will be few and far between.

Mar 13:22 [words of Jesus Christ] For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mat 24:37 [words of Jesus Christ] But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

No, my belief that someone can be eternally lost is found in the bible, not taught by a church. It is there in black and white. If something so important was not instituted by Jesus then does it not raise questions that tradition (a new law) has taken over from the Grace of God in Christ Jesus?

Unknown said...

Without getting into a big debate on the subject, as far as core, foundational doctrines, the protestant church has changed very little since the reformation (although, sadly we seem to be going back to the RC way of things). But the RC church has a habit of changing the goalposts somewhat. I sent this to a friend of mine recently which you may find of interest:

The thought of as a Roman Catholic, if I missed a single mass suddenly causes me to commit a mortal sin, meaning I definitely going to purgatory; or never knowing if my works were enough to see me avoid purgatory (no certainty of salvation) and even not knowing of the endless paying of indulgences by my family/friends after my death would be enough to get me out of purgatory... that would scare me to death quite honestly.
I love my Roman Catholic brothers and sisters but it is a tragedy the Roman church does not teach in the all sufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross and the victory over death and sin by His resurrection. If God’s only begotten Son’s payment of all sin by His death on the Cross and His glorious resurrection – if this isn’t enough to pay for sin, if the sacrifice of the creator of the universe, of all things, isn’t enough then how can lighting candles, praying and paying add anything?
I for one am glad that Jesus Christ has done it all, that means I can’t do anything to add/remove from His wonderful gift, and that by His grace and through His sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary I/we can be assured of not only eternal life (through repentance of sin and acceptance of Him as Lord and saviour) but also knowing our sins are thrown behind God’s back, never to be remembered again (Isaiah 38:17). I believe there are those within the Roman Catholic church that do genuinely know Jesus as their Lord and saviour but really need to come out of that religion and find the liberty in Christ.

Just look at the events of 1 January, 1967 where Pope Paul VI signed and issued the “Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences” which admitted that the infallible church had given false promises on things such as purgatorial sufferings for deceased Catholics. Countless faithful believers thought they had purchased enough indulgences to bring loved ones (and even dead Popes!) out of purgatories flames but these new requirements brought in were as good as impossible to fulfil, all the while their dead relatives (and of course, Popes) were believed to continue still be in purgatories flames. This church teaching that countless had pinned hopes and money, working all their lives in some cases, suddenly does not apply – where is the certainty?

You also say that “ANY sin can be forgiven through the sacrament of confession” but what about Jesus’ words in Mark 3:29?

Mar 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

I would sooner look out and identify things like the Mark of the Beast myself rather than wait for the church to do that for me.

Unknown said...

John 14:6..jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me. Isaiah53:5..he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon a follower of the true and living God..out of love. .I address everyone here...Jesus Christ is the only way...your religion will send you straight to fact religion has nothing to do with God..its man made..and it will parish along with every other abomination thing in this a quick fact..catholisim is a man made doctrine from the bowls of hell...many are deceived by well as many other damnable religious doctrines and teachings...your sacraments cannot save you..mother mary cannot save you...rosary beads cannot save you..or any other vain man made one cannot escape the just judgements of God..we must seek him and him only..our brothers and sisters surely cannot save us..nothing in this earth cannot save us but almighty God...he didnt bleed out and have his flesh beat so bad..that it tore to the bone...for us to drop him off and serve ppl places and things more than him...most ppl today are serving God in vain..unaware That he is not happy..we openly rebel against living how we want..and trampling his "grace" under our feet..and conveniently, fasley using it as a sad sap excuse for our sin laden lives...most of us are aware of this deep down in our souls..and know very well that we are unfit to see God..we know this because his law is written upon our hearts...but day after day..what we can feel..see..taste and touch is all that matters...I implore you my brothers and sisters..WAKE UP..JESUS IS COMING BACK!! Get your house in order..and stop playing these silly games with God...HE WILL NOT BE MOCKED!!!..HE IS A FAITHFUL GOD AND JUST. .HE WILL JUDGE YOU..AND IF YOUR NOT FOUND LIVING A LIFE HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE UNTO HIM..IF YOUR NOT FOUND OBEYING HIS WORD AND IN WHOLE..YOU WILL BE FOUND GUILTY AND YOU WILL BE CUT OFF FROM HIM FOR ALL ETERNITY...GIVE YOURSELF TO HIM FOR REAL PPL...THE LORD, CLEARLY PLAIN AS DAY STATES.. IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS..JOHN 14:15..


Anonymous said...

Accepting the Mark of the Beast will definitely consist of a choice where one pledges allegiance to a one-world religion. A movement has accelerated dramatically since the early posts above on this topic. That movement is the idea that all major religions are pointing to the same god but with different names for their gods.

Perhaps the best example of this is the growing push by leaders in both Christianity and Islam toward a hybrid called Chrislam. Jesus clearly said repeatedly that He is the Truth, the Life, and the Way and that no man comes to the Father but by Him. Also, there is no other name under heaven whereby one may be saved.

So when it comes to the Mark of the Beast, it will be a commerce system using modern technology, involving tech related to chip and pin. Currently, in Feb of 2015, the emphasis is on this technology being facilitated via chips in smartphones. However, that will morph into physical implantation by necessity. Perhaps due to coming ability to hack smartphones somehow. Or perhaps because the idea is to go global and there are millions who would never buy or even receive and use a smartphone for commerce but would a chip planted under the skin.

Yes, there has been allot of publicity about the mark of the beast and microchips and yes most would be very reluctant, it would seem. However, don't underestimate the power of absolute desperation (e.g. the inability to buy food or shelter) to prompt folks to take what they perceive as critical measures in order to survive.

Now back to where the spiritual is packaged with the pragmatic cashless commerce system: In order to eat and live one will have no other alternative eventually other than to take the mark. Where that pragmatic step becomes spiritually damning is that in order to be allowed to take the chip one will have to simultaneously renounce any and all single proposed paths to God, including Jesus Christ, and instead pledge allegiance to a world religion that is "tolerant" and "diverse." In renouncing Christ and taking the Mark of the Beast, one is eternally damned.

Now for another point to consider. If I have not lost you above already I may here. However, it is my hope that you will consider it with an open mind or at least file it away to reflect on as you see events unfold that would support this:

There is a world leader who is shocking masses of followers of his own brand of Christian religion by departing from long held beliefs. He is soft on "alternative lifestyles" which the Bible clearly and repeatedly condemns in no uncertain language. He makes allowances for atheists so long as they live with a clear conscience. He seems to be headed toward revealing a attitude of tolerance to abortion. And more to the point, he is reaching out to other false religions of the world and trying to create commonality and brotherhood. Those who have eyes to see will reject him and his fallen apostasy but since there nearly 2 billion persons who profess to share his religious roots, hundreds of millions will allow themselves to be duped into going along with him. This False Prophet will predictably be the architect of the one-world religion that will ultimately renounce Jesus as THE ONLY WAY.

So the choice will be take the chip, pledge allegiance and live (ultimately eternal death) or refuse and die of starvation or exposure. Eventually, and just prior to Armageddon, it will likely become so intense that the death choice will come to include beheading (also prophesied). Who more than the "lam" part in "Chrislam" moves to behead the infidel? Granted, this world religion will likely include all of the major religions and not just apostate Christianity and Islam but the tactics of Islamic beheading of dissenters will come to be the method of dealing with them toward the end.

If this is hard for you to accept outright, I urge you to take these things into the near future to ponder as events unfold.

"I am a jealous God and will share My glory with no other!"