In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 13, you’ll find the following three verses:
 “…he compels all, small and great, rich and poor, free men and slaves, to receive a mark on their right hands or foreheads  so that no one will be able to buy or sell unless he bears the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number is 666.”
Many people, including those not well-versed in Scripture, have heard of 666 or the phrase ‘mark of the beast’. Case in point: If you were to Google “666”, it would turn up over 15 million results.
I have my own history with 666. My awareness of it started about 30 years ago in Louisiana. My checking account number had two sixes in it, a space, and a six. Yup…other than the space, 666. One day when I stopped at my bank, the clerk took a red pen and with a defiant wave of her hand drew a circle around the 666 and space. THAT got my attention.
Fast forward 30 years, to April 2017, as my car’s odometer was fixin’ to turn 166,600, I decided against stopping at my bank’s ATM machine. I figured I’d use a credit card for lunch and while doing so take one of my employees. The tab was $16.66. REALLY?! A pack of cookies solved that demonic turn of events. By the way, this article WILL NOT end up with 666 words.
That said, focusing on 666 is a diversion. The real story of “the mark of the beast” is one verse earlier. Let me simplify: If you don’t bear the mark, you can’t pay the rent, or buy food for the family. Why is this a big deal? The time to choose to bear the mark is coming sooner than later. And the beast has been sly about it. In other words, you may not even have to “choose”…you may already have had it and have been completely OK with it.
Sly: In May 2017, I got in the mail “Important Information” about my Arkansas Driver’s License. In three years, under the promise of increased security, I will get to choose between an “Enhanced Security” Driver’s License or a Regular DL. The “Enhanced Security” card will enable me to “enter a federal building or board a domestic flight”. Pretty innocent and all because 9/11 prompted the passage of the “Real ID Act of 2005”. I’m eager to see what it will NOT allow me to do…
Big whoop you say. Let’s turn up the heat where it hurts. Here goes: “cashless economies”. Simply: there are countries where cash is used less than 10% of the time. How does that happen? Debit/Credit Cards. Online Banking. Apple Pay. Bitcoin. The digital/computerized transfer of money…“cashless”.
So what? I’m assuming there are bunches of hands in the processing of digital money. But what if the world’s digital processing slowly became more centralized. Would you know? Would you care? As long as your credit card works, it’s all good, right? What if, over time, money processing became so centralized that only a few entities handled it? The abovementioned beast would not need to handle the processing, only to control the entities. Control it enough that the beast can demand the entities turn off my money spigot…I can’t pay the rent, or buy food for the family. Point made?
God’s Word tells us there’s a consequence for choosing the mark of the beast. From Revelation 14:
 The third angel followed them saying with a mighty voice, “Whoever worships the beast and his image and receives the mark on his forehead or on his hand  he shall drink of the wine of God’s indignation and wrath, poured undiluted into the Chalice of His Anger.  There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”
If you could predict the timing of the End of the Age [don’t…you can’t] you might know when to cut up your cards or stop buying stuff online. Even Jesus doesn’t know “…of that day or that hour, not a single person knows, not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” [Red Letter Words Mark 13:32]. There has been no other time in history when it was possible to control worldwide commerce. Until now. If The Bible is right, computerization has put achieving the beast’s goal in reach. Some say the debit/credit card chip is “the mark”. Others speculate “the mark” will be a chip implanted in our hands or foreheads. Revelation 13:16 suggests that makes sense.
Regardless, the End of the Age just cleared another hurdle.