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0110 – 0110 – 0110, RFID of the Beast

The Bible makes a remarkable prediction about the shape of political and economic matters at the end of the age.  Rev 13:16-18 foretells a time when a government will seek to control all economic activity in the world by setting a mark on each individual.  Participation in commerce of any kind will require having the mark.  The mark, says John, will involve the number 666.

There has been no end of speculation about the meaning of the 666.  I can’t unravel that particular mystery for you.  With the advent of modern technology, one possible way the mark might be applied is through radio frequency identification, or RFID.  This isn’t a new thought, by the way.  Prophecy students have been saying this for many years since these things were invented.  It’s just that it’s looking ever more plausible.  The Wall Street Journal is featuring an article today (7/25/10) about Wal-Mart’s plan to use RFIDs on clothing in its stores, and Scientific American has posted an article echoing WSJ‘s attention on the subject and explaining a bit more about them.

RFIDs keep getting smaller and eventually will become dot-sized things you could, for example, simply print onto the tag of a new garment.  You won’t notice them.  But if you pick up or wear an RFID marked garment, the retailer can track you wherever you go in the store.  If they mark you with an RFID, people with a transceiver can drive by your house and tell whether you’re home or not.  If personal information is contained in the RFID, they could access that too.  The implications for privacy and civil liberties could hardly be more profound.  But this technology is coming.  It’s too cheap and too potent for the commercial world to not use it.  You can be certain the government will follow.  It’s easy to imagine the justifications.  Suppose every major part of a car were imprinted with an RFID.  Car thieves could be identified as they drive down the street – – even if the car were cut to bits in a chop shop and the thief kept only one little part.

So is this the mark of the beast?  I don’t know.  But I know the Bible warns about such things on two levels.  There’s a practical level where we need to be alarmed about government’s never-ceasing hunger for information about and control of its citizens.  This is a mega-force that devours freedom in great gaping chunks in exchange for relieving people of the obligation to fend for themselves as adults.  And there’s a religious level where government tries to function as a surrogate deity, demanding not just submission but outright worship.  If you think worship of the state is a long way off, you just haven’t been paying attention.

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