THE SCRIPTURE STATES that the mark of the Beast is “the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six” (Rev.13:18) or 666. 

The mark of the Beast will not occur until the mid-point of the seven-year  Tribulation and those who receive the mark do so either in their right hand or in their forehead. It will be essential to wear this mark or one will not be able to buy or sell. 

There has been a lot of speculation as to what the mark will be and how it will be administered. Some have suggested the number 666 is already on the Visa  Card. Others suggest it is a tattoo or a  computer chip imbedded under the skin. 

Modern technology and the advent of  Artificial Intelligence (AI) has given rise  to a host of possibilities. The potential for computers to store vast amounts of information and the application of AI  has made it possible for the entire world  population to be monitored, analysed  and controlled. Accordingly, some have  suggested the systems are already in place for Antichrist to establish a one world Government with absolute control  over every individual on the face of the  planet. But is this so? 

That Antichrist will establish a one-world  Government at the mid-point of the  seven-year Tribulation there can be no  doubt. Scripture could not be clearer on  this point. We read that 

all the world will wonder after him”  and it will be said, “Who is able to  make war with him?” “And he causeth  all, both small and great, rich and  

poor, free and bond, to receive a  mark in their right hand, or in their  foreheads: And that no man might buy  or sell, save he that had the mark, or  the name of the beast, or the number  of his name” (Rev.13:16-17). 

There can be absolutely no doubt  about the universal reach of the Beast  during the second half of the seven-year  Tribulation but how will he achieve it  and will he use computers and AI? Will  computers be available at the mid-point  of the Tribulation? 

A few thoughtful moments about the  first half of the Tribulation might provide  us with answers.  

Immediately after the Rapture the seal  judgments will begin and after a short  period of peace (1Thess.5:3), terrorism  will burst upon the world to such an  extent that one quarter of the world  population will suffer (Rev.6:4-8). Then  there will be another Arab war. Egypt  will be smashed by Israel and the Beast  (Dan.11:40-42; Isa.19) as the political  head of Europe. 

Then Russia with her Islamic associates  will sweep into Israel (Ezek.38:1-9)  causing the Jews to turn to Jesus Christ  (Ezek.39:22) but not before two thirds of  the nation perishes (Zech.13:8-9). The  invading armies will be decimated by  God when Israel turns to the Lord and only one sixth of the force will escape  to Siberia (Joel 2:20). They won’t be  able to return to Russia because Russia  and “the isles”, most likely the US, will  be burned (Ezek.39:6) probably from  a shoot-out between the two great  nations. 

In the land of Israel the stench of death  will be so great that it will “stop the  noses of passengers” and it will take  seven months to bury the rotting bodies  strewn all over the country. 

There will also be a global earthquake  at this time (Ezek.38:19; Rev.6:12) that  will shake the nations and this will be  followed by the Trumpet Judgments  in which one third of the globe will be  burned, one third of the oceans turned  to blood and one third of the ships  will perish! (Rev.8:1-10) The world will  experience a Pandemic caused by  demonic activity and men will seek  death but not be able to find it (Rev.9:6). 

Finally there will be an Asian War that will  slay one third of the human race. India;  China; Pakistan; Japan,; Bangladesh;  Korea and other Asian countries will  erupt. With the Pacific Ocean already  turned to blood and all the shipping in it  destroyed this will not be a naval battle  but a land battle involving 200 million  men. 

China, India, Pakistan and North Korea  are all nuclear powers and a war of these  proportions will most likely be nuclear.  The devastation will defy description  and only Europe will appear to survive  relatively unscathed. 

With such universal destruction and  loss of life the entire world economy,  and environment will change. We cannot  assume that systems operating now will  operate then. 

If shipping is devastated the transport of coal, iron ore, oil and manufactured  goods will cease. Coal-fired power  stations will cease to produce electricity,  transport systems will shut down and  cold storage of food will cease.  

We are told that those who maintain and  operate advanced computer programs  and AI require enormous amounts of  electricity but the global devastation  existing at the mid-point of the seven year Tribulation will cause black outs  that will disrupt everything connected to  the power grid so that high-tech systems  may not be able to effectively operate.  Even cars may be useless if fuel is not  available. 

Obviously there will be some areas  affected more than others for we know  that, at the end of the Tribulation, the  ships of Tarshish (USA/UK) will be the  first to bring the Jews back to the land  (Isa.60:8-9) and even some planes will  fly for Isaiah says “who are these that fly  as a cloud?” 

Nevertheless vast areas of the world will  be devastated and global communication  will be difficult. Antichrist will have a  global reach but there will still be a  remnant who refuse the mark of the  Beast and these will have to survive to  be among the “sheep” nations at the  end of the Tribulation. Jesus said that  unless those days of Divine wrath are  shortened (curtailed), no flesh would  be saved alive. The judgments will  be curtailed when the seven thunder  judgments are cancelled (Rev.10:4). 

Mobile warfare will be difficult without  fuel and Zechariah seems to indicate  that horses will be used in battle at the  end of the Tribulation for he states: 

“In that day, saith the LORD, I will  smite every horse with astonishment,  and his rider with madness: and I will  open mine eyes upon the house of 

Judah, and will smite every horse of  the people with blindness(Zech.12:4). 

It is in such a time as this that Antichrist  will seek to finally accomplish victory  and secure his global goverment. His  edicts will be universal and he will seek  to control every human being on the  planet but it will be in the context of  Divine judgment falling upon earth and  during Antichrist’s reign in the second  half of the Tribulation, those judgments  will focus on the kingdom of the Beast  for we read, “his kingdom was full of  darkness” (Rev.16:10). 

We should also remember that God  has promised protection for His people  during the reign of Antichrist. The  144,000 Jewish preachers in the first  half are “sealed” for protection from  the effects of the Trumpet judgments  (Rev.7:3) and when Israel flees from  Antichrist at the mid-point of the  Tribulation, God has “a place prepared  of God, that they should feed her there  1,260 days” (Rev.13:6) which is the entire  reign of Antichrist. 

Before Israel turns to Christ and trusts in  Him two thirds of those “in the land” will  perish (Zech.13:8-9) but the remaining  third will fight back against Antichrist  with the Lord on their side. It seems that  they will have great victories against  Antichrist such that the governors  of Judah will be “like a torch of fire  in a sheaf…and Jerusalem shall be  inhabited again in her own place, even  in Jerusalem” (Zech.12:6). 

Two million Jews who are all, male and  female, militarily trained with the best  weapons will be a hard nut for Antichrist  to crack especially when “the Lord goes  forth to fight against those nations as  when He fought in the day of battle” (Zech14:3). 

At the end of the Tribulation Antichrist  will seek to gather “all nations” against  Jerusalem to battle (Joel 3:2) which  means that Israel has reoccupied the  city after having to flee as they did  when Antichrist took over (Matt.24:15- 

21). The final conflict at the battle of  Armageddon will be at Jerusalem and “the city shall be taken, and the  houses rifled, and the women  

ravished; and half the city shall go  forth into captivity, and the residue of  the people shall not be cut off from  the city” (Zech.14:2). 

There is no doubt that Israel will be back  in Jerusalem for the final days of the  reign of Antichrist for Zechariah states: 

“Judah shall fight at Jerusalem”  (Zech.14:14). 

It is in this battle that the horses are  struck with blindness and madness. 

So will the mark of the Beast be a  computer chip requiring electricity to  scan or will it be a physical branding  or tattoo. I believe that when all the  circumstances prevailing at the time  are considered it is unlikely to be a  computer chip and could simply be a  branded number or tatoo. However  I am just relieved that I will not need  to worry about it because 1,260 days  before Antichrist comes to power every  believer in Jesus Christ on earth will be  raptured to heaven. This is “the blessed  hope” to which we who have found  Christ as our personal Saviour look, in  full assurance of faith. 

If you have not acknowledged your sin  and placed your trust in the One who  shed His blood on the cross so that you  could be forgiven, then NOW is the day  of salvation. The Tribulation will come  “as a thief in the night” – when least  expected. “Whosoever shall call upon  the name of the Lord shall be saved”  (Rom.10:13).