Do you think the receiving of the mark of the beast will be a conscious choice, or do you think people could be tricked into taking it?
I would like your thoughts on the mark of the beast. Many, in fact most, of my friends worry about any mark as it may be "the mark" and they might get fooled into taking it. My mind set is that any mark, whether it be identification or some other thing such as a credit card encoding, cannot be the actual mark of Revelation unless it specifically mentions accepting the Antichrist and denying the Lord. It seems foolish to me that we can be tricked into this whole thing. I maintain it must be an actual conscious choice because the Bible says it will be his name or number.
I know there are many believers who are concerned that they could be fooled or tricked into taking the mark. In one sense, I find this difficult to comprehend that most believers would do it, since presumably it will involve specifically receiving a mark of some type on one's right hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-18), something that a majority of Christians should know about and would be reluctant to do. As such, I do feel that, for most people receiving the mark, it probably will be a conscious choice, whether it is made out of ignorance or rebelliousness.
Some have suggested that "right hand or forehead" is figurative for something else. Yet, I have not seen a plausible explanation as to what "right hand or forehead" could be other than literally that. And, if explicitly that, then it would seem that any believer who is aware of this prophecy would be smart enough not to accept anything at all placed on his/her actual right hand or forehead at any time.
In another sense, I actually think it will be possible for some believers to be fooled or tricked into taking the mark but probably not in a way that most believers have considered. Many feel that 666 will be linked to the beastly system of Islam (which I feel is quite plausible) and may be an encryption for "In the Name of Allah." See The Real Mark of the Beast for more about this.
Under an enforced Islamic Sharia Law, it seems plausible that people would not be able to buy or sell anything without some outward indication or "mark" (Revelation 13:17), indicating their submission to the authority of Allah. Furthermore, it is stated that those who refuse to worship the "image of the beast" will be killed (13:15). Many will be killed with the sword (13:10) and beheaded (20:4), which is what Islam does to "infidels" who oppose it.
There are Christian leaders today who promote and advocate "Chrislam," which in their view is an attempt by Christians to befriend Muslims. They agree that Allah is the same as the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible in hopes that, by doing this, some Muslims can be reached by the Christian gospel. In my view, "Chrislam" is a dangerous compromise with those of an errant religion whose god is not the Judeo-Christian God and Creator.
Many Christians who have subscribed to the "Chrislam" deception and/or to the ruse that Islam is a "religion of peace" could demonstrate an extreme conciliation by exhibiting their "goodwill" to Muslims by receiving a visible mark on their bodies. This would be an outward profession of their allegiance to Allah, whom they have been deceived into believing is the same as the true God.
It would seem that those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture could be most at risk, since they are of the frame of mind that the beast and false prophet will not be revealed publicly, and the mark of the beast will not be implemented, until after they have been supernaturally removed from the earth. In their view, the application of the mark cannot happen as long as they are here. Thus, perhaps they could take the mark, which they would perceive merely as a sign of their earnest wish for good relations and peaceful harmony with those of the Islamic faith.
Allah is not God, though, and receiving such a mark most likely would be viewed by the true God as an abomination—particularly by people who should know better—since a fundamental tenet of Islam is a refutation that God has no son. Yet, a foundational belief of Christianity is that Jesus is the Son of God. In reality, taking the mark will be exactly the wrong thing to do for anyone who receives it, with dire consequences in store (Revelation 14:9,10).
Much of the above is speculative. I do believe, though, that Islam is a credible threat to the world and that there may be a widespread implementation of Sharia Law, given that a worldwide economic collapse appears inevitable and Islam is gaining an increasing foothold in many nations, including the USA.
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