We look to the bible and read Revelation 13:16-17
And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.And we read Revelation 20:4:
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.These verses give us pause. Because we know that the bible is inerrant, these things will come to pass. How could it be that there is a one world dictator who can "cause all" to do anything? By the time the Mark is instituted, there will be remaining about 3 billion people in the world. If the Antichrist is reigning from Babylon, and there is someone unsaved in Georgia, how will he 'cause' that person to receive the mark? How will he know where they are?
Further, if a person refuses the mark, how will he be able to track them down, abduct them (I am guessing that there will be no "arrests" and rule of law by this point) and bring them to the place where the guillotine resides? How is this possible, even with the technological advances in surveillance, satellite, and tracking we now have?
USSR's satellite Sputnik had no clue as to how these verses could come to pass. However, when Sputnik circled the earth and sent its first signal, the capabilities of space communication was starting to become crystal clear. As the NASA site reports, "History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball, weighed only 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race." [Above, Sputnik]
That event was only 50 years ago, many who were alive then are alive now and remember the threshold we crossed from the earth-age to the space-age. Fifty years is a short time to go from one satellite to a global dominance tracking every person on the planet. Is the mark of the beast possible, even now? Yes. Here's how.
After these five decades of the space-age, we now have radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic communications. Governments have the technological capability to intercept communications from almost any place on earth and in any form. "ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UK–USA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications." Source Wikipedia.
Above, radomes in Menwith Hill, UK, part of the ECHELON agreement.
The launch of Sputnik in 1957 caused an acceleration of technology as this 2001 report to the UN Parliament states, "When the second and third INTELSAT generations came into operation, in 1967 and 1968 respectively, global coverage was achieved for the first time." (source, page 51). It only took ten years to achieve global communications. And it only took a few more to figure out how to manipulate, track, and intercept those communications. The Report to the UN about ECHELON in 2001 summarizes, "That a global system for intercepting communications exists, operating by means of cooperation proportionate to their capabilities among the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand under the UKUSA Agreement, is no longer in doubt ... What is important is that its purpose is to intercept private and commercial communications, and not military communications."
The report concludes that "ECHELON is capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links. A global network of computers that automatically search through millions of intercepted messages for pre-programmed keywords or fax, telex and e-mail addresses exists now. Every word of every message in the frequencies and channels selected at a station is automatically searched. The processors in the network are known as the ECHELON Dictionaries. ECHELON connects all these computers and allows the individual stations to function as distributed elements an integrated system." The following is a map of known and suspected ground stations:
Echelon is a global communications interception system, in force and in use at this moment. Seeing how quickly we advanced from a space beach-ball satellite to a vast global network of personally spy-tracking every personal communication, is it a stretch to wonder how quickly a global dictator insinuating himself by flattering words and peaceful means could convince the world to unite their technologies and track each citizen via a Mark?
The world's fastest supercomputers are already at a level which can handle global calculations in mere petaflops. Half of the world's top computers are in the US, the fastest being "Jaguar," but many nations have them, including enemy nations. The Jaguar computer, which is owned by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has a top speed of 1.75 petaflops.
One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. The Jaguar supercomputer performs 1,750 trillion calculations a second. How long does it take an average PC to match its performance in different time periods? What Jaguar does in one second would take your PC ten hours. You could fly from London to Cancun in the time it takes your PC to perform that one calculation Jaguar performed in one second. What Jaguar does in 1 hour would take your PC 4 years to accomplish. You get the idea. The top two fastest supercomputers in the world are in China. This is a graphic depicting who has the top supercomputers and where they are. Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China each have their share.
ECHELON is a technology that is in place now, and may or may not become part of the coming One World Oppression and Mark of the Beast. However, its existence and capabilities, along with the world's fastest computers, show that such technological means of economic restraint and oppression against every citizen in the world is technologically possible. Imminent, even.
Compared to this amount of technological oppression and slavery, it will be a snap to set up the beheading stations for the saints who refuse the Mark.
If you are saved by the blood of Jesus and have made Him your Lord, and asked your sins to be forgiven, you will be raptured prior to Daniel's 70th week. The purpose of the Tribulation, the seven years of Jacob's Trouble, is a time God will deal with Israel's sins and her rejection of the Messiah. It is a time when God says to Israel,“Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.” (Jeremiah 30:11) He is punishing Israel. Church age believers are not punished because:
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation." (Col 1:21-22)Believers during this Church age are already forgiven, holy in His sight, and free from accusation, therefore, we are not appointed to wrath. "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess 5:9). It is the Time of Jacob's Trouble, a decree of time set aside "To finish the transgression." Their transgression, not church-age believers.
That the Mark is close is evident. That it is possible is clear. That it will happen is incontrovertible. Praise him for His justice and Holiness, and that we will not be here to face that choice. He is Holy and Perfect, the spotless Lamb of God. He loves each one of us, and He loves you! He, being God, came down and lived among us, and became sin for us and died a terrible death for us. By His stripes we are healed! "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Is 53:6) What a Generous and Mighty God we serve!