COMPUTERS, THE BEAST, AND 666

666 computerPMT 2015-117 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Once again I am offering some succinct answers to a reader’s question. Sometimes brevity can more quickly assist our understanding. (But please do not tell the publisher of my upcoming 1700 page commentary on Revelation.) Here is today’s question and brief answer.

Reader’s question

What is the “Mark of the Beast”? And since your answer will obviously have to have some first century application, isn’t it at all curious to you that for the first time in human history — with microchips, retinal scanners, a growing one-world economy, etc.—that the technology exists to make the “Mark of the Beast” a reality?

My response:

Thanks for your question. This type of thinking is fairly common in our American dispensationalist-dominated religious environment. However, I believe it is quite erroneous. The computer technology of today does not fit the requirements of the text of Revelation for the several reasons.Beast ID


Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD by Ken Gentry)

A biblical and historical argument for Nero being the beast of Revelation. Professionally recorded and edited with Question and Answers session.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


But first, let’s look at Rev 13:18: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.” Does this require computer technology? I do not believe so.

  1. We must read this statement in its own literary setting. The mark of the Beast is no more a literal mark than the mark of the Lamb in the next few verse. In Rev 14:1 we read: “Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”

I have never heard anyone teaching that the followers of the Lamb during the (supposed future) great tribulation will have a computer chip on their foreheads which holds the name of the Lamb in it.

  1. In fact, this mark is actually an image of dominion and control. Notice that in Rev 13 no one may buy or sell without the mark (13:17). And note also that it is placed on the right hand and the forehead, which appear to represent that which we do (the right hand) and that which we think (the forehead). This speaks of oppressive, domineering control — which does not require computer chips to effect. There have been many totalitarian governments in the world.

In fact, today ISIS is a current example of such an attempt to control a person’s thinking and actions. And they do not need computer chips to do so.

  1. The idea involved here is of a “beast” who imposes this mark due to his divine pretensions. He attempts for force men to worship him (Rev 13:4, 8). This may easily apply to emperor worship, which was well known in the historical setting of the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:4, 11). And given a number of other interpretive angles this divine pretender would seem to be Nero Caesar, an egomaniac who actually did seek worship from men.

Postmillennialism and Preterism011 Postmill and Preterism
Sacramento Eschatology Conference. Lectures (4 mp3s).

(1) Postmillennialism: Wishful Thinking or Certain Hope?
(2) The Identity of the Beast of Revelation.
(3) The Resurrection of the Dead.
(4) The Great Tribulation is Past.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


  1. The Book of Revelation is an extremely OT-oriented book. Thus, we always do well to check the OT background to see if we can find help. It appears that this mark on the right hand and forehead is a negative reflection on God’s requiring his Law on his people (Dt 6:8). God rightly imposes his Law on man; the “beast” (Nero Caesar?) wickedly seeks to impose his will, as if he is a god.
  2. Any present day mark goes against John’s time-frame (near, Rev 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10), relevance (persecuted churches, Rev 1:9), and theme (judgment of Israel, Rev 1:7; 11:1–2, 8). The computer chip idea may excite the minds of devotees of science fiction, but it should not sway devotees of God’s historical word.

Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.

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