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Identification chip might signal coming of end times

Nov. 29, 2005

by TRAMESE ANDREWS, columnist

All good things must come to an end.

The world is not excluded.

Jesus says in Matthew 24:6-8, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

These things are coming to pass before our eyes. For example, the war in Iraq, famines, the bird flu and earthquakes in diverse places, such as South Asia.

Some people believe that history repeats itself and that these events just roll around every so often.

To be honest, I would probably think that too if it weren't for the advancement in technology.

I say this because the book of Revelation is about the apocalypse -- the end of the world. Revelation 13:16 reads, "He causes all, both the small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666."

According to Time magazine, Applied Digital Solutions received FDA approval last year for the world's first human implantable microchip.

This radio-frequency identification microchip, VeriChip, contains a 16-digit personal ID number that can be scanned like a bar code.

It's the size of a grain of rice and can do things like provide health-care workers with online access to people's medical records.

And some have raised concerns that the chips could one day be used to monitor the movement of people who have implants.

Could this chip represent the mark of the beast?

I think it does.

Americans love convenience. What is more convenient than literally having everything in the palm of your hand?

Revelation 14:9-11 reads, "Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on this head or on his hand, he himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and whoever receives the mark of his name.'"

Do not take this mark.

"I truly believe that this could be the mark of the beast," said Irvin Baxter Jr., minister and president of the Indiana-based End Time Ministries. Baxter has done in-depth studies on the end times and is nationally known for his knowledge on this topic.

On May 11, President Bush signed the Real I.D. Act, but officials have said it's not a national I.D. because they don't want to alarm people.

"VeriChip is absolutely voluntary and there are no efforts in place to make this mandatory or force it on people," said John Proctor, director of communications for VeriChip.

"There is no movement to encourage the government to make this mandatory and VeriChip is making it clear that device must stay voluntary."

Proctor says that now, but just read what the Bible says about it. No, the Bible doesn't explicitly say that the chip is the mark of the beast, but you have to read between the lines.

"I think it's presumptuous for us to think that these prophesies are just now being fulfilled. They were written for their own times," professor of religion Naymond Keathley said.

"If they were meant for us, why weren't they written in English? They were written in Greek."

Baxter, however, disagreed.

"These prophesies were written over 2,000 years ago, but could only have been implemented within the last five years with the advent of the computer and the Internet," Baxter said.

Tramese Andrews is a sophomore journalism, physical therapy and Spanish major from Garland.