Considering the developments in commerce and electronics over the last 50 years, I am convinced that no other generation but ours could have known how the prophecy of the number 666 would be fulfilled. The technology necessary to bring it to pass simply had not been developed or conceived of before our day. Therefore, the understanding necessary to interpret John’s prophecy in Revelation wasn’t available until only very recently. However, in precisely the same time frame that Electronic Funds Transfer and Smart Cards have come on the scene, there has also arisen a concurrent technology at the retail level which will ultimately allow the coming Cashless Society to function smoothly. It is this one development that will become the final key to integrating the Mark of the Beast with the Number of the Beast. This invention also digitally links potential buyers with the items that are for sale in an electronic financial system. This is important to understand, because in order for the Antichrist’s system to work, digital money must be connected to the digital identification of people and things. This allows the entire economy to be electronically linked and identified through a system of marks. This whole scenario as it applies to physical products being sold revolves around something called barcode technology, which is being used to provide each item with its own unique mark, just as the Antichrist will demand that each person receive his or her own unique mark.
It is amazing how many fulfillments of end times prophecy have had their rudimentary beginnings back in the decade of the 1940’s. In the very same ten-year period that Israel became a nation, European integration got its start, and digital electronics and computer development began, we also find the beginnings of barcode technology, which would be destined to bring into being the Number of the Beast.
The Development of Product Identification
We have already seen how important it is becoming to the Empire-Beast to validate the identity of people as our economy is moved toward an increasingly cashless society (see The Identification Problem). Ensuring proper identity is also being extended to things as well as people. This includes the identification of every product that is bought or sold along with virtually every other item that humans use or interact with. This is being made possible in part through barcode technology.
In October of 1949, Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver of Philadelphia submitted a patent entitled, “Classifying Apparatus and Method” (US Patent 2,612,994, issued 1952). It described a technique of labeling manufactured articles with tags containing certain patterns of lines or colors. These patterns could be coded with special classifications depending on the product to which they pertained. They envisioned that the code would then become a unique identifier for each item being tagged.
In their patent, Woodland and Silver described how a series of white lines on a dark background could be used to carry this encoded data. The spacing and thickness of the lines within the pattern could be interpreted as a particular number sequence for the identification of a product. Special illuminated scanners could be used to read the data contained in the bars as a tagged article was interrogated. Items marked with the code could then be automatically registered and the data maintained by a computer, which was networked to the scanning device. According to Russ Adams writing years ago in Bar Code News, the first scanners “consisted of a transparent conveyor belt onto which the package was placed, symbol side down” (Bar Code News, Mar./Apr., 1986). Strong lights that were pointed up at the code reflected the pattern back down into a photosensitive detector. Tiny fluctuations in the amount of light energy reaching the detector would result in small variations in an electric current, which then could be correlated to the barcode pattern being read. These electrical signals would thus be interpreted as product or item numbers representing the encoded information stored within the barcode pattern. The digital data could then be used for computerized inventory control or any other application that might be helped through automated identification…[read entire article]