I have highlighted in bold what I feel are the key words/terms in this prophecy.16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
When we look at the evolution of money, we see it evolving from gold and silver, to lesser metals, and then to paper, plastic and now, payments all over the world are being made by contact-less cards, Apple Watch (and other smart watches), Barclays bank in the UK offer people a chipped wrist band for payments, and also a micro-chipped sticker that can be stuck on anything to pay with. Schools in the UK and people in countries like Sweden are using finger print and palm recognition as forms of payment too. So, the questions is...where are all these changes in world banking leading to? What is the next evolution in money?
This is where I believe we come to the mircochip, in particular a chip implanted in the back of your hand, which will eventually be used for buying and selling. When one looks at it on a purely practical/convenience level, you can see why this will eventually happen. For governments it costs less to have digital money than to print cash, it will make the system run more efficiently, as there will be no need to move cash around, crime that is dependent on physical money will be minimized, and for the common man, no more having to carry your wallet, worry about losing it, or having it stolen, etc, etc. That's not to say there will be no issues with this kinds of technology, but I think the system will refine this until it's as good as it can be.
So, when will this happen? That's anyone's guess, but it could be a lot sooner than people would like to believe. Everyday we see these changes happening, and cash slowly being phased out. When it does come, like the prophecy say, no man will be able to buy or sell without it. So where will we get our food, clothes, shelter, etc?
Most people will end up taking the mark, because they don't really believe God can provide these things outside of working for money, but Jesus said it very clearly, God can and will provide us with clothes and food, as he does the flowers and birds, if we seek to build his Kingdom first. (Matthew 6:25-34). Do we believe this? Are we preparing ourselves spiritually for this time? When it comes, we will lose everything, homes, lands, possessions, most likely family and friends who take the mark...are we ready for that?
There was a missionary who said, ''He is no fool who give up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose''. If we reject the mark, we will lose everything, but we'll lose it all when we die too. Why not give it all up for Jesus right now, and live as he and his disciples did, by faith in God and not in money (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 14:33)?