By Kim Riddlebarger
If you are a futurist and believe that the beast of Revelation 13 is not connected to the Roman Empire of the first century and remains yet to be revealed at the end of the age (i.e., during the seven-year tribulation period, as dispensationalists teach), then you will not look at the mark of the beast through the lens of the New Testament and the historical situation when John was given his vision. Instead, you will understand this mysterious mark as something still hidden in the future. And given the breakneck pace of the advance being made in all forms of technology, it is only natural that futurists would see John’s reference to the mark of the beast as somehow connected to the technological advantage by which the beast and false prophet will enslave the inhabitants of the world and deceive them into worshiping the Antichrist.
As futurists see it, when John speaks of the mark of the beast, he’s essentially predicting that some future form of technology will be utilized by Antichrist to dominate and control the world’s population. According to Peter and Paul Lalonde, “The Bible says that the mark of the beast and its accompanying technology will be installed by the antichrist–not as an end in itself, but as a means of managing the new world order that is even now being created” (Peter LaLonde and Paul LaLonde, Racing Toward the Mark of the Beast, Harvest House Publishers, 1994, 148).