The Prophecy Club News Update

Monday, April 09, 2007

Is 'mark of the beast' in Real ID Act?

JEFFERSON CITY — A dire, apocalyptic prophecy in the Bible's Book of Revelation is getting a new audience: state legislators.

Several evangelical Christian groups say the federal Real ID Act, which will standardize state drivers licenses and link them to corresponding national ID numbers by 2009, represents the "mark of the beast," the devilish number 666 that is attached to the godless.

The nearly 2,000-year-old passage is referenced along with the prophetic locusts, plagues, oceans of blood and rivers of fire found in the Bible. Soon after, according to scripture, the antichrist takes control of the world and Jesus Christ returns.

In short, new national ID numbers could spell the beginning of the end, some Christians believe.

"This is getting treacherously close to prophecy in the scripture," said Irvin Baxter Jr., founder and president of Endtime Ministries in Dallas.

And some Missouri legislators are listening.

Some Christians interpret verses from the book of Revelation that say humans will be "marked … so that no one can buy or sell who does not have that mark" as a prophecy of a global numerical control system to be used by the beast, or antichrist. The number would be used during the Great Tribulation, which some Christians believe will precede the second coming of Jesus.

Most religious scholars agree that this beast in Revelation is a metaphor for the Roman emperor Nero who persecuted Christians and Jews in horrific ways that were likely to be remembered only a couple of generations later when Revelation was written.