Could Amazon’s new ‘palm payment’ be connected to the Mark of the Beast? [Op-Ed]

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


Despite varying views on eschatology, many Christians believe that we may be living in the “last days,” and that believers should be ready for Christ’s imminent return.

Much of this is due to how the downward trend of our society mirrors the society that the Bible speaks of in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-7). It is also because many believe that recent developments in technology make it possible for some of the prophecies to be realized in ways that were not possible in the past.

One condition that many Christians believe will preclude the tribulation is that there must be a global trend towards a cashless society. With that in mind,  many Christians are now speculating on the connections between Amazon’s new “palm payment” and the Mark of the Beast.

This new technology, which was launched nearly two years ago, will now be placed in 65 Whole Foods locations in California. Lauren Forristal, a writer for Tech Crunch, describes it this way:

The tech works like this: Users visit a kiosk or a point-of-sale station at participating locations to link their palm and payment card to the service. Then, all they have to do during the checkout process is hover their hand over a scanner to complete the transaction. Amazon One creates palm signatures using machine learning to identify customers. While the kiosk takes a picture of a user’s palm, the company says it doesn’t store the image there but instead encrypts it and sends it to a server for matching.

While some are excited over the new convenient method of payment, others are understandably concerned that this could lead to an extraordinary breach of privacy on a mass scale. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bill Cassidy, and Jon Ossoff raised their concerns in a letter to Amazon, saying, “In contrast with biometric systems like Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID or Samsung Pass, which store biometric information on a user’s device, Amazon One reportedly uploads biometric information to the cloud, raising unique security risks.”

For Christians, even more concerning than the potential breach of privacy, is a potential connection to the Mark of the Beast, as the Bible speaks of consumers needing to use some sort of mark on their hand or forehead to purchase goods.

In Revelation 13:16-17, the Apostle John wrote,

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Christians must understand that there are many speculations as to what John was referencing when he wrote this during his vision while exiled on Patmos. Some believe this could be referencing a 1st-century political “beast” such as Nero, who was infamous for murdering Christians for sport. Of course, there is substantial evidence that John wrote Revelation in the 90s AD, almost 30 years after Nero’s death, thereby debunking this claim.

Others believe this is in reference to a past figure, such as a Babylonian “beast” of sorts, highlighting the fact that Revelation speaks often of past events and not just those of the future. Still, others believe the Beast is a picture of an institution or a nation and not a singular being.

Many Christians (I believe it would be safe to say the majority of 21st-century believers) would argue for the validity of a futuristic beast theory. They believe this beast is an apocalyptic figurehead who will either serve the Antichrist or will in fact be the Antichrist. They argue that this being will be a mouthpiece of Satan who will spearhead the tribulation before his and Satan’s final defeat at the hands of God Almighty, prophesied in the last chapters of Revelation.

Some Christians wonder, with the physical placement on the palm and the reference to payment transactions in Revelation 13, if this new Amazon payment method could be connected to the Mark of the Beast.

This thought is further bolstered by recent reports of a man from Detroit who reportedly had a key chip implanted in his hand. The man alleged he did this for “convenience” and reports indicate he stored personal information, credit card information, vaccine status, and his Tesla accessibility in this chip.

Regardless of one’s view on eschatology, this report should serve as a lesson for Christians in two ways.

First, we must be vigilant in the gospel, because the Lord is coming soon. We are seeing the rise and fall of nations, an increase in hostility toward the Church, wars, mass disease, natural disasters, and other events that serve as evidence that we may indeed be in the last days. Because of this, Christians need to be ready to share the good news with those who need to hear it. The only hope for those without Christ is to hear the gospel and respond in faith.

Second, we need to take joy in the hope of our eternal home, which is waiting for all who trust in Christ. Whether by physical death or by the return of Christ, all Christians await this blessed home where we will be united with God and reunited with those who have gone before us. We need to set our minds and hearts on that which is coming and not on what we can see around us.

Whether we are truly living in the last days or not, may our aim be the same as the Apostle Paul, who encouraged believers in 1 Corinthians 4:18 “to look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”