So that no one could vote unless he had the mark

The title may sound familiar – so that no one could vote unless he had the mark – and yet also sound not quite right.  that’s because it’s a twist on a verse from Revelation.

Rev 13:17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

so that no one could vote unless he had the markOf course, I swapped out “buy or sell” and replaced it with “vote”.  Because that’s sort of happening.

Pakistan’s citizens must now declare their religion when applying for identity documents, or if they want to work in government or register to vote, Islamabad’s High Court ruled this month.

Applicants who disguise their true religion defy the constitution and betray the state, the judge stated. Their true religion must now also be visible on birth certificates, ID cards, voters’ lists, and passports.

That’s an excerpt from Court: Pakistani Christians Must Reveal Religion to Vote or Apply for Jobs.  

Mark of the Beast?

Is it the mark of the beast from Revelation?

The Beast out of the Earth

Rev 13:11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Rev 13:18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

Yes, this calls for wisdom.  
No – it does not appear to be the mark of the beast – for several reasons.

However, remember that Jesus said –

Signs of the End of the Age

Mt 24:1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Mt 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Mt 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Mt 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

So this isn’t happening yet either. 

So why write about it?

Well, most of it isn’t happening.  But some of it is.  Especially when we get to verse 9.

According to the people interviewed for the article, the decision was mostly an attempt to find out who the “real” Muslims are.  Pakistan is mostly Sunni Muslim.  That creates a problem for anyone of any other religion – including other Muslim sects.  

In his verdict, the judge ordered parliament to develop legislation and amendments to existing laws “to ensure that all the terms specifically used for ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslims’ were not used by the persons belonging to any of the minorities for hiding their real identity or for any other purpose.” If no appeal is filed, parliament has to follow the court’s directives.

That includes Ahmadi Muslims.  One of several differences – and reasons for Sunni’s to consider Ahmadi’s non-Muslims, is this:

The non-Ahmadi Muslim stops short of accepting the full implications of the Quranic verse which declares the Holy Prophet Muhammad to be Khatam an-Nabiyyin — i.e., the Last Prophet. The obvious corollary of this position is that the Holy Prophet Muhammad has been vested with mankind’s spiritual leadership for all time. The non-Ahmadi Muslim’s belief that about the end of the world, Jesus Christ will be sent down from heavens for the reformation of the world amounts to the transference of the world’s spiritual leadership from the Holy Prophet Muhammad to Jesus Christ, thereby terminating, to all intents and purposes, the Holy Prophet’s spiritual dispensation.

The Ahmadi Muslim on the other hand, believes that the Holy Prophet’s spiritual leadership extends for all time to come, and the question of Jesus Christ’s second coming, therefore, does not arise.  [1]

That’s a problem.  To the “radical” Muslim who follows the latter revelations from the Qur’an, they see not only permission – but a duty – to treat them as blasphemers and non-believers.  

Given the state of affairs in Pakistan, and other Muslim countries, it also strikes fear for Christians.

WWM has reported regularly on how Christians face different forms of discrimination and oppression in Pakistan—in daily life as well through the misuse of blasphemy laws. The Christian woman Aasiya Noreen, popularly known as Asia Bibi, is one of the best-known examples: she has been on death row for blasphemy since 2010.

This court ruling is seen as a way to extend the persecution of Christians.


So – what’s happening in Pakistan doesn’t fit in with the mark of the beast. However, it should be seen as a wake-up call for those who are ignorant or complacent about what’s going on in the world.  It’s not “The End”.  Yet. But, it should be a reminder of what’s to come.  And it should not be lost on us that we are increasingly seeing some of the signs that Jesus warned about.  

Could things change – and get better – and this won’t turn into The End?  Absolutely.  We just don’t know.  We cannot know.

The Day and Hour Unknown

Mt 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Mt 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Since we don’t know when – it’s important to not be ignorant.  It’s important to be aware.  
And as Jesus says – Therefore keep watch.

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