Yea and verily, the Apple Watch was foretold. For it was written that, in the Last Days, there shall be wars and rumors of wars, and a Great Beast shall come out of the sea. And He shall make war against the Righteous, charging them $350 to be able to look good while they check their Twitter feeds from their wrists. Woe unto ye Android users.
When Apple unveiled the long-awaited Apple Watch on Tuesday, reactions were mixed across the internet. Some called it a wonder of engineering, the final arrival of truly wearable computing technology. Others yawned, saying that the Apple Watch was unimpressive compared to competitors from Samsung, Motorola, and others. Some, though, saw through to Apple's nefarious machinations. Those vigilant tech observers saw the Apple Watch as a precursor to the Mark of the Beast.
"Again, if you truly, and honestly believe this is all about making our lives better with social media and online games, then you have truly become lost (deceived) by the rhetoric that is coming out of the scientific world of technological advancement," according to The Prophetic News. "Yet this is prophecy being revealed right before our eyes as referenced in Daniel 12:4. The truth is, all of this technology is not by coincidence, far from it, it is by design and its origins are Satanic."
For those heathens among us, the Mark of the Beast symbolizes mankind's acceptance of the Antichrist, the Final Enemy of God, who appears in the last days to sow trouble and disharmony in the world. The Mark is typically understood to be some form of the number 666 – though more recent interpretations have pegged it at 616 – and it is believed that the Antichrist will require all of mankind to accept the Mark, either on their forehead or on their right hands.
The penalty for refusal of the Mark is death. Before you die, though, you'll be unable to buy or sell goods and services.
"Revelation 13:16-17 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."
If it's not apparent how the Apple Watch fits into this, we'll explain now.
Alongside the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple introduced Apple Pay, a new system that relies on wireless Near-Field Communications technology to allow Apple device owners to pay for things without pulling out a credit card. Just whip out your sparkly new iPhone or Apple Watch, tap it to an NFC point-of-sale terminal, and your account is billed automatically. The system is secured using biometric information contained in the Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into Apple's iPhones.
The use of biometric information, coupled with the fact that many people may wear the Apple Watch on their right hands, has some people thinking that the Apple Watch and Apple Pay are harbingers of the end times. To be fair, it fits with some end times prophecies, including trouble in the Holy Land, earthquakes in diverse places, and the arrival of the inevitable Antichrist, North West.
A lot of the hullabaloo centers on the potential for a cashless society that the Apple Watch epitomizes. Smartwatches have been around for a while, as has NFC technology. No tech company, though, has the clout to sell enough devices to make wireless mobile payments a widespread reality. No company aside from Apple, that is. Pair that with the fact that users will eventually be touching their wrists to point-of-sale terminals – almost literally paying with their own bodies – and it gets pretty spooky. If you're into that sort of thing, that is.
"You know," writes one poster on GameFAQs' message boards, "it's pretty much nearly mandatory to have devices to pay for things. Is this the beginning of the end?"
"Pretty much nearly mandatory." That's about what Revelation was getting at, right?
As we've said before, the Apple Watch is almost certainly going to be a big hit when it debuts early next year. The near inevitable popularity of the Apple Watch, though, seems like it will fall a bit short of the worldwide domination spoken of in Revelation.
Some are expecting that Apple will sell about 20 million Apple Watches in fiscal 2015. Not quite at the point of causing everyone, rich and poor, to accept the Mark. Not yet, at least. Maybe the 2016 edition.
Really, this is the sort of thing that pops up with just about every advance in technology. Prior to the Apple Watch, Revelation buffs were concerned about microchip implants leading to the Mark of the Beast. Before that, it was barcodes. Before that, tattoos.
Of course, people were concerned about Apple paving the way for the Beast prior to the introduction of the Apple Watch and Apple Pay. In 2011, folks over at Fulfilled Prophecy were saying that Apple's iconic logo alluded to the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden, and that the slavish devotion of Apple fans was the sort of cultish behavior one could expect from followers of the Beast.
"Little do the peons know," one user wrote, "they are wearing the very symbol of their fall from grace."
Yea and verily, indeed. As true today as it was when it was written.
Then again, maybe there's something to it. Since early in the last decade, Apple's been on a win streak unheard of outside of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Beyonce, and anyone else that obviously must have made a deal with the devil.
"Nobody but the Prince of Lies himself," one internet commenter posted, "could convince so many apparently smart people to part with so much cash for such relatively primitive over-marketed junk."
Probably an Android fan. When the AppleChrist arises, he'll be first against the wall.