Bill sees a metaphor:
The “mark of the beast on the hand an forehead” just means submission and acknowledgement of lordship. It clearly does not mean a physical mark, Jesus was clear on this when he condemned the Pharisees for wearing scripture as their frontlets while not following it. Reference Exodus 13:9 and 13:16, and Deuteronomy 11:18, and the related verses. This “mark of the beast” crap is what happens when Christians divorce their Scripture from it’s Jewish roots – they can’t understand it.
Of course, this sounds remarkably like those pre-1948 Biblical interpreters who had a panoply of explanations for the supposedly metaphorical nation of Israel in Revelations. Now, Bill could be right, of course, but to say that it “clearly does not mean a physical mark” is a serious exaggeration.
Given that there is now an implantable technology that appears increasingly likely to be used for buying and selling and the US government’s increasing tendency to govern all financial transations, his metaphorical argument is on shakier ground than it has been in 2000 years.
The hallmark of a prophecy is one that accurately predicts the future, after all.