It's real, and it's happening. Is the mark of the beast coming next, when people figure out how to reproduce fingerprints? If you think of it, a tattoo for instance, visible or invisible- or a microchip embedded in the hand or forehead of someone would seem almost impossible to reproduce. As I said earlier, the "mark" might not be a physical mark, but if it is... it seems we are heading in that direction. If this is going to be only way to buy or sell anything- including food, how are those who don't receive the mark going to eat? Remember what this chapter says about anyone who gets the mark:
Verse 9: "If anyone worships the beast and it's image and receives a mark on his forehead or hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath..."
Verse 11: "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
And it says right after this,
Verse 12: "Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."
To me, this says that as believers, we are not to be conformed with the way of the world and what seems to be normality. Isn't the way of world typically the way of destruction? That is why Paul says in Romans 12, "Do not be conformed to this world...". To me, this also says, the way of the world will be the mark of the beast, and we as believers should not conform to it. Does this mean that we won't be able to buy food? Maybe. But if the way of the world is destruction and death- than I would rather not eat to satisfy my physical body so that my spiritual body may be resurrected with Christ when the Day of the Lord comes.