Written in January 2019
Up until relatively recently in human history, using coins or some form of notes or bartering were the only way to exchange goods or buy and sell. In the first century when the Book of Revelation was written, the idea that you could buy and sell with a number that is attached in some way to your body would have seemed incredible. However that is what the Apostle John wrote down when he said that in the final period before the second coming of Christ ‘no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name … His number is 666.’ Revelation 13.17-18.
For centuries people have wondered what this mysterious prophecy could mean. Now we may be seeing the way to its fulfilment. Already we have credit and debit cards which link our bank accounts to our person by means of a unique number and enable us to buy and sell without using cash. HSBC Global Economist James Pomeroy produced a report titled “A world without cash: The impact of the rise in electronic payments.” He sees a world in which the use of cash is “in severe decline” and highlights the benefits of a cashless society, mostly centring around convenience, cost efficiency, better monetary control, and security.
Pomeroy says that from a consumer standpoint, a cashless society is convenient, the speed of transactions increases with efficiency. For business, the ability to reduce the cost associated with managing cash is a significant benefit. For governments, digital cash offers the ability to track down tax evaders more efficiently and combat crime. Banks that don’t hold cash don’t get robbed, and generally, people carrying around a traceable digital payment method are not ideal targets for physical robbery.
One of the issues of using credit and debit cards is the need to ensure that the card being used really does legitimately relate to the person using it. Memorised pin numbers are one way to do this, but some form of biometric ID is the best way to secure identity.
This push towards a cashless society using biometrics is happening worldwide. We have examples of it happening in the United States, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Israel, parts of Africa and Russia. The world’s two most populous states, China and India have made great strides in this direction. In China the first ‘Cashless Alliance’ in the world, aims to eliminate physical credit cards and cash. India has set up the world’s largest biometric database, known as Aadhaar ID, which assigns a unique 12-digit number to Indian residents, backed by their fingerprints, iris scans and certain demographic details. This becomes the basis for financial transactions.
Biometric ID uses DNA samples, fingerprints or iris scans of the eyes to create a database which can potentially identify every person on earth. It is also possible to link the person to the database by a microchip on the body. This is already being used in Sweden to pay for items like train rides and for making your ID secure. A company called Biohax has already “installed” around 4,000 chips in customers, inserted just below the thumb. They can use the implant to open secure doors, pay for tickets, and share emergency information with medical personnel. Biohax recently held talks with several British legal and financial firms about fitting their employees with microchips, including one major company with thousands of employees.
Paying for a train journey with an implanted microchip in Sweden
After a Wisconsin based company, Three Square Market, started embedding microchips in its workers in 2017, the newspaper USA Today carried an article saying ‘You will all get chipped eventually’. It explained the benefits of microchips as chipped customers wave their hands to pay for goods, pass through airport scanners and passport controls, open doors, start cars and operate home automation systems.
The problem is that when you become part machine / computer / world wide biometric database, there is someone controlling that technology. That can give the elites and the government an exceptional opportunity to control the population, especially if they also control the world’s money system.
This raises the next relevant question. Could the whole money system change in such a way that using such a system to buy and sell becomes mandatory for all citizens? It couldn’t happen as things are now, but it is possible that a global financial crisis could bring something like this in.
Former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, recently warned that the world is in danger of sleepwalking into a repeat of the near financial meltdown of 2008. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the global forum for central bankers, has agreed with him. It warned that surging risky debts, rocky financial markets and signs of a growth slowdown threaten to strike the world economy at a time when central banks have little ammunition left to fight back.
Global debt today is around $247 trillion, which is close to 2¹/₂ times the size of the global economy. The US is running up a $1 trillion a year deficit, increasing its overall debt to $21 trillion, while household debt stands at $13.3 trillion. In September 2018 UK national debt reached £2 trillion. There are fears for the future of the UK economy if Brexit goes badly. Imbalances in the Euro currency mean that it will probably collapse sooner or later. One factor which could cause this to happen sooner rather than later is Italy. Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and is in deep trouble economically with national debts of around €2.4 trillion. Its new Eurosceptic government wants to pass a budget which will break EU rules, precipitate a crisis, and could result in Italy crashing out of the Euro. In that case the European Central Bank and Euro currency could collapse, creating a global economic crisis.
Across the Atlantic economic forecaster Peter Schiff has warned: “The US economy is in so much worse shape than it was a decade ago. The US government is going to be given a choice between defaulting on the debt, or else massive runaway inflation.” At the same time the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is being challenged by the BRICS countries (BRICS = alliance of nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). They have aligned against the petrodollar system, whereby large international purchases are made by using dollars in order to make payment.
This system is very beneficial to the US economy, and any change to it could fatally damage the dollar. According to financial analyst Dick Allgire of Crypto Viewing, the US Federal Reserve already has a contingency plan for this. It involves a ‘coming transformation of our nation’s payment system set for 2020, under the ‘Faster Payment Environment’ using a cryptocurrency system, that is compliant with the Patriot Act and biometric identification.'
Cryptocurrencies are digital forms of exchange, the most well known of which is Bitcoin. At the moment these are privately owned and operate outside of the control of central banks or governments, but that could all be going to change in the event of a world financial crisis involving major currencies like the dollar and the Euro.
A report by the financial commentators ‘Capital and Conflict’ claims that the central banks plan to use a coming crisis to bring in a cashless society in which people are put onto a new digital centrally controlled system. Here is a quote from the article:
‘Central banks should create digital currencies and play a critical role in the global payments system, including the settlement of transactions, argued International Monetary Fund president Christine Lagarde in Singapore on November 14. She publicly floated the idea that central banks – not the private sector – should create and manage digital currencies. Centralisation allows for control. Decentralisation does not. By centralising they seek control of money because their real goal is political power. This is the War on Cash that we have written about for years. It is the systematic destruction of your ability to collect and hold wealth outside of the financial system. The money system of cryptocurrency, with the advent of technology and a cashless society, is now the fastest, cheapest, and most thorough route to complete political power over the lives and private choices of billions of people.’
In our January 2018 edition of Light for the Last Days we carried an article (available on request) showing how China is implementing its Credit Score system which gives the government power over the citizens’ ability to buy and sell. Now bankrupt Venezuela has brought in a similar scheme which enables the Maduro regime to take measures against citizens who criticise the abuse or corruption of the socialist government. Citizens found their fingerprints rejected for buying groceries (even in cash) and their bank accounts frozen. A totalitarian regime could ask for no better tool for social control than to know, through spending habits, exactly who opposes it and then to cut them off from any and all financial transactions whatsoever.
If you put all this together you have a credible scenario for the fulfilment of the Revelation prophecy:
‘He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.’ Revelation 13.16-18
I am not saying that using credit cards or taking a microchip now is accepting the Mark of the Beast, but all these things are preparing the way for this system to be set up. According to the Book of Revelation when this system is set up it will be accompanied by some kind of act of worship or submission to the power behind the beast, the dragon or Satan:
‘He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.’ Revelation 13.15.
Modern technology is creating the possibility of a hologram being created which can cause an image of a person to appear and speak in different places without the person being present. In 2014 Turkish leader Erdogan sent a giant hologram of himself to speak at a meeting in Izmir in Turkey. Erdogan is certainly an antichrist figure, who is suppressing his opponents and forcing people into submission to Islam.
Whatever this image turns out to be, it is controlled by the antichrist spirit, which no one who belongs to Jesus can accept. In Revelation 14.9 we read ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.’ In other words taking the mark will result in eternal damnation.
According to Revelation 7 there will be a great number of people who ‘come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ This means they become followers of the Lord Jesus during the tribulation time. Many of these will be put to death as a result of the actions of the Beast. ‘It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.’ Revelation 13.7-10.
Could anyone survive as a Christian in this time? According to the timing given in Revelation there will be three and a half years between the setting up of the 666 system and the return of Christ to the earth, which is a relatively short time. It does appear that there will be survivors of the tribulation period who will be rescued by the Lord at His second coming to the earth. In Matthew 24.13 Jesus says ‘He who endures to the end shall be saved.’ One interpretation of this verse is that Jesus will save physically those who survive the tribulation from death rather than having their souls saved.
Though it is the beast’s intention to implement the 666 system worldwide, some passages indicate that he will not in fact achieve this and will face opposition. In Daniel 7.24 we read that ‘he shall subdue three kings’, so presumably they are part of an opposition movement to his rule. In Daniel 11.36-45 the king of the north and the king of the south come against him and at Armageddon the ‘kings of the east’ enter the scene, presumably also in opposition to him (Revelation 16.12-16).
Maybe the survivors will find some way of not taking the mark and staying alive through an underground survivalist network. However this is accomplished, they will have to trust in the Lord and seek His strength and help through believing the truth of His Word:
‘God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.’ 1 Corinthians 10.13.
‘And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4.19.
‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’ Revelation 12.11.
‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ Philippians 1.21.
At the end of the seven year tribulation period, God will bring judgement and disaster on the kingdom of the Antichrist and the evil world system he has set up. Babylon the Great will end up being totally destroyed:
‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit. … And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” … Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore.’ Revelation 18.2-11.
The Book of James also contains a similar warning for the last days: ‘Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. … Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. … Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.’ James 5.1-8.
The coming of the Lord is indeed at hand. The fact that we see the possible fulfilment of these things described in the Book of Revelation is just one more sign of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus.