The Coming Cashless Society :: By Britt Gillette

The Bible says a time will come when a global dictator  will require everyone on earth to receive a mark on the right hand or the forehead (Revelation 13:16). Those without the mark won’t be able to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). For centuries, Christians have wondered how this will even be possible. But in recent years, the rise of advanced technology has given us a glimpse as to how it might occur.

New technologies have driven endless speculation about what the mark will be. Some think it will be an implantable microchip. Others think it will be a visible tattoo. Still others think it will involve bar codes or RFID chips. And on and on. The fact is, we don’t know. And it won’t be known until the mark actually appears.

However, we can know this – the technology is here to make such a mark possible. To control every buy and sell transaction in the world, the Antichrist will need to set up a system capable of tracking every transaction. And thanks to modern technology, we can easily envision such a system. Much of the foundation for one is in place. Electronic payments are already a way of life, and they foreshadow the coming of a cashless society. In fact, not only is a cashless society possible – it’s inevitable.

The Future of Cash

For years, people have speculated as to how the Antichrist will exercise the immense power of Revelation 13:17. How will he control every buy and sell transaction? Many transactions, such as the buying and selling of illicit drugs, are already illegal. Yet despite this, black markets for these products thrive. People regularly buy and sell drugs and other illegal products “under the radar,” where the government rarely sees, much less has the power to control, what’s bought and sold.

Cash is critical to these black markets. Almost everyone accepts cash as a form of payment, and it’s hard to track where cash goes and what it’s used for. But the ability to use cash to hide your activities, or simply remain anonymous, is coming to an end. Why? Because cash (currency and coins) will soon disappear. Don’t doubt it. It’s going to happen. And it has nothing to do with a government desire to get rid of cash. It’s a foregone conclusion because cash will soon be worthless.

That’s right. If you hold on to your cash long enough, it will be worthless. Why do I say this? Because soon, the government will be unable to control the supply of cash. In the near future, counterfeiting will become impossible to prevent. Advanced technology ensures it.

In a world of new technologies where every molecule can be perfectly positioned, it won’t be possible to stop counterfeiters. They’ll be able to create exact replicas of every national currency. And when that happens, the world will be flooded with fake money – worthless fake money. And since no one will be able to tell the difference between the fake cash and the real cash, both will be worthless. In such a world, the only way to prevent counterfeiting will be some form of electronic tracking of cash. An electronic means to verify the authenticity of a cash note. But if you’re using electronic tracking devices within cash, why bother to make physical currency at all? Why not just make all transactions electronic?

The Current Situation

Essentially, that’s what we’re seeing now. The majority of buy and sell transactions are electronic. Think about your daily routine. Whether it’s the coffee shop, the grocery store or Walmart, how do the people around you pay for what they’re buying? If you take the time to look, I bet you’ll see a lot of credit and debit cards – maybe even a mobile phone payment.

According to a 2016 Gallup survey, only 24% of Americans make all or most of their payments with cash. And the younger you are, the less likely you are to use any cash. In the United States, cash is becoming obsolete. Nevertheless, according to MasterCard Advisors, 85% of global payments are still made with cash. How will the Antichrist be able to control those transactions? He’ll be able to control them, because the situation will quickly change.

Take India for example. In late 2016, the Indian government announced a crackdown on tax evasion, black market goods, and counterfeiting. All existing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would soon become worthless. Citizens needed to exchange them within a short timeframe for new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. The result? No one wanted to accept the old notes as payment, so electronic transactions skyrocketed. According to the Wall Street Journal, mobile wallet payments jumped 104% in India between October 2016 and February 2017.

But while electronic payments are more efficient and convenient, they also create a problem. You can’t hide them from the government. While this is good in some ways (catching criminals), it’s terrible in others (government invasion of privacy). Without proper safeguards, governments will have the unprecedented power to monitor every buy and sell transaction you make. This is nothing new. For those of us who already use electronic payments for nearly everything, this is already the case. But in the future cashless society, you won’t have a choice.

Conclusion

So why does any of this matter? Because at some point in the near future, the Antichrist will seize power. When he does, a global electronic payment system will already exist. While it remains to be seen how he will control every buy and sell transaction, the stage is being set. Convenience has already led to most transactions going electronic. And soon, new technologies will make all paper currency obsolete.

This will eventually create a situation where a global government could monitor and control every economic transaction on earth. Such a system has never existed in the nearly 2,000 years since the book of Revelation said the Antichrist would control all buy and sell transactions (Revelation 13:17). In fact, such a system was impossible for all of those nearly 2,000 years. But today? Today it is different. We see the groundwork for such a system coming into place. It’s yet another sign of the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Britt Gillette is author of the free ebook Coming to Jesus: One Man’s Search for Truth and Life Purpose as well as Signs of the Second Coming: 11 Reasons Jesus Will Return in Our Lifetime. Receive his book 7 Signs of the End Times for free when you sign up for his monthly newsletter

Cut Flower People :: By Jonathan Brentner

When I first heard the expression, my immediate thought was this: “That’s it!” That fits perfectly with what I see around me. I’m referring to Os Guinness’ description of current western culture as a “Cut-flower civilization.”

Such a condition, he says, is the direct result of the cutting off of its Judeo-Christian roots.  Guinness, an author and defender of the Christian faith, explains that while our culture still exudes some beauty from the past, it’s quickly fading away as a cut flower in a vase of water.

Putting it in my own words, I would say that cut flower people are those who believe they can continue the ideals of liberty and freedom without the roots that made them possible in the first place. They tear down monuments containing the Ten Commandments seemingly unaware that many of these decrees form the basis for the very laws that protect their freedoms.

The Cutting

Our freedoms, the sanctity of life and all our laws are rooted in the belief of a Creator who gives life and establishes morals to protect and preserve life. A nation cannot exist without laws. The foundation for our nation (as well as our freedoms and rights) is the Judeo-Christian worldview of our founders. Just like a flower cut from its roots, our culture has cut itself off from the very source that brought it the liberties and freedoms it enjoys.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence begins with these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today’s prevailing belief that our rights come from the government runs contrary to that of our founding fathers who wisely saw that the tendency of the state is to restrict freedoms, not grant them. Although some are threatened, our basic rights remain intact (at least for now).

Unless we return to seeing God as both the Giver of life and our rights, our liberties will fade just as surely as a flower cut off from its life-giving roots. Our freedoms cannot survive indefinitely in the current environment. We see the unmistakable signs of this withering all around us.

The Withering

What are the signs of the withering? First, truth no longer matters. I struggle to know what to believe; fake news confronts me everywhere I look. People have no qualms about lying to prove their point; it’s all about the ends justifying the means, getting the desired results regardless of the path taken. Politics now consist of ridiculing one’s opponent; mocking has replaced debating issues. In many of our churches identity has replaced God’s Word as the starting point for discovering truth.

The second sign consists of the deplorable racism, hate, and resulting violence we see on our streets. The animosity of Black Lives Matter (BLM) continues to result in the brutal murders of many policemen in our nation. Last week, we saw the vileness of of radical racist groups spill over into violence in Virginia. The words of 2 Timothy 3:1-7 have never been more relevant. Many today are indeed “slanderous, without self-control, brutal.” We see these things on both extremes in our nation.

The third sign is that of rejecting God as the Creator of life. Jesus said that God “from the beginning made them male and female.” The wholesale repudiation of Jesus and His words was clearly seen a couple weeks ago as the state of Minnesota decided to introduce transgenderism teaching into grade school classrooms telling young children that “your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.” I grieve for the irreversible damage this is causing to the youth of our country. The little petals are quickly falling to the ground, are they not?

Other indicators of the withering abound in our culture. Congress continues to fund an organization that performs one thousand abortions a day, and then profits from selling body parts from these precious unborn babies.  Sex trafficking remains a huge problem in our nation while efforts by our president and some members of Congress to end it are stymied by many rich and powerful people—who themselves are involved in this great evil that harms so many young people.

How much longer can our rights and freedoms persist in such an environment?

Without a sense of the sanctity of human life, respect for individuality or the cherishing of our freedoms and justice—all which flow from our Judeo-Christian roots, the government will at some point forcibly impose its solutions upon the resulting chaos. This will be the beginning of the end or perhaps the end itself of so much that we cherish.

The Replanting?

Is there any hope? Are we as a nation headed for disaster amidst the continuing strife, divisions, and resulting violence? Can we be reconnected to our roots or is our situation just as impossible as replanting a cut flower in the ground?

Millions of believers across our land continue to pray for our nation and its leaders. Nothing is impossible with God; He is sovereign and He can do all things. Jesus has already delayed His return to earth for a long time waiting for as many people to repent of their sins and find eternal life in Him (2 Peter 3:9).

On the other hand, the storm clouds of the Tribulation quickly approach. When that time of trouble arrives, the world will experience God’s response to its rejection of Jesus and His Word. That seven-year period of history will be the worst of all time as the Lord pours out His wrath upon the world because of its refusal to repent of its many sins (see Rev. 9:20-21).

So many biblical prophecies regarding the last days are coming to fulfillment before our eyes. The signs Jesus gave regarding the Tribulation and His return are everywhere; it’s almost as if Jesus was reading from today’s newspapers as He addressed His disciples in Matthew 24. If the Tribulation is ever so close, how much more so must the Rapture be since it occurs before the Tribulation?

Where are we? Is the flower about to fade away with no hope of restoration? I am not sure, but I do see a few things:

1) There is no hope for our nation apart from Jesus. The cutting away of our Judeo-Christian foundations was in essence a rejection of the words of our Lord and Savior. Only Jesus can deal with the hatred in the hearts of many in our nation. The violence we see on our streets will not end apart from people turning back to Him.

2) As followers of Christ, we must stay away from the anger around us as we point others to Jesus. Our hope does not rest in our culture turning itself around or in any political leader. While we cannot remain silent as strife overtakes our nation, we must remember God’s love in graciously forgiving all our sins as we call people to repent of theirs. One former pastor of mine put it this way, “We are just one beggar telling another where the bread is at.”

3) Regardless of what happens next, we have no reason to fear. Whether Jesus comes for us today or next month or sometime in the more distant future, He is our hope regardless of what we might suffer in this life. We have an amazing and joyous eternity ahead for us that will be spectacular beyond our wildest imagination! Don’t get caught up in the strife of this world and forget the overwhelming joy that awaits all of us whose trust is in Jesus.

I do believe Jesus is coming very soon to take us to His Father’s house. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If not, please call upon Him before it is too late. He lovingly waits to forgive all your sins and give you a hope that is truly out of this world.

 

Jonathan C. Brentner
Jonathanbrentner@yahoo.com
Eternity Versus the Moment